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  • Yamaha and Left Edge Percussion Composition Contest Winner

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Apr 27, 2020

    Yamaha 2019 YYPA Winners2020 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition Winners Announced
    Eleven exceptional musicians have been named the winners of the 2020 Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition presented by Yamaha Corporation of America. The YYPA Competition recognizes outstanding young musicians studying in the United States who excel in jazz, classical, and contemporary genres. In addition to this year’s 11 winners, seven individuals were awarded honorable mentions. 

    The 2020 YYPA Winners include Euan Leslieon drum set from Dumfries, Scotland, United Kingdom and attending Berklee College of Music, and Ashley Ridenouron percussion from Denton, Texas and attending the University of North Texas.The 2020 YYPA winners join more than 300 exceptional musicians who have been recognized by the program over the past 32 years. Many have established successful music careers, both as performers and educators.

    The 2020 Yamaha Young Performing Artists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend June 20–23, which will take place during the Music for All Summer Symposium, to be held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, from June 20–27.This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will allow the young artists to perform in front of thousands, receive national press coverage, and participate in workshops designed to launch a professional music career. The 2020 winners will walk away from this experience with services and support from Yamaha Artist Relations and professional audio and video recordings, as well as photography, of their live performance.The YYPA Celebration Weekend will culminate at the annual YYPA Concert, which will be held on Monday, June 22 at Emens Auditorium.

    For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, visit

    2020 Left Edge Percussion Composition Contest Winner Announced
    Left Edge Percussion has announced the winner of the 2020 Left Edge Percussion Composition Competition at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University. 83 entries were received from across the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and Venezuela. The competition is sponsored by the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University and funded by a Faculty Professional Development Grant awarded to Dr. Terry Longshore, Artistic Director of Left Edge Percussion.

    Josh GottryThe winning composition is “Quintic” for percussion quintet by Josh Gottry. Two honorable mentions that also stood out were “Interstices” by Randall Synder and “River Sprint for Percussion Quartet” by Hanna Kim. As the winner, Gottry will receive a $1,000 prize and a $500 travel stipend to be in residence at the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU from May 25–29. “Quintic” will be premiered on May 28 at our concert, “Evolution.”

    Gottry earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion Performance at Northern Arizona University, his Master of Music degree in Composition at Arizona State University, and has successfully established himself as a respected educator, an accomplished percussionist, and an internationally recognized composer. He serves as adjunct music faculty at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, teaching courses in music theory and composition, percussion, and music humanities. For more than two decades, Mr. Gottry has been creating innovative, pedagogical, and engaging new compositions and arrangements. During that time, he has been selected for numerous ASCAP Plus awards and has created over 100 published works. 

    Left Edge Percussion is a contemporary percussion group in residence at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, led by artistic director Terry Longshore. The group tours and performs throughout the Northwest and actively collaborates on innovative projects with composers and artists of various media. The members of the group have been featured around the globe at prestigious festivals, competitions, conferences, and workshops and bring a diverse array of influences and collective energy to the ensemble. Left Edge Percussion has commissioned, co-commissioned, or premiered works by Joseph Bertolozzi, David Bithell, David Crowell, Bryan Jeffs, Alejandro Viñao, and Drew Wright.

    In addition to regular performances at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, recent Left Edge Percussion performances include the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC). In 2020, Left Edge Percussion will perform at the Bang on a Can Long Play Festival in New York City and the Wayward Music Series in Seattle, and in 2021 will be featured on the Other Minds Festival in San Francisco.

  • Vibraphonists Return to Asbury Park for Seventh World Vibes Congress

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Feb 24, 2020

    On Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, students, educators, and professionals gathered at the Malletech factory in Neptune, N.J. for the 7th edition of the World Vibes Congress. Grammy-nominated recording artist Stefon Harris was inducted into the World Vibes Congress Hall of Fame, joining previous WVC Hall of Fame inductees that include Gary Burton, David Friedman and Dave Samuels of Double Image, Bobby Hutcherson, and Milt Jackson. Additionally, Harris, Warren Wolf, Tony Miceli, Leigh Howard Stevens, Behn Gillece, Ed Smith, and Arthur Lipner presented educational clinics with topics ranging from voicing to improvisation to instrument design.

    The day was capped off by an evening All-Star Vibes Jam at Langosta Lounge on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Stefon Harris, Warren Wolf, Tony Miceli, Behn Gillece, and Ed Smith, along with a house band, performed for over three hours to a packed house.

    The World Vibes Congress is a gathering of professional players, college percussion teachers, and students whose mission is to promote the vibraphone and improvisation on all keyboard percussion instruments, including writing more music, getting more students to play and working with teachers to develop the best methods for instruction on the instrument.

    This event was sponsored by Malletech, whose products are used by soloists, symphony orchestras, and college music departments throughout the world. For more information, visit

  • South Korean percussionist Hyeji Bak wins 74th Geneva Competition

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Feb 03, 2020

    The 28-year-old South Korean Hyeji Bak won First Prize of the 74th Geneva Percussion Competition held November 11–21, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Marianna Bednarska (25 years old, Poland) won Second Prize, and. Till Lingenberg (22 years old, Switzerland/Germany) was awarded Third Prize. The Final Round included the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Julien Leroy and was broadcast live on RTS-Espace 2 and live streamed on YouTube.

    Founded in 1939, the Geneva Competition is one of the world’s leading international music competitions. It aims at discovering, promoting, and supporting young talented artists, giving them the necessary tools to launch an international career. 

    Hyeji Bak was widely acclaimed by the audience during the Final Round, and was awarded not only the Audience Prize, but also the Young Audience Prize and Students’ Prize. Ms. Bak also won the Bergerault Special Prize (a marimba worth 15’000 Euros) and “Concerts de Jussy” Prize (3’000 CHF and a concert). Hyeji Bak and Marianna Bednarska were jointly awarded the Yamaha Young Artists Scholarship Special Prize, which gives them the opportunity to perform two chamber music concerts with the percussion section of the NDR Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg, Germany). 

    During the final round of the competition, the three candidates had to present a program in two parts: a first part consisting in a solo program, with the possible use of electronics and/or video. During the second part, finalists had to perform a compulsory concerto for percussion and orchestra: “Speaking Drums” by Peter Eötvös with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Julien Leroy.

    Members of the Official Jury were Philippe Spiesser (Chair, France), Daniel Druckman (United States), Fritz Hauser (Switzerland), Aiyun Huang (Taiwan-Canada), Marta Klimasara (Poland/Germany), Isao Nakamura (Japan/Germany), and Hèctor Parra (Spain).

    In addition to its official prizes, Geneva offers a career development program, providing precious support and advice to help boost laureates’ careers. The program includes two years of concert management, as well as CD recordings, international tours, and professional workshop.

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