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Junior Division
Roberto ArundaleRoberto Arundale
Instrument: cello
Age: 17
Ethnicity: Salvadoran-American
Teacher: Minna Rose Chung
Home: Fairbanks, AK
Credits: Member, Fairbanks Symphony; Principal Cellist, Fairbanks Youth Symphony; Principal Cellist, West Valley High School Chamber Orchestra; Alaska All State Honors Orchestra 2005, 2006, and 2007
Steven LaraiaSteven Laraia- 3rd Place Laureate
Instrument: viola
Age: 16
Ethnicity: Puerto Rican
Teacher: Che-hung Chen
Home: Swell, NJ
Credits: Assistant Principal Violist, Temple Prep’s YCO; Principal Violist, All-South Jersey Orchestra; Principal Violist, New Jersey All State Orchestra; Advanced Studies Scholarship, Settlement Music School; Full Scholarship, YCO
Mary LoftusMary Loftus
Instrument: violin
Age: 14
Ethnicity: Puerto Rican-American
Teacher: Yayoi Numazawa/Yumi Scott
Home: Philadelphia PA
Credits: Member, Temple University Center for Gifted Young Musicians; Assoc. Principal Second Violinist, Youth Chamber Orchestra; Finalist, childrens division of the Philadelphia Orchestra Albert Greenfield Competition
Clayton Penrose-Whitmore Clayton Penrose-Whitmore- 1st Place Laureate
Instrument: violin
Age: 14
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Almita Vamos
Home: Evanston, IL
Credits: Winner, WUIS-WIPA Young Musicians Contest youth division; Grand Prize, Jacksonville Illinois Symphony Guild’s “Talent Among Us”; Winner, Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony 2004 Concerto Competition; Soloist, Illinois Symphony Orchestra
David RamosDavid Ramos
Instrument: violin
Age: 17
Ethnicity: Mexican
Teacher: Amy Oshiro
Home: St. Louis, MO
Credits: Member (violinist & violist), St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Preparatory Program, Webster University; Principal Viola, 2007 Missouri All-State Orchestra; Concertmaster, St. Louis Public Schools’ district-wide orchestra; Featured soloist, Young Heroes in Music series on KFUO radio, St. Louis
Meredith RileyMeredith Riley
Instrument: violin Age: 17
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Linda Case/Margaret Pressley
Home: Ithaca, NY
Credits: Dorothy Richard Starling Scholarship for violin study at the Seattle Conservatory of Music; First Place, WA state ASTA competition and the Cayuga Chamber and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto competition; Third Place, Central New York MTNA competition
Chaunte RossChaunte Ross
Instrument: violin
Age: 16
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Katie Brooks
Home: Milwaukee, WI
Credits: Four-time winner, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) Bach Double Violin Competition; First Place, String Works Competition and the String Academy of Wisconsin’s Concerto Competition - junior and senior level; Finalist, MSO Young Artist Competition
Hannah RossHannah Ross
Instrument: viola
Age: 17
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Si-Nae Shim
Home: Narrowsburg, NY
Credits: Recipient, Diane Danese Flagello Scholarship; Surdna Scholarship, Boston University Tanglewood; Co-Principal Violist, Philharmonic Orchestra at Manhattan School of Music
Alexandra SwitalaAlexandra Alvarado Switala- 2nd Place Laureate
Instrument: violin
Age: 14
Ethnicity: Mexican-American
Teacher: Jan Mark Sloman
Home: Grapevine, TX
Credits: State Winner, Texas MTNA Jr. Strings Competition; Grand Prize Winner 2002 & 2006 North Texas Young Artists Competition; Soloist, SMU Meadows Symphony; Finalist, DSO 2007 Lynn Harrell Competition

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Senior Division
Jannina BarefieldJannina Barefield
Instrument: violin
Age: 25
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Lucie Robert
Home: New York, NY
Credits: Graduate student, Mannes College of Music - Professional Studies; Violinist, Stella Trio; Soloist, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra; Grand Prize Winner, Michigan ASTA State Solo String Competition
Luisa BarrosoLuisa Barroso- 3rd Place Laureate
Instrument: violin
Age: 21
Ethnicity: Venezuelan
Teacher: Milan Vitek
Home: Oberlin, OH
Credits: Student, Oberlin Conservatory of Music; Concertmaster, Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela; Assistant Concertmaster, Youth Orchestra of the Americas; toured with the Venezuelan Orchestra
Yemi GonzalesYemi Gonzales
Instrument: violin
Age: 22
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Patinka Kopec
Home: New York, NY
Credits: Student, Manhattan School of Music; Asst. Concertmaster, Manhattan School Symphony; Asst. Concertmaster, I Giovani Orchestra; Semi-Finalist, New World Symphony Concerto Competition; 2007 Pinchas Zukerman NAC Young Artist
Andrew GriffinAndrew Griffin
Instrument: viola
Age: 21
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Toby Appel
Home: Pittsburgh, PA
Credits: Composition and Viola Performance major, Carnegie Mellon University; First Prize, National Viola Competition; Recipient, Wendell Irish Viola Award; two-time winner of the Outstanding Student Award at the Carnegie Mellon School of Music; Principal Violist, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic
Gareth JohnsonGareth Johnson
Instrument: violin
Age: 22
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Elmar Oliveira
Home: Wellington, FL
Credits: Student, Lynn University Conservatory of Music; Soloist with Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Cincinnati, New World and Baltimore Symphonies, and the Boston Pops
Danielle Belen Nesmith Danielle Belen - 1st Place Laureate
Instrument: violin
Age: 24
Ethnicity: Mexican-American
Teacher: Robert Lipsett
Home: Yorba Linda, CA
Credits: Graduate, USC Thornton School of Music; Assistant Concertmaster, New West Symphony and Concertmaster, Colburn Conservatory Orchestra; Winner, 2005 USC Concerto Competition and Young Musician’s Foundation Competition
Karla Donehew PerezKarla Donehew Perez- 2nd Place Laureate
Instrument: violin
Age: 23
Ethnicity: Puerto Rican
Teacher: David Cerone/William Preucil
Home: Cleveland, OH
Credits: Graduate student, Cleveland Institute of Music; Soloist with Berkeley Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Oakland East Bay Symphony; Semi-Finalist, Klein Competition
Britton RileyBritton Riley
Instrument: cello
Age: 20
Ethnicity: African-American
Teacher: Peter Stumpf
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Credits: Scholarship Student, University of Southern California; Honorable Mention, National Foundation for the Arts’ Recognition and Talent Search and the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Concerto Competition; past member, American Youth Symphony Orchestra
Erica Snowden-RodriguezErica Snowden-Rodriguez
Instrument: cello
Age: 20
Ethnicity: Venezuelan-American
Teacher: Stephen Geber
Home: Cleveland, OH
Credits: Student, Cleveland Institute of Music; First Place, Eleanor V. Millonzi Scholarship Competition and the Silverman String Scholarship; Principal Cello, Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra; Winner, GBYO Senior Concerto Competition

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