University Division Winners

2011 University Division Winners and Semi-finalists

First-prize winner, Austin Larson
Austin Larson has received top honors in other major competitions in addition to the IHCA, most notably First Place in the International Horn Society Premier Soloist Competition and his selection as a winner in the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition in 2011. Austin is currently a third-year undergraduate horn performance student at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Randy Gardner, Elizabeth Freimuth and Duane Dugger. Originally from Neenah, Wisconsin, Austin studied with Donald Krause and Dr. Bruce Atwell during high school. Austin has performed with the Fox Valley, Green Bay, and Oshkosh (Wisconsin) Symphonies and has participated in the CCM Spoleto Festival and Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival, where he was selected as the Concerto Competition Winner in 2008. Austin also provides website and other technical support for Horns-a-Plenty Christmas, which brings together horn players nationwide to perform holiday music in order to raise money for college scholarships for horn students. Austin Larson plays a yellow brass Alexander 103 horn.

Austin's IHCA program (played his entire program from memory):
Round 1 – Mozart, Concerto No. 4 and Dukas, Villanelle
Round 2 – Ketting, Intrada
Round 3 – Gliere Concerto

Second-prize winner, Young Kim
Born in Korea and raised in Hawaii, Young Kim began playing the horn at age 12. He went on to study with Eric Ruske at Boston University's College of Fine Arts, where he earned a Bachelor's in Music Performance with summa cum laude honors. During the summers he has participated in numerous institutes and festivals such as Eastern Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival & School, Mahler Festival, and Pacific Music Festival, where he has also studied with noted pedagogues and performers such as William Caballero, Eli Epstein, Robert Langbein, Julie Landsman, Jennifer Montone, Kevin Reid, and John Zirbel. While at BU, Kim spent a semester abroad at the Royal College of Music in London where he was a member of Timothy Jones and Simon Rayner's studios and also studied natural horn with Susan Dent. He currently studies under William VerMeulen as a Master's student at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston. Young Kim plays a gold-plated Alexander 103 horn.

Young's IHCA program (played entirely from memory):
Round 1 – Mozart, Concerto No. 4 and Dukas, Villanelle
Round 2 – Buyanovsky, España
Round 3 – Strauss Concerto No. 2

Austin Larson and Young Kim were the only two finalists this year.

2011 University Division Semi-finalists (in alphabetical order)

Erika Binsley – BM student (class of 2012)
University of Southern California
Student of Kristy Morrell
Buyanovsky, España

Everett Burns - 2011 graduate of Indiana University
Student of Jeff Nelson
Buyanovsky, España

Ferenc Farkas – MM student Bard College Conservatory of Music
Student of Julie Landsman, Julia Pilant and Jeffrey Lang
Buyanovsky, España

Young Kim - see bio above
Buyanovsky, España

Austin Larson – see bio above
Ketting, Intrada

Anna Lenhart – BM student (class of 2013) at Brigham Young University
Student of Larry Lowe
Buyanovsky, España

John Shawger – BM student (class of 2012) at Northwestern University
Student of Gail Williams
Persichetti, Parable

Cynthia Simpson – BM student (class of 2013) at University of Alabama
Student of Skip Snead
Krol, Laudatio

Quotes from University Division Contestants

"The quality of musicianship was very high in both the university and professional divisions at IHCA. It was an inspiration to speak to so many of the finest pedagogues and performers and to receive personal feedback on my performance – it was like having fifteen or twenty lessons jam-packed into one weekend! Competing against so many fine horn players and having the opportunity to assess where I fit in was such a pleasure and an invaluable experience."
Jack Levoska
The University of Oklahoma 2011 contestant

"Competing at the IHCA was an invaluable experience for many reasons. I was so excited to meet people from all over the US and the world and hear many different styles of playing. The judges were kind, knowledgeable, and gave so much of their time to elaborate on their jury sheets and explain how we can become better horn players and performers. If the thought has ever crossed your mind to enter, DO IT!"
David Dickerson
Washington Adventist University; Takoma Park, Maryland
2011 contestant

[While the 2009] IHCA was not my first competition or big audition that I had prepared for, ever since then, my preparation has changed. IHCA not only required a consistent command of horn technique, but also allowed me to explore the artistry and creativity that goes along with solo playing. Too often before, I found myself only looking for accuracy in my audition preparation, and the ability to compete where artistry and interpretation was really appreciated shaped me as a young musician.
Johanna Yarbrough
Colburn School; Los Angeles, California
2007 contestant; 2009 first-prize winner

Past Winners - Where They Are Now

First-prize winner Johanna Yarbrough graduated from the University of Alabama in 2011 and is currently pursuing a professional studies certificate from the Colburn School with David Krehbiel.

Second-prize winner Emily Britton won a position in 2010 with the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, and is pursuing a Doctorate of Music Arts degree at Florida State University.

First-prize winner Jonathon Johnson was a 2007 graduate of Brigham Young University; he went on to earn a Masters degree from the University of Southern California and is now an active freelancer in Los Angeles.

Second-prize winner Leelanee Sterrett graduated from the University of Wisconsin, earned a MM degree from Yale, and is currently a fellow in The Academy ACJW, a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.

First-prize winner Cara Kiser-Aneff earned her MM degree at Julliard in 2006, received an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute in 2007, and joined the New York Philharmonic as Assistant Principal/Utility Horn in April, 2010.

Second-prize winner Nicholas Calouri is now a member of the West Point Band and West Point Brass (quintet), and is Principal horn of the Hudson Valley (NY) Philharmonic.

First-prize winner Benjamin Jaber completed his BM degree at Rice University, continued his studies at the Colburn Conservatory with David Jolley, and has been Principal horn of the San Diego Symphony since May, 2009.

Top-prize winner Gerald Welker completed his BM and MM of music degrees at the University of Alabama, was second-prize winner in the Professional Division of the IHCA in 2007, and is now a member of the US Air Force Academy Band in Colorado Springs.

First-prize winner Erin Shumate Porter completed her BM degree in performance from Brigham Young University, earned a Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and is currently freelancing in the Seattle area after spending a season in the Louisville Orchestra.