Former YAC Winners

Where are they now? 

James and Katherine Andrews Young Artist Competition former First Prize Winners


2020  Joyce Cheng, cello, performed the 4th Movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto in E Minor.  A senior at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, NY, Joyce began playing cello at age 9.  She joined the Empire State Youth Orchestra in 2015 and has been its principal cellist since 2018.  

2019  Carole Wilay, violin, performed the First Movement from Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor. Recently, she was accepted into the Cornell Summer College for Engineering, where she wishes to go after high school to study environmental engineering. She’ll continue to play music in their orchestra.

2018  Silas Smith, harp, performed Introduction and Allegro by Maurice Ravel. Silas is studying mathematical economics at Clarkson University, where is also taking introduction to computer science courses. He is also involved in musical theater and Atonement Theology.

2017  Hannah Sohn, cello, performed the third movement of Saint Saëns’ Concerto No. 1 in A Minor. Hannah is currently a high school junior at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park and is looking to a future in cello performance.

2016  Kathryn Kovarik, violin, performed the third movement of Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E Minor. Kathryn is currently attending Brown University where she is majoring in English.  Katie takes private violin lessons at Brown and plays in local ensembles when she is home in Syracuse.

2015 Christopher Spinelli, piano, performed the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K 414.  Chris currently attends SUNY Oswego where he is studying with Professor Robert Auler and has a busy schedule performing and recording.

2014 Sabrina Johnson, trumpet, performed Concerto in E Flat, first movement, by Neruda. Sabrina is currently attending SUNY Potsdam where she is in the trumpet studio of Dr. James Madeja. She is in the Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet and will be attending Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore for graduate studies in the fall of 2018

2013 Noah Landers, piano, performed Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, first movement, by Saint Saëns.  A student of Professor Robert Auler of SUNY Oswego, Noah is looking to a future in piano performance.

2012 Lillia Woolschlager, oboe, performed the first movement of Haydn’s Concerto in C Major.  As an undergraduate in oboe performance, Lillia studied oboe under Dr. Anna Hendrickson, Professor, Crane School of Music.  She is currently attending De Paul University for her Masters in Performance, studying with Professor Alex Kline.

2011 Lillia Woolschlager, piano, performed the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto in A Major. As an undergraduate, Lillia studied piano with Dr. Francois Germain, Professor, Crane School of Music.

2010  Nicole Moody, cello, performed Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, first movement , by Saint Saëns.  Nicole holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Drake University.  She has performed in Italy, states throughout the Midwest and New York. She is a recipient of a German cello from the Carlsen Cello Foundation.  Nicole currently lives in New York where she performs and maintains a private cello studio.

2009  Andrew Horwitz, saxophone, performed Concerto in E Flat Major, first movement, by Glazunov.  Andrew graduated from Ithaca College where he studied music and computer science.  Upon graduation, he continued his studies at McGill University in Montreal.  Andrew currently works for RILM in New York City where he combines his love of classical music and computer science.

2008  Benjamin Hull, violin, performed the first movement of  Bruch’s Concerto No. 1. Ben graduated from St. Lawrence University and then received an MBA from RIT.  He is now Interim Director of Oncology at Canton Potsdam Hospital.  Ben is married and living in Madrid where he bought the oldest house in town and is renovating it with his father. 

2007  Nicholas Hartman, French horn, performed the first movement of Mozart’s Concerto No. 3.  Nicholas attended the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied horn performance with Professor William VerMeulen.  After graduation, he won the position of 4th horn in the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa.  He is now 4th horn in the Toronto Symphony.


Information compiled by: Nancy Peschko, Young Artist Competition Chairperson