New Music Competition Celebrates Young Talent

Local talent will battle it out for a chance to win a trophy and up to $150 when San Jacinto College teams up with the Bay Area Music Teachers Association to host the Young Artists’ Competition. The competitors are elementary, middle, and high school students from across Houston, both vocalists and instrumentalists performing piano, violin, viola, cello, French horn, and flute.

Although the competition is closed to the public, the awards ceremony and the winner’s recital is open to the community. The recital features performances from first place winners in piano, voice, woodwind, brass, and string divisions.

Carol Barwick, President of the Bay Area Music Teachers Association, said there are perks in store for those attending the winners’ recital.

“(The) community can benefit from coming to this event because it is a great opportunity to hear and see some of the best young musicians in our area perform,” she said.

Dr. Martha Braswell, San Jac music professor and event creator, said she and the Young Artists’ Competition focus on “the recruitment of high school students working towards a degree in music.”

This is the first year the music department collaborated with the Bay Area Music Teachers Association, who previously organized a similar type of event called the Young Artist Festival. The Young Artists’ Competition replaced the Young Artist Festival this year, and Braswell said she “feels the combined effort will help both organizations greatly.”

Also, Braswell notes that sponsoring the competition is a chance to showcase Central campus’s music department to student musicians and visiting guests from across the Houston area, and in turn, offers participants a taste of competitive performance.

“The competition gives young performers the opportunity to prepare and perform at their highest level of musicianship,” she said.

Eight school districts are participating including, Pasadena, La Porte, Friendswood, Deer Park, Humble, Pearland, Clear Lake and Cypress Springs.

Meanwhile, Braswell stresses that although contestants are eager to win top honors, participation in the event is an achievement in its own right.

“Not one student will leave as a loser,” she said. “Being in the competition is a winning award in itself.”

Likewise, Barwick said the students practiced diligently, learning to focus their mind, body and spirit to deliver an “outstanding” performance. She added, “Their skill and musicality will absolutely amaze their audience.”

The Young Artists’ Competition takes place April 2 in Corbin Hall of the Monte Blue Music Building (C5) on Central campus. The winners’ recital and awards ceremony will follow at 1:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission.