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The Siciliana Quartet wins first prize in High School String Quartet Competition

Regional high school string students get coached by members of the Parker Quartet

Eight talented high school string quartets from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia  were on campus March 19 for the third annual University of South Carolina Chamber Music Day and High School String Quartet Competition with the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet.

The students spent an intensive day of master classes and coaching with members of the Parker Quartet: Ying Xue, Jessica Bodner, Kee Kim and Daniel Chong, and USC’s string faculty: Neil Casey, Robert Jesselson, Daniel Sweaney and William Terwilliger.

Competing during an evening concert in the School of Music’s Recital Hall, the high school string ensembles performed the difficult masterworks of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvořák, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. After the concert, three cash prizes were awarded, as well as an Honorable Mention and an Audience Favorite prize.

“What a terrific day of chamber music playing we had here at USC this past Saturday! Eight high school string quartets converged for an intensive day of coachings and master classes culminating in a wonderful evening concert that showed an amazing amount of polish, energy and artistic commitment on the part of these young musicians. It was a pleasure working with all of these students and we were encouraged that the future of classical music looks bright for the next generation of young musicians!” – William Terwilliger, program director and USC professor of violin.

Congratulations to the prize winning quartets


First Prize ($500)  

The Siciliana Quartet – Greenville, SC
Zoe Kushubar, violin I
Kiara Morris, violin II
Matisyn Darby, viola
Rachel Reed, violoncello
 (Coach: Robert O’Brien – South Carolina Governor’s School)

Second Prize ($300)

The Fuoco 2.0 Quartet – Suwanee, GA
Lesley Chang, violin I
Tricia Dang, violin II
Michael Lee, viola   
Amy Park, violoncello
(Coach: Lauren McCombe – North Gwinnett High School)

Third Prize ($150)

The Montclair String Quartet - Charleston, SC
Karl Pless, violin I
Elliot Weeks, violin II
Walker Menkus, viola
Adam Beall, violoncello
 (Coach: Timothy O’Malley – Charleston School of the Arts

Audience Favorite Prize (Tie)

Montclair String Quartet - Charleston, SC
The River Bluff High School String Quartet – Lexington, SC
John Cooley, violin I
Drew Preston, violin II
Olivia Cook, viola
Jeffrey Chen, violoncello
(Coach: Genny Nelson – River Bluff High School)

Learn more about the Parker Quart Residency at USC and Chamber Music Day.

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