Photos provided

By Nancy Bailey   

After two years as a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fifth annual Nancy F. Walker Memorial Scholarship Competition for classical instrumental and vocal students, sponsored by Matinée Musicale Cincinnati, returned to its original in-person format. The 2022 competition awarded $54,000 in scholarships.

The competition was open to high school and college juniors and seniors. In a great response, students from five colleges and 14 public, private and home schools applied. Student auditions were adjudicated by highly qualified, distinguished judges who also provided comments shared with the individual students

Some of the winners’ stories are eye-catching. Soprano Ella Vaughn was at circus camp as a child and broke her wrist, which meant no more unicycles or doing tricks; so, she started voice lessons. Cellist Ari Webb’s mother is a violinist. She gave him a small violin when he was a child, which he insisted on holding like a cello; a few years later he started listening to YoYo Ma recordings every single night. Soprano Cora-Melin Mikat is one of five children, three of whom are singers.

Nancy Fuldner Walker, memorialized by these scholarships, was a musician, music teacher and strong advocate for all music and arts organizations. She provided able leadership to Matinée Musicale Cincinnati for more than four decades before her death in 2017. Matinée Musicale Cincinnati is honoring her legacy of support and encouragement of young musicians through these scholarships.

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Competition Winners

High School Instrumental

1st Place:  Maxwell Fairman, violin; Almita Vamos, teacher

2nd Place:  Ari Webb, cello; Alan Rafferty , teacher

3rd Place:  Inesh Loka, piano; Richard Van Dyke, teacher

Maxwell Fairman, 1st place, high school instrumental. Photo provided

High School Vocal

1st Place:  Ella Vaughn, soprano; Karl Resnik, teacher

2nd Place:  Claire Hardek, soprano; Kimberly Buczek, teacher             

3rd Place:  Molly Chun, soprano; Talia Zoll, teacher

Ella Vaughn, 1st place, high school vocal. Photo provided

College Instrumental

1st Place:  Nicholas Tsang, cello; Alan Rafferty, teacher

2nd Place:  Layang Ka, violin; Kurt Sassmannshaus, teacher

3rd Place:  Zhouyang Shao, piano; Awadagin Pratt, teacher

Nicholas Tsang, 1st place, college instrumental. Photo provided

College Vocal

1st Place:  Cora-Melin Mikat, soparano; Quinn Patrick Ankrum, teacher

2nd Place:  Carolina Sullivan, soprano; Jessica Rivera Shafer, teacher

3rd Place:  Matthew Goodheart, tenor; Thomas Baresel, teacher

Cora-Melin Mikat, 1st place, college vocal. Photo provided

Originating in 1911, Matinee Musicale began its professional recital series in 1913. The recitals feature up and coming musicians as well as established vocal and instrumental artists selected worldwide. Through a generous bequest from Louise Dieterle Nippert, philanthropist and Matinée member, the professional recital series continues to flourish. Awards of grants and student scholarships have become a part of the organization’s mission.

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