Saxophonist Chad Lilley of Olney, Md., won the Marine Band’s 2015 Concerto Competition with his performance of Paul Creston’s “Rhythmic” from Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Band, Opus 26 during the competition final round on Saturday, Feb. 14, in John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in southeast Washington, D.C. As winner, Lilley received a $2,500 cash prize from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation.
Selected as runner-up was euphonium player Joe Broom of McLean, Va. The high school senior performed Eduardo Boccalari’s Fantasia di Concerto and was awarded $500 from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Broom will appear as soloist in concert with the Marine Band on March 22 at Northern Virginia Community College’s Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Va.
Almost 100 high school students from across the country sent in applications to the Concerto Competition, and from that pool six were chosen to compete in the final round presented as a recital open to the public. The final round included a judging panel consisting of Marine Band Director Lieutenant Col. Jason K. Fettig, Assistant Directors Maj. Michelle A. Rakers, 1st Lt. Ryan J. Nowlin, and guest judge Mr. James Ross, Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Maryland at College Park. Following the recital, the judges deliberated privately to determine the winner while the audience and performers enjoyed light refreshments in the lobby.
In his comments before announcing the winner, Fettig remarked on the incredible talent of all of the finalists and recognized the amount of work and hours of practice to prepare for the competition. He noted how the judges are amazed each year at the level of maturity and performance ability of these young musicians.
Along with Lilley and Broom, the competition finalists included tubist Anthony Brattoli from Tinley Park, Ill.; clarinetist Allen Chang, from Ann Arbor, Mich.; and flutists Taiga Ultan from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Samantha White from St. Charles, Ill.
The Marine Band Concerto Competition is open to high school musicians, grades 9-12, that are performers of woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments. Details and application packets for the 2016 Concerto Competition will be available on the Marine Band website beginning in May.