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2022 Winners

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Naomi Brigell, Mezzo Soprano
University of Houston

Naomi Brigell, mezzo-soprano, is gaining recognition as an “expressive, athletic and strong-voiced” presence on the operatic stage who "lights up every scene she's in." Brigell has sung with opera companies across the country including Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, Opera in the Heights, Chicago Opera Theater, and Opera Naples.  This season, Brigell looks forward to an exciting role debut as Olga in Eugene Onegin with Opera in the Heights and a return to Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist where she will appear as Mustardseed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and study cover the leading role of Ginny in the world premiere of A Thousand Acres. Earlier this season, Brigell premiered the role of The Press in The Widow’s Will with Chicago Fringe Opera and Decameron Opera Coalition. Favorite past roles include Hӓnsel, Cherubino, and Nancy (Albert Herring).


No stranger to the concert stage, Brigell recently sang as a guest soloist with Bach Collegium Fort Wayne and presented a virtual solo recital with Musicians Club of Women in Chicago. She looks forward to appearing in numerous art song recitals as part of the inaugural Salt Creek Song Festival later this spring.


Brigell’s accolades include the grand prize in the Kristin Lewis Foundation Competition, first runner-up in the Mobile Opera Madame Rose Competition, the Farwell Award with Musicians Club of Women, the Winifred and Maurice Hirsch Memorial Scholarship, and the Ellalou Dimmock Award. Naomi Brigell is a proud graduate of University of Houston and Boston University, as well as an alumna of the young artist programs at Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Opera Naples.

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Shaina Martinez, Soprano
Manhattan School of Music

​Shaina Martinez, is a lyric soprano whose repertoire includes the title role of Viardot’s Cendrillon, Violetta (La Traviata), Gianetta and Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore), Cio Cio San (Madama Butterfly), Susannah (Susannah), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), Donna Elvira and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Saffi (Der Ziegeunerbaron), Salud (La Vida Breve), Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Marie (La fille du Régiment), and Prince Charmant (Cendrillon). She has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Competition, SAS Performing Arts Co., National Society of Arts and Letters, Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition, Russell C. Wonderlic Competition, Talents of the World International Competition, Opera NEO Voice Competition, the Washington International Competition, the XXI Concurso Internacional de Canto Lirico and Alan M. & Joan Taub Ades Competition.


Young Artist Programs include: Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance, Grant Park Music Festival’s Project Inclusion Fellowship, and Florida Grand Opera.


She holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland and a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. Upcoming engagements include: Vero Beach Opera’s Rising Stars Festival Voice Competition Semifinals, the Loren L. Zachary Society Voice Competition Finals, and reprising Violetta in Lighthouse Opera Company’s La Traviata.​​

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Ian Pathak, Tenor
University of Michigan

Ian Pathak is a young, Indian/American tenor from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. He is a Second year Voice Performance Major at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and studies with accomplished tenors Scott Piper and George Shirley.


Recent stage credits include performing in the role of Church Committee Member (U of M Opera Theatre’s production of Highway One),  Servant/Courtier (U of M Opera Theatre’s production of Cendrillon) and Servant (U of M Opera Theatre’s production of Don Pasquale). Ian has also competed in numerous classical and musical theatre voice competitions.


His awards and honors include the Southern Illinois National Society of Arts and Letters (Winner), American Pops Orchestra's NextGen Voice Competition (Finalist), Schmidt Vocal Arts Undergraduate Competition (Finalist), Detroit Aria Competition (Rising Star- Winner). Recently, Ian has performed at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City (American Pops NextGen Finals).


In Summer 2022 Ian will attend the Aspen Music Festival’s Opera Theatre and Vocal Arts Program as a Studio Artist under the direction of renowned soprano, Renee Fleming. 

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Yang Zhou, Saxophone
Truman State University

Yang Zhou, saxophonist, was born in Dali, China in 1996. Yang received his Master of Arts in Saxophone Performance from Truman State University, where he studied with Dr. Xin Gao. Yang graduated from Sichuan conservatory of music in China where he received his bachelor ‘s degree.


