Young Performers Concert ~ 2020
About the Performers
Henry Banta, age 19, of Somerset, N. J., winner of the 2020 Bart Pitman Memorial Scholarship Award, studied under Elissa Miller-Kay, Emily Lau and Marvin Blickenstaff at the New School for Music Study in Kingston, N. J. He graduated from Franklin High School in 2020 after having been active in the piano program there for all four years of high school. In 2016, Henry performed in the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Tri-State Certificate of Excellence Recital at Carnegie Hall. He has played in the New Jersey Music Teachers’ Association Spring Festival for 7 years and performed in their Honors and High Honors Recitals as well. Among his hobbies are playing the drum set, exploring music production, bike-riding, and reading. Henry is attending Stetson University pursuing a degree in Piano Performance.
Ellie Taylor, age 20, of Hatboro, PA, was the 2019 winner of the Bart Pitman Memorial Scholarship Award. Now a piano major at North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, Ellie studies with Dr. Dmitri Shteinberg, renowned Russian-born concert pianist. Ellie started her piano studies with her aunt when she was eight years old. At age 12, she began six years of study at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, and was invited to perform at their annual concert. Later in 2017, she performed at the Glencairn Museum as part of a recital presented by Elizabeth Pitcairn, director of the Luzerne Music Center.
Prize Winners of the Bucks County Symphony Youth Auditions
First place award went to 16-year-old flutist Sarah Park. Sarah was 15 years old when she won the award and was in 10th grade at Liberty High school in Bethlehem, PA. Part of her prize was to perform at the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra’s December concert. Sarah, who has been playing the flute since she was 7, has won numerous competitions, including the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia Young Artists competition, Crescendo International Youth Competition and KRB New York International Competition. She has performed at Weil Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Kimmel Center and the Kennedy Center for winners and is currently playing with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.
Second prize winner, Vibha Janakiraman, now 15 years old, began studying the violin at age 6, and has studied at the Settlement Music School. She won the 2018 Estella Hillersohn scholarship, awarded by the Ambler Symphony. She was also the winner of the 2019 Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra competition and was a soloist with the Orchestra
HONORABLE MENTION WINNERS
Cellist, Linus Dubischar, age 16, of Easton, PA won the 2019 Vivaldi Double Concerto competition and later performed as a soloist with the Festival’s Music House Orchestra. He is a member of the Junior String Philharmonic in Bethlehem, and in May 2019 performed at the 112th Bethlehem Bach Festival in Zimmerman’s Coffee House.
Miro Raj, age 14, of Wynnewood, PA, who has been studying the violin since he was six years old, won first place in the Philadelphia International Music Festival’s 2017 Concerto competition in his age division. He is a member of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra and recently won second place in their annual concerto competition.