2020 Youth Concerto Competition Winners

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Claire Cho

Claire Cho, 13 years old, born in a family of musicians, began her violin studies at the age of five.   Claire made her first solo with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra when she was 10.  In 2019 she played Vieuxtemp Violin Concerto with the Georgia Philharmonic Orchestra as a winner of Samuel Fordis Young Artist Concerto Competition. 

From an early age, Claire has appeared in many recitals demonstrating facility, coordination, and musicality and have won several competitions including GMTA (2017, 2019 and 2020) and state competitions (MTNA 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-2021).  In the summer of 2020, Claire participated virtually in the Bowdoin International Music Festival studying with Sergiu Schwartz. 

Claire’s former teacher includes Professor Boris Abramov at Columbus State University.  Currently she studies with the world-renowned violinist, Nadir Khashimov. 

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Gabriella McClellan

Gabriella McClellan lives in Good Hope, Georgia, and has been playing the cello for ten years. She has participated in the GMEA All-State Orchestra for five years, where she served as principal cellist in 2017. Gabriella performs in the High Shoals Chamber Music Series and is a member of the Aurelia Piano Trio. Throughout high school, she has played for the services at Reformed Presbyterian Church of Monroe and at Great Oaks Senior Living. She has also played for several weddings as a soloist and chamber musician.

A homeschooled high school senior, Gabriella studies cello with Kathy Kee, an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra alumna. Gabriella has also taken piano lessons with her mother, Erica McClellan. 

 

In her free time, Gabriella enjoys reading, playing ping-pong, and English Country Dancing.

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Jeremiah Jung

Jeremiah Jung first began playing the violin at the age of 9 years old, when he quickly developed a passion for the instrument. Since then, he has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Fulton County Youth Orchestra, Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra, and GMEA All State Orchestra for five years. Jeremiah served as co-concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and concertmaster of the 2020 GMEA All State Orchestra. 

Jeremiah has won numerous musical accolades as a member of the National Beta Club. In 2018 and 2019, he  

obtained First Place in the Georgia State Beta Convention and placed Third in the National Beta Convention for guitar

and violin performance.  Jeremiah was also awarded Honorable Mention and the Award of Excellence in the 2020 GMTA state competition. Upholding the merit of volunteering within his community, Jeremiah performs with the HOPE Johns Creek Orchestra in nursing homes, churches, hospitals, and homeless shelters.

Now a junior at Northview High School in Johns Creek, GA, Jeremiah studies violin under William Pu, the former Associate Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Jeremiah also enjoys playing piano and guitar in his spare time.

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Sam Vaillancourt

Violinist Sam Vaillancourt is principal second violin of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (String Orchestra) and concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus. He performed as principal second violin of the 2020 Georgia All State 9-10 String Orchestra and concertmaster and principal second violin of his middle and high school Honor Orchestras respectively. Sam was featured as a soloist with his middle school orchestra, playing the Bach Double Concerto at the 2019 Whitewater Orchestra Festival. He competed in the Junior Artist and Senior Artist MTNA competitions in the fall of 2019 and 2020. Also, an accomplished pianist and composer, Sam was a National Award of Excellence winner & GA State winner of the 2018-19 PTA Reflections Music Composition competition.  In 2017-18 he was regional and Georgia

state winner in the PTA Reflections competition for Music Composition. Sam was awarded a GMTA Honorable Mention award for his piano performance in the 2019 state auditions and an Award of Excellence for 2020. Sam currently studies violin with Prof. Boris Abramov at the Schwob School of Music in Columbus. Other teachers include Manuel Diaz (violin), Betty Anne Diaz (piano), and Yien Wang (piano). In addition to his success in music, Sam was honored with his middle school Academic Letter for his success winning a state award at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and regional math team competitions.

Now a junior at Northview High School in Johns Creek, GA, Jeremiah studies violin under William Pu, the former Associate Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Jeremiah also enjoys playing piano and guitar in his spare time.

Sam Vaillancourt, Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 4, Op. 31