Feb. 6, 2017 --
The Marine Band’s Concerto Competition for High School Musicians marks its 10th anniversary with eight highly talented and diverse young musicians from across the country: flute player Jarrett May from Euless, Texas; oboe player Olivia Johann from Centreville, Va.; clarinet player Anders Peterson from Northfield, Minn.; trumpet player Forrest Johnston from Great Falls, Va.; French horn player Shawn Zheng from Murfreesboro, Tenn.; trombone player George Foreman from Syosset, N.Y.; tuba player Joshua Williams from College Park, Ga.; and percussionist Joshua Park from Short Hills, N.J.
The final round will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11 at the John Philip Sousa Band Hall in southeast Washington, D.C., and will stream live at www.marineband.marines.mil. The judges will include Marine Band Director Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig, Assistant Directors Major Michelle A. Rakers and Capt. Ryan J. Nowlin, and guest judge composer Joel Puckett. The winner of the Concerto Competition will receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and the opportunity to perform their solo on stage with the Marine Band at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 9 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. The runner up will receive a $500 scholarship.
The Concerto Competition has identified a number of up-and-coming musicians throughout the past 10 years—many of which have been featured on NPR’s “From the Top” program and have performed with world-class ensembles internationally. In 2008, the first co-winners included oboe player Timothy Gocklin and tuba player Ibanda Ruhumbika. After graduating from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Yale University in New Haven, Conn., Gocklin is currently performing with the Akropolis Reed Quintet, an award-winning ensemble which champions “the next generation of maverick musicians,” according to its website. In addition to performances and recordings, Akropolis has commissioned more than 25 new woodwind quintet selections and delivers essential educational outreach throughout the Midwest region. Ruhumbika has also made a career for himself as a professional musician. While he attended the Juilliard School in New York, he and some friends formed Stay Human, a band comprising the unusual combination of saxophone, washboard, tuba, trombone, drums, piano, and harmonaboard. After years of honing their sound in live performances and recording albums, Stay Human, led by Jon Batiste, became the house band on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert in September 2015.
2010 co-winner Catherine Chen is currently associate principal bassoon in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Canada, after graduating from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and performing with numerous festivals and as the principal bassoon in the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania.
Percussionist Zachary Sherburn won the 2011 competition and in 2016 he was named associate director of bands at Flower Mound High School in Texas following his graduation two months prior from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Other previous winners are currently pursuing their education at such schools as Baylor University in Waco, Texas; the University of Michigan; Juilliard; Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.; and the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.
Information about the 2017-18 Concerto Competition will be available at www.marineband.marines.mil in early May.