Harpster Overall Winner Of Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition

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This year’s Yamaha Young Performing Artist (YYPA) Concert was held on Monday, June 21 at Braden Auditorium on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Ill as part of the Music For All (MFA) Summer Symposium. After the two-hour concert, which also featured two performances by Yamaha Trumpet Artist Joe Burgstaller, percussionist Jake Harpster was named the overall winner of this year’s highly selective competition. All ten YYPA winners attended Summer Symposium as guests of Yamaha for a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, special awards concerts and social events.

Jake holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with former YYPA winner Kevin Bobo. As a soloist, Jake was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the IU Jacobs School of Music, won the 2008 PASIC/Avedis Zildjian scholarship, and was runner-up in the 2008 PAS Mid-Missouri Percussion Arts Trophy. As a performer, Jake has also been a member of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps Front Ensemble in 2005 and 2006 and the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps Front Ensemble in 2007.

Jake currently teaches the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps Front Ensemble. He is deeply involved in the music education scene of central and southern Indiana where he has taught, consulted, and arranged for many high schools in the area. Jake’s instruction includes the 2009 BOA Grand National Finalist, IPA State Champion, and WGI World class Silver Medalist Center Grove High School.

The YYPA program was designed in 1989 to provide early career recognition for outstanding young musicians in the United States. Hundreds of applicants, ages 16-21, apply annually and undergo a rigorous taped audition process for a panel of internationally acclaimed musicians. The 2010 winners join more than 200 other talented musicians who have earned the distinction since the program’s inception. Many have received scholarships to prestigious universities and conservatories, or are playing professionally with major jazz groups and top symphony orchestras.

“Yamaha has a long history of encouraging and supporting young musicians at every level,” said John Wittmann, Manager of Education and Artist Relations, Yamaha Corporation of America; Band & Orchestral Division. “The past twenty-two years of YYPA have given the many young talented musicians a major boost.”

Former YYPA winners have gone on to highly successful careers, with highlights that include playing with world-renowned musicians, winning international competitions and releasing recordings. Previous YYPA winners include clarinetist Ricardo Morales (1990), principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra; saxophonist Otis Murphy (1994), faculty at Indiana University School of Music; flutist Jasmine Choi (2004), associate principal flute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist Aaron Parks (2000); saxophonist Kenneth Tse (1994), faculty at the University of Iowa; and percussionist Kevin Bobo (1994), faculty at Indiana University School of Music.

Posted by on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010. Filed under DCI World.