Cal State Fullerton Student Wins Yamaha Music Prize
June 22, 2012 :: No. 203
Marimba player Heejeong Shin, a junior music major at Cal State Fullerton, has been named a 2012 “Yamaha Young Performing Artist.”
The distinction is accorded to top musicians, ages 16-21, who are winners in the annual competition sponsored by the Yamaha Corp. of America's Band & Orchestral Division.
Honorees receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Music For All Summer Symposium for a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, social events, special awards concerts and workshops focusing on how to establish a career in music.
The festivities begin this Saturday, June 23, with the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Concert at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Shin and the other participants will take home a recording and photos of their performance.
South Korean-born Shin, who now lives in Irvine, began playing piano at the age of 5 and won numerous awards from the 11th and 16th Joongang Music Newspaper Competition.
After moving to the United States in 2003, she continued to study piano with Il-Eun Byun. In 2005, she won the Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition and had her first public performance in the country performing Mozart's “Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major“ with the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra.
Shin took up the marimba when she was 17, and just a year later, she received honorable mention in the scholastic division of the Southern California Marimba Competition. After studying with her first percussion instructor, Jack Mizutani, and performing in his ensemble, she decided to continue to pursue her interest in both piano and percussion.
At Cal State Fullerton, Shin is studying percussion with Todd Miller, professor of music, and piano with Allison Edwards, also a member of music faculty. In addition, she teaches piano and marimba to a group of 20 students.
Applicants for the YYPA competition submit their credentials to Yamaha each year and undergo a rigorous taped audition process judged by a panel of national celebrity musicians. This year, the panel selected eight winners and 11 others for honorable-mention recognition.
At Saturday's concert, Shin will share the stage with the other prize-winning musicians, who play flute, oboe, saxophone, jazz tenor saxophone, jazz trumpet, euphonium and jazz piano.
Since the program's inception in 1988, many past winners have received scholarships to prestigious universities and conservatories, or have secured professional engagements with major jazz groups and top symphony orchestras.
“Historically, the YYPA program has proven to be a major stepping stone on the path toward becoming a professional musician,” said John Wittmann, Yamaha's director of education and artist services.
Previous winners include: Ricardo Morales (1990), principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic; Otis Murphy (1994), saxophonist and faculty member at Indiana University School of Music; Jasmine Choi (2004), associate principal flute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Aaron Parks (2000), jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist; Kenneth Tse (1994), saxophonist and faculty member at the University of Iowa; and Kevin Bobo (1994), percussionist and faculty member at Indiana University School of Music.
The 2012 winners join more than 200 other talented musicians who have earned the distinction during the past 24 years.
Media Contact: Paula Selleck, 657-278-4856