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Sarah Kim Wins UW Jacoby Soloist Competition

March 3, 2015
woman sitting at grand piano
Pianist Sarah Kim was named the winner of the University of Wyoming’s Dorothy Jacoby Student Soloist Competition last week. (UW Photo)

Pianist Sarah Kim was named the winner of the University of Wyoming’s Dorothy Jacoby Student Soloist Competition last week at the UW Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall.

Her performance of Franz Liszt’s “Totentanz” with the UW Symphony Orchestra was selected by the judges as the best of six soloists competing during the competition, and earned her a $2,000 cash prize. The six were selected from a pool of almost 40 UW music students who auditioned in the first round of the competition.

Stephen Wadsack, a senior trumpet player from Gillette, was named honorable mention of the competition. He performed the finale to the “Trumpet Concerto” by Edward Gregson.

The other finalists were junior soprano Ariana Spring Hahl, a graduate of Kelly Walsh High School in Casper; Michael Peterson, a senior saxophonist from Reliance; Mary Sanderson, a freshman violinist from Morgantown, Ind.; and Cheng Wang, a graduate pianist from Shenyang, China.

Kim is a UW graduate assistant studying with pianist Theresa Bogard, who serves as both head of the keyboard division and UW Department of Music. Kim was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. She began taking piano lessons at age 5 and graduated from Kaywon High School of the Arts in Korea and received her undergraduate degree from Idaho State University.man playing trumpet

She has been awarded several competition prizes and awards at the Music Teachers National Association’s Musicians West Piano Competition, and the Music Association of Korea. Kim also was accepted as a participant in the Edward Auer Piano Workshop at Indiana University. She is highly sought after as a collaborative pianist and has given dozens of performances with singers and instrumentalists.

Kim was the principal keyboardist of the Idaho Civic Symphony for two seasons, and also was the collaborative keyboardist of the Concert Choir and Chamber Choir of Idaho State University and UW’s Bel Canto. She was invited to perform in one of the “More Stars of Steinway” concert series in 2013. This summer, she went to Bowdoin International Music Festival, and was invited to study at the New England Conservatory and Mannes College of Music on scholarship after graduation.

The Dorothy Jacoby Student Soloist Competition provides an opportunity for the best UW music students to appear as a soloist with the UW Symphony. It also offers a significant award to the musician judged to have given the best performance that evening.

Dorothy Jacoby was a founding member of the UW Symphony Association and a longtime supporter of classical music in Laramie. Her sons, Peter and Michael Jacoby, made a generous contribution in honor of their late mother. That gift, along with contributions from many of Dorothy Jacoby's friends, created the endowment for the cash prize that is awarded at the performance.

The judges for this year’s competition were Russell Guyver, director of orchestras at the University of Northern Colorado; Wes Kenney, conductor of the Fort Collins Symphony; and Justin Krawitz, University of Northern Colorado piano professor.

Michael Griffith, UW’s director of orchestral activities, conducted the concert.


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Chad Baldwin

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