2019 Brown Music Competition Winners Announced

Monday, February 11, 2019

Heritage Fund announces Columbus North High School seniors Alex Farrar and Julia Iorio as the first-place winners in the 2019 Brown Music Competition held Saturday at First Christian Church. 

Farrar, playing the alto saxophone, placed first in the Betty F. Brown Awards for Instrumental Excellence, performing “Prelude, Cadence, et Finale” by Desenclos. Iorio, a mezzo, received first place in the Anna Newell Brown Awards for Vocal Excellence, singing “Mandoline” by Faurè and “The Lonesome Dove” by Weill. Both students will receive a college scholarship in the amount of $3,500. 

Also in the senior instrumental competition, Eli Heichelbech received a second-place award of $2,000. Heichelbech performed “Morceau Symphonique” by Guilmant on trombone. Third-place honors of $500 were shared by Justin Thayer, French horn, performing “Concerto No. 1 in Eb major, Op. 11” by Strauss; John Jackson, clarinet, performing “Allegro from Concerto for Clarinet, Op. 36, by Krommer; and Amanda Wissmann, piano, performing “Rhapsody Op. 79, No. 2” by Brahms.

In the senior vocal competition, Rosa Hernandez and Leah Rodriguez tied for the second-place award, each receiving $1,250. Hernandez, alto, perfomed “Voi Che Sapete” by Mozart and “When I Have Sung My Songs” by Charles. Rodriguez, a mezzo, performed “Beau Soir” by Debussy and “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion” by Handel. Alexus Parker, mezzo, received the third-place award of $600 for her performances of “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley” by Myers and Der Nussbaum by Schumann. Elise Beverly, mezzo, performing “Nymphs and Shepherds” by Purcell and “Caro Mio Ben” by Giordani, received fourth-place honors of $400.

Eight seniors competed in the instrumental competition, and five seniors participated in the vocal competition.

In the sophomore and junior competitions, eight instrumentalists and 13 vocalists competed for scholarships for music lessons or music camps. Underclassmen winners were:  Instrumentalists:  Erica Song, receiving a $1,000 award; Gabrielle Lifferth, receiving an $800 award; and Minjung Kim and Dariana Chavez, receiving $600 awards. Vocalists: Grant Jackson, receiving a $1,000 award; Pranav Venkataraman, receiving a $600 award; Molly Nelson, receiving a $500 award and Allison Parker, Erica Song and Eden Zaborowski, receiving $300 awards.

Judges for this event were:  Instrumental: Mr. Dean Franke, adjunct faculty at the University of Indianapolis and violinist/founding member of Accord String Quartet and Icarus Ensemble; Dr. Ray Kilburn, associate professor of music, piano at Ball State University; and Ms. Shawn Goodman, adjunct instructor of music at IUPUI, associate instructor of music education at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and conductor and president of Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Greater Indianapolis.  Vocal:  Dr. Kathleen Hacker, professor of music and director of vocal studies at the University of Indianapolis; Mr. Thomas Studebaker, artist faculty at Roosevelt University in Chicago and faculty of Varna International in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria; and Mr. Timothy Noble, distinguished professor of music, voice at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

The Betty F. Brown Awards for Instrumental Excellence was established by Mr. Brown in 1992 in memory of his wife, Betty. Mrs. Brown was a well-known and highly respected advocate and patron of the arts, both locally and statewide.

The Anna Newell Brown Awards for Vocal Excellence were established through the Heritage Fund in 1985 by Robert and Betty Brown to honor Mr. Brown's mother, Anna Newell Brown. She was a distinguished vocalist and contributed greatly to the cultural life of the Bartholomew County Community. 

Robert N. Brown was the longtime chairman of Home News Enterprises, The Republic’s parent company. He also served as chairman of the Heritage Fund Board from 1980 to 1983, during which the foundation awarded its first grant – a $500 award for the Art in Public Places Program.

Both competitions are administered annually by Heritage Fund – The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County.