Every year since 1989, when the competition began, Yamaha Corporation of America’s Band & Orchestral Division has honored talented young artists under the auspices of the YYPA program, an annual competition for performers between the ages of 16 and 21. Instrument categories include winds, brass, strings, concert percussion, drum set and piano.
More than 100 applicants submit their credentials to Yamaha each year and undergo a rigorous taped audition process judged by a panel of national celebrity musicians. This year, the panel selected 10 winners and six honorable mention recipients. Since the program’s inception, many past winners have received scholarships to prestigious universities and conservatories, or are playing professionally with major jazz groups and top symphony orchestras.
Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to the weekend awards ceremony, where they enjoy a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, social events, special awards concerts and workshops focusing on how to establish a career in music. They also participate in the prestigious concert and receive a recording and photos of their performance, along with the benefits of being selected as a Yamaha Young Performing Artist.
“Yamaha’s commitment to education and to nurturing young musicians at every level of development is unwavering,”
For the first time, this year’s YYPA celebration took place at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. Coinciding with the Music for All (MFA) Summer Symposium, the YYPA awards program served as the symposium’s kick-off concert.
Former YYPA winners have gone on to enjoy successful music careers, with highlights that include playing with world-renowned musicians, winning international competitions and releasing recordings. Previous YYPA winners include Ricardo Morales (1990) Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic;
The 2011 winners include Jasper Dutz (jazz saxophone), Thomas English (bassoon), Jonathan Heim (trumpet), Lucas Hopkins (classical Saxophone), Grant Jameson (euphonium), Austin Larson (horn), Min Hee Kim (flute), Yesse Kim (piano), Kevin Schaffter, (clarinet) and Natalie Yu (violin).
For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, Attn: Jennifer Vierling, 39 West Jackson Place, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46225; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
Yamaha Corporation of America is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of musical instruments and audio/visual products to the U.S. market. Products include: acoustic and digital pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio products, and innovative technology products targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music, and installation markets.