Each year, the College of Music rewards a handful of amazing students through the Ekstrand Competition, Honors Competition and Undergraduate Vocal Competition. 

Flute DMA student Kaleb Chesnic has the honor of calling himself the winner of the Bruce Ekstrand Memorial Graduate Student Performance competition, in which graduate students compete for cash prizes to help advance their professional careers and development. “This performance means as much as any other,” says Chesnic. “I enjoy cultivating a program that has flow and variety where I can present to the best of my ability and help the audience enjoy themselves while listening to great music.”

The annual Honors Competition is open to all College of Music students, awarding an undergraduate and graduate student the chance to perform with the CU Symphony Orchestra. This year’s winners, Colby Bond (BM Clarinet) and Sabina Balsamo (MM Voice, pictured above), will share that honor this fall.

“Students spend much of their time performing in an orchestra,” says Chair of the Competitions and Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano Margaret McDonald. “It’s hard to get opportunities where they’re able to perform as a soloist with an orchestra, so this is an amazing opportunity to come by.”

Finally, the Undergraduate Vocal Competition features undergraduate freshmen, sophomore and junior vocal students competing for three $2,000 scholarships. Winners Patrick Bessenbacher, junior; Mara Riley, junior vocal and flute performance double major; and Amelia Lindsey, sophomore choral music education major; shined on the Grusin stage in their individual performances.

Congratulations to all the winners of the College of Music performance competitions!

Read about the Honors and Undergraduate Vocal competitions     Read Ekstrand Competition winner Kaleb Chesnic

Kaleb Chesnic on stage

Ekstrand Competition winner Kaleb Chesnic

Colby Bond on stage

Undergraduate Honors Competition winner Colby Bond