2019 Winners

Alejandra Cadenas, Soprano

Alejandra Cadenas, soprano, began her studies at the University of Veracruz but after one year she transferred to Mexico City to pursue her studies under the tutelage of Rosa Maria Diez Hidalgo at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico.
She has participated in productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the role of Pamina and second lady, in the Great Hall of the National Conservatorio of México , Bizet’s opera Carmen with the role of Mercedes in the Great Hall of the State Theatre and the Chamber Orchestra of Xalapa. She also performed Mozart’s opera Le Nozze di Figaro with the roll of Susanna, the opera was presented at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with the New York Lyric Ópera Company. She also worked under the stage direction of renowned masters such as Gregorio Trejo (Apocalipto movie) and Diego luna (Star Wars movie). She has participated in master classes of style and vocal training with Encarnación Vazquez, Alejandro Solano, Timothy Lefebvre, with soprano Judy May and Anne Copta, Montserrat Caballe, and Jorge Parodi and coaches Sergio Vazquez, Andres Sarré and Joan Dornemann.    

Agatha Holland , Soprano

Agatha Holland graduated Magna cum Laude from Truman State University, Missouri and proceeded to earning her Master of Arts degree at the University of Central Missouri. She has a number of first prize awards to her credit: First place winner of NATS Tri-state Chapter advance women division, first place winner of the Quistorff Aria Competition, first prize winner of NATS Kansas City Chapter advance women division.  In addition, Agatha took leading roles in the following opera productions and concerts.  Queen Dido in Dido and Aneas by Henry Purcell, Serafina in Il campanello di notte by Donizetti, Laetitia in the Old maid and the thief by Menotti, Adele in Die Fledermaus by Strauss II, Lucy in The Telephone by Menotti, Iyabo in The Odyssey of a Dream – an African Opera by Bode Omojola. (World Premier), Eliza in My Fair Lady.  Agatha also performed as soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Hayden's Requiem mass, Porgy and Bess – Concert version and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.  In 2016, Agatha made her New York debut, singing as a soloist in the prestigious Carnegie Hall with University of Central Missouri State concert choir.  Agatha is a member of the Music Honor Society of America (Pi Kappa Lambda) a position she was invited to because of her musical and academic achievements. She is currently a Doctoral student and a recipient of the W.E.B Dubois research fellowship award at West Virginia University.

Cady Thomas, Soprano

Cady Thomas, soprano, is originally from the Nixa, Missouri, area. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Truman State University in May of 2018, and she’s currently a graduate student in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she’s a student of Dr. Marc Schapman.  Cady has been the recipient of numerous awards for both her musicianship and scholarship, including four 1st place wins and one 3rd place win at NATS competitions in the central region. Prior to being chosen as a winner of the SIUE Concerto and Aria competition this year, she was awarded the same honor in 2014 at Truman State University. While at Truman, she also appeared as a soloist with all three choral ensembles, Woodwind Choir, Wind Symphony, Concert Band, and the Symphony Orchestra. Her operatic credits include Silverpeal in The Impresario, both the Mother and Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Billie in Speed Dating Tonight. Currently, Cady is a teaching assistant in music history and theory at SIUE, and she teaches a small private studio of voice and piano students in Edwardsville.

Jichen Zhang, Saxaphone

Jichen Zhang, saxophonist, was born in 1994 in China. He is currently pursuing his Master of Arts degree at Truman State University as a member of Graduate Teaching/Research Assistantship.  Majoring in saxophone performance, he is under the guidance of Dr. Xin Gao. 2018, he won the school Gold Medal Concerto Competition at Truman.  Zhang graduated from Yantai University where he received his bachelor ‘s degree. Zhang is the soprano player and founding member of Paean Saxophone Quartet which received a tremendous success performing in Shandong Provincial Capital Grand Theatre, China. He is also Bastet Saxophone Artist in China and an overseas reporter for SaxChina publication and is the founder of Morningsax Workshop. In World Animal Day (Oct 4th, 2018), Zhang released his first saxophone album which is dedicated and benefited to stray animal care. Zhang has been accepted by the University of Iowa School of Music and will join Dr. Kenneth Tse’s saxophone studio in the fall of 2019 to pursue his doctoral degree.

Donald Rabin, Flute

Donald Rabin, flute, is a senior flute performance major at Truman State University studying under the instruction of Dr. Julianna Moore, with additional instruction from Mark Sparks and Jennifer Nitchman of the Saint Louis Symphony.  In addition to flute, he studies conducting under Dr. Samuel McClure. His loving parents, Joseph and Haydee, are continuously supporting him in his musical endeavors and have done a tremendous amount to continue his music education. As a member of Dr. Moore’s Studio, Donald has held several Principal flute positions. He has been Principal Flute of Phi Mu Alpha National Sinfonia Winds, CBDNA Intercollegiate Band, Missouri All-Collegiate Orchestra, and is currently Principal Flute of the Truman State Wind Symphony I, Truman State Symphonic Orchestra. His hard work and dedication has led him to be a National Finalist and First Prize St. Louis Winner of the NSAL Competition, Grand Prize Winner of the Virtuoso Competition in Rome, Italy, Naftzger Advanced Musician Competition Semi-Finalist, Grand Prize Winner SAI Scholarship Competition, MTNA Alternate State Representative, MMTA Honorable Mention, winner of the Truman State Gold Medal Concerto Competition and Wind Symphony Concerto Competition. He is also a Presser Scholar. As a conductor, he currently holds the position of Head-Director of the Woodwind Choir at Truman State University. Donald is thankful to have the opportunity to study with amazing musicians such as Mark Sparks, Jennifer Nitchman, Dr. Aurelia Hartenberger, and his current teacher Dr. Julianna Moore. He will continue his flute studies in the fall at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Hana Lim, Piano

Hana Lim, piano, achieved her BM at Eastman School of Music under Rebecca Penneys. She continued her study in piano performance at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) under Logan Skelton. Currently, she is pursuing her DMA at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying under Ian Hobson. She received Langford Fellowship when she entered UIUC and was granted Ross Fellowship in following year. She is the winner of Artist Presentation Society Competition, and Sinfonia da Camera Concerto Competition. She is a prize winner of Canadian Music Competition, Misbin Chamber Competition, American Prize, Provincial Round Competition (Canada), Kiwanis Music Festival and Burlington Piano Competition. She appeared in Krannert Center for the Arts, Winifred Moore Auditorium (Webster University), and Seoul Arts Center. 

Honorable Mention, Vocal

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Christopher Stanfill, Baritone, UMSTL, Michael Coduto, Tenor, Roosevelt University and Claire Ryterski, soprano, Western Illinois University.

Honorable Mention, Instrumental

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Alan Snow, violin, Indiana University and Manuel Rodriguez, classical guitar, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.