SOMD Students Sweep Symphony Awards

Feb. 24, 2014—On February 15, students from the UO School of Music and Dance swept the awards at the Eugene Symphony's 2013-14 Young Artist Competition.

Competition winner, tubist Jake Fewx, received a $500 scholarship and may also be invited to perform with the Eugene Symphony at a future concert. Jake is the first tubist ever to win the Symphony’s Young Artist Competition, and did so by performing a movement from Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto on the tuba. Fewx is a sophomore at the UO, where he studies under Associate Professor Michael Grose

Second prize was awarded to flutist Sarah Benton, also a SOMD student, who studies under Assistant Professor Molly Barth. Honorable mentions were awarded to three other SOMD students: Kathryn Brunhaver (cello), Milo Fultz (double bass), and Leila Hawana (marimba).

The Eugene Symphony invited Oregon musicians ages 18-24 to participate in the competition, which took place at the Lane Community College Department of Music. 

Jake Fewx began his musical interest at the age of seven by playing the guitar. In 6th grade he began his brass instrument studies by taking up the euphonium, and finally, the tuba during his high school freshman year. A native of Las Vegas, Fewx is a graduate of Sherwood High School (Oregon).

During Fewx's high school career, significant awards include the John Philip Sousa Award, National Marching Excellence, Oregon All-State, All-Northwest, Western International Band Conference, and the NAFME All-Honor Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington D.C.  Under the tutelage of Oregon Symphony principal tuba, JáTtik Clark, Fewx earned first place at the OSAA State Solo Contest in 2011 and 2012. Jake matriculated to the University of Oregon in September 2012. During 2013, Fewx was invited to compete at the annual Leonard Falcone International Tuba and Euphonium Competition in Michigan, where he won 2nd place in the Young Artist Tuba category. In the future, Fewx plans to seek a career in music, by performing in a symphony orchestra, military band, or as a teacher at the collegiate level.

Through the Young Artist Competition, the Eugene Symphony seeks to offer an experience that proves influential and inspirational for aspiring young musicians, while fulfilling its mission of enriching lives through the power of music. The competition is an opportunity for young musicians to build their musical resumes. Brian Scott, Eugene Symphony percussionist and contest panelist, won a similar competition in the 1980s. The Young Artist Competition is supported by the Slocum Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.