WGUC and Classics for Kids announce 'Maestros of Tomorrow'

Talent, passion, big dreams: the students honored in the first Maestro of Tomorrow competition have all this in common, though they're finding their own unique paths in music.

Cincinnati Public Radio, home to 90.9 WGUC and Classics for Kids®, proudly announces the winners of Maestro of Tomorrow, a new scholarship program to identify outstanding young artists in our listening area and help them envision a life in music beyond high school.

Winner ($1,000): Mateo Martinez-Schwartz (Homeschool)

Runners-up ($500 each): Jieun Woo (Sycamore H.S.), Jacqueline Alonso (Princeton H.S.)

Honorable Mention Calia Burdette (Scott H.S., May Festival Youth Chorus), Grace Kim (Mason Middle School), Griffin Nelson (Homeschool), Christy Kim (William Mason H.S.), Sara Knisley (Western Brown H.S.), and Zachary Pinnick (West Clermont H.S.)

Teacher Winner (randomly selected from eligible entries, $500): Brian Fischer, Band Director of West Clermont H.S.

"Last year was hard" for music students and educators, commented Brian Fischer, whose West Clermont H.S. orchestra member Zachary Pinnick stood out among the many excellent Maestro of Tomorrow entries received this spring. "It's awesome for students to have an opportunity to dream big, and to be rewarded for their hopes."

Music has been an essential creative outlet for pianist and aspiring composer Mateo Martinez-Schwartz; a form of cultural expression for violist Jacqueline Alonso, and a way for Jieun Woo to connect from afar with her grandparents in South Korea during the pandemic.

"They can listen to me play violin every day on the computer," said Jieun, who was finally able to visit her grandparents in person this summer. She brought her instrument with her. "I can't imagine my life without music."      

Judges for the competition were WGUC staff members Elaine Diehl, Jessica Lorey, Suzanne Bona, and Naomi Lewin; Jason Holmes of Cincinnati Boychoir; local violinist and activist Preston Bell Charles III, and recent UC-CCM graduate Yi Chun Sarah Tsai.  
"I was honored to participate on the judging panel for this inaugural Maestro of Tomorrow Competition," said Jessica Lorey, WGUC's Classical Music Director. "It is a unique competition in that it honors students who show signs of musical leadership and a desire to share music with their community, but who may not currently have the opportunities to reach their potential. To be able to help a student in need with music lessons or the opportunity to purchase an instrument is such a privilege. We had a talented group of students participate in this year's competition, and I look forward to seeing how Maestro of Tomorrow encourages and equips young Cincinnati musicians to fulfill their dreams in years to come."
Look for details on next year's contest, open to all music-interested students in the WGUC listening area (grades 8-12), this fall on the WGUC and Classics for Kids websites and social media channels. We welcome applications from young people practicing music of all kinds (not just classical), in any settings (not just formal, school-based programs). We especially welcome entries from young people in communities historically underrepresented in classical music, or who might face other barriers to achieving their potential in the field. It's free to enter via a simple online form.

Program sponsor is The Charles H. Dater Foundation. The Charles H. Dater Foundation