Young Artists Competition

2023 Winners

Sunday, February 12, 2023:  Winners’ Recital – 2:30 p.m.

Seton Hill Performing University Arts Center

Level I – up to Grade 9


1st place – AJ Schmidt, flute (Franklin Regional HS freshman; teacher – Dan Parasky)

2nd place – Nia Hanington, flute (Franklin Regional HS freshman; teacher – Dan Parasky)

3rd place – Elsa Bandli, flute (Franklin Regional MS 8th grader; teacher – Dan Parasky)

Honorable Mention – Nolan Schnauber, violin (Greensburg Central Catholic JH 7th grader;

teacher – Aaron Blackham)


1st place – William Duvall (PA Cyber Charter School freshman; teacher – René Seamone)

Honorable Mention – Levi Pecorari (homeschooled 5th grader; teacher – John Kulik)

Level II – Grades 10-12


1st place – Anna Qin, flute (Franklin Regional HS sophomore, teacher – Dan Parasky)

Tie for 2nd place – Madison Kraynick, clarinet (Greater Latrobe SH senior;
teacher – Lisa Thackrah

Tie for 2nd place – Regina Zezza, trumpet (Greater Latrobe SH sophomore; teacher – Ryan Rick)


1st place – Lucy Zheng (Franklin Regional HS sophomore, teacher – Tatanya Gelman)

2nd place – Praneel Varshney (Franklin Regional HS senior, teacher – John Kulik)

These performers will present a recital of pieces chosen by the judges from their audition programs. Finals judges were Kathleen Campbell, Adam Gillespie and Brian Gilling.


About the Young Artists Competition

The Westmoreland Symphony’s Young Artist Competition has been in existence since the 1980s. In 2002, its format was changed from a concerto competition to a solo competition.  It is now open to students who reside or take their private music lessons in Westmoreland or Fayette County.

The Young Artists Competition promotes excellence through competition in the field of music performance. The competition is open to classical instrumentalists who are residents of either Westmoreland or Fayette County or take private music lessons in either of those two counties and have not yet graduated from high school. Participants compete for performance opportunities as determined by a three-judge panel. Cash prizes will be awarded as determined by the judges.

Competition Overview

Showcase your music; perform live and win cash prizes! Each year the Young Artists Competition is open to all instrumental students up to and including seniors in high school that live or take lessons in Westmoreland or Fayette County.


  • Applicants must perform a minimum of two contrasting pieces representing different periods of classical repertoire, highlighting both lyricism and facility.
  • Performing from memory is required for pianists and encouraged for others.
  • If you do use an accompanist, you need to provide your own accompanist for the recorded and live auditions. If chosen to perform, the winner must use the same accompanist for the live audition and recital.
  • Audition recording, any format (no videos allowed) must include the entire program that the applicant plans to perform in the live audition.
  • Finalists must provide three copies of their music (one for each judge), with measure numbers listed at the beginning of each line. This includes full scores for instrumentalists.


Level I (up to 10 minutes performance time)
Up to Grade 9
Piano – Instrumental

Level II (up to 15 minutes performance time)
Grades 10-12
Piano – Instrumental

Contestants may only win the top prize once per level (i.e., a 1st prize winner at Level I may not enter at Level I again unless he/she applies on another instrument).

Entry Fee/Prizes

$15 – preliminary recorded audition

$15 – live audition if the contestant is accepted for the final round

Cash prizes and performance in the Winners’ Recital are determined by a panel of professional musicians.

  •     Level I – 1st place $150; 2nd place $100, 3rd place $75
  •     Level II – 1st place $250; 2nd place $200, 3rd place $150

Prizes may or may not be given in each of the four categories, at judges’ discretion.




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