He was selected as the winner of graduate division of the 2021 MMTA (Missouri Music Teachers Association) Collegiate Woodwind Graduate State Level Competition, the runner up of 2020 MMTA, same year he won the Gold Medal Concerto Competition at Truman State University.


Yang has been accepted by the University of Iowa School of Music and will join Dr. Kenneth Tse’s saxophone studio in the fall of 2022 to pursue his doctoral degree.

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Amer Hasan, Clarinet
Oberlin College

Amer Hasan enjoys a multifaceted career as an orchestral musician, chamber musician, and soloist. A winner of the 2021 Astral National Auditions, he has also received top awards in the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs’ Biennial Collegiate Competition, Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition, Brevard Music Center Concerto Competition, and the Fischoff and M-Prize chamber music competitions.

Amer is the principal clarinet of the Akron and Firelands symphonies and solo clarinetist of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. He is also a guest musician with the New World Symphony, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Amer is an alum of Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the United States, Brevard Music Center Festival, Canada's National Arts Centre Young Artist Program, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. His career has brought him to travel the world, performing and teaching across North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

As an educator, Amer has served as an instructor of clarinet and chamber music at Oberlin College and as a teaching artist during Oberlin Conservatory's tour of Amman, Jordan. He has presented master classes for the Akron Youth Symphony, the Grafton Center for Musical Arts, and the University of Akron.

Amer received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His previous mentors include Richard Hawkins and Bonnie Campbell. In the fall, Amer will begin his studies with David Shifrin at the Yale School of Music, pursuing a Master of Music degree.

In addition to his commitment to being an active performer, Amer enjoys his leisure time and takes pride in his work outside of the practice room and the concert hall. He loves to spend his free time exercising, eating great food, and spending time with his orange tabby cat, Slim.

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Hyeseon Jin, Piano
Indiana University

Hyeseon Jin, born in Seoul, South Korea, began studying piano at the age of five. She graduated from Sunhwa Arts Middle and High School, and Seoul National University with honors and a full scholarship supported by the Ilju Academy and Culture Foundation. She earned her Master’s Degree and Performer Diploma in Piano Performance from the IU Jacobs School of Music, where she is currently a candidate for her Doctoral degree with two minors (music theory and arts administration) under the guidance of Roberto Plano. Her former teachers are Arnaldo Cohen, HyoungJoon Chang, and Nohee Kwak. 


She won several international and national competitions, including Asia International Chopin Competition (Tokyo, Japan), Kurume International J.S.Bach Music Competition (Fukuoka, Japan), Kirov International Music Festival Competition (Washington D.C, USA), Matinee Musicale Competition (Indianapolis, USA), Robert B. Beardsley Piano Prize Competition (Elkhart, USA), Franz Liszt Center International Piano Competition, Orbetello International Piano Competition, Millersville International Piano Competition (Pennsylvania, USA) and The Segye Times (S. Korea). Also, she was a diploma winner of the Moscow International Chopin Competition (Moscow, Russia).


She had performed with Jacobs School of Music Student Orchestra, the Seoul Sejong Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ukraine Radio Symphony Orchestra, and has given many recitals both in the US and Korea at such venues as Kennedy Center, Ruthmere Museum, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul National University Concert Hall, Yongsan Art Hall, Seongnam Art Center Concert Hall, Ilshin Arts Hall, Raum Studio, and Mozart Hall.


She worked as an Associate Instructor in the Secondary Piano Department at IU Jacobs School of Music for four years, teaching both non-music majors and music major students. She is not only interested in solo piano music but also passionate about chamber music. She is leading an ensemble group, ‘NEST’, with several concerts both in the US and South Korea. Also, as a member of the piano duo group, ‘LUCETE’, she plans to have several concerts this year. Currently, she is working as an Executive Assistant and Faculty of the Young Pianists Program at I as well as a Secretary of the Music Teacher National Association collegiate chapter at IU. Moreover, as a Co-Lead of Musical Time, she has organized community engagement piano concert series in the surrounding partner towns of Bloomington supported by IU Piano Department and the Center of Rural Engagement.

Honorable Mention, Instrumental

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Chloe Thominet, Viola, Northwestern University, Austin Huntington, Cello, Indiana University and Leonela Alejandro, Classical Guitar, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

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