Published: Nov. 17, 2021 By

Silver and LeungCongratulations to Randel Leung, clarinet, who won first prize in the 2021-22 Bruce Ekstrand Memorial Graduate Student Performance Competition on Nov. 16. In the final round, he performed works by Philip Parker and Arvo Pärt. Leung was awarded the grand prize of $2,000. Leung—who also won the Audience Favorite Award ($250)–studies with Professor of Clarinet Daniel Silver.

Noah Mennenga, trumpet, took the second prize and received an award of $1,000. The remaining finalists—countertenor Elijah English, double bass Kurt Melendy and baritone Brandon Tyler Padgett—were awarded $500 each.

Gardner and Mennenga

Adjudicators for this year’s final round included Jonathan Hays, baritone; Ysmael Reyes, flute; and Basil Vendryes, viola. This year’s faculty judges for the semi-finals competition included Composition Chair and Professor of Composition Carter Pann, Director of Bands and Professor of Conducting Donald McKinney, and Voice and Opera Co-Chair and Professor of Vocal Coaching Mutsumi Moteki.

Named after former Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Psychology Professor Bruce Ekstrand, the competition serves as the premier performance competition for the College of Music’s most outstanding graduate students. The competition is partially funded by the Ekstrand Competition Endowment Fund. Donate to the fund here.

Congratulations to all who performed and their teachers ... and special thanks to collaborative pianists Zerek Dodson, Yukino Miyake, Hyeji Park, Ya-Ting Yang and all other pianists involved in the previous rounds!  

Left photo: Winner, Randel Leung, his pianist Yukino Miyake and his teacher Daniel Silver.
Right photo: Second place winner Noah Mennenga and his teacher Ryan Gardner.