The 2012/2013 Menges Scholarship Award Winners
|Alex Wu, cello|
Alex Wu is 12 years old, and a 7th grade Honor Roll student at Welsh Valley Middle School in Lower Merion Township. He started playing cello at the age of six, and has been studying with Ms. Jie Jin for the past three years. Alex has won a variety of competitions, including first place in the children’s division of the Warminster Young Artists competition, first place in the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition, and second place in the Kennett Symphony Orchestra Junior Instrumental Competition. In addition to his solo performances, Alex also won the second place junior ensemble award of the Tri-County Music Festival as part of the BAJAD Piano Quintet.
Alex has performed solo at the Weill recital hall at Carnegie Hall and at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, as well as with the Warminster Symphony Orchestra and Bucks County Symphony Orchestra.
As a four year scholarship recipient at the Nelly Berman School of Music, Alex often plays for local charities and community events. He was a member of the Temple University Prep Center for Gifted Young Musicians, and currently plays in the Philadelphia Sinfonia Orchestra.
At school, Alex plays trumpet in the 7th grade band and Jazz band and serves as first cellist of the 7th grade orchestra. He also participates in student government as a class representative. In addition, he likes to play tennis, basketball, and baseball. Alex enjoys drawing cartoons, painting miniatures, and reading in his spare time.
|Audrey Emata, flute|
Audrey Emata, age 11, studies flute with Rebecca Simon of Drexel Hill and Bradley Garner in New York City. In 2011, Audrey won first place in the Elementary Division of the Student Honors Competition of the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, which was open to competitors in the seven mid-Atlantic states and Washington DC. She also won first place in the Junior Novice Division of the Young Artist Competition sponsored by the Philadelphia Flute Society and was a winner in the Lansdowne Symphony Young Artists Competition performing with that orchestra. Audrey participated in the Summer Jazz Camp at George Mason University, and was chosen to perform in the Julius Baker Master Classes in Danbury, Connecticut, where she won a Yamaha prize.
In 2012, in addition to the Menges Scholarship, Audrey won first prize in her age division at the Pocono Flute Festival, and was selected to perform in Carol Wincenc’s master class at the same festival. Audrey was also awarded a scholarship to attend the International Flute Summer School in St. Andrews, Scotland, where she performed for Ian Clarke.
Audrey is a member of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, plays in her school band, and participated in the PMEA Bandfest. She enjoys playing piccolo and piano, as well as reading, tap dancing, and romping with her pugnacious pug, Lorelei. She is always thrilled when her three older brothers, Ben, Justin and Jeremy, are home for a visit.
|Haocong Gu, cello|
|Haocong Gu is 16 years old and currently a sophomore at the Girard Academic Music Program in Philadelphia. Born in Beijing, China, Haocong began studying cello at the age of seven. He has held a fascination for the art of playing the cello since a young age, and is greatly inspired by cellists such as Jacqueline du Pre and Mstislav Rostropovich. His current teacher is Ms. Hai-ye Ni, principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra.In August of 2010, Haocong went to San Jose and Los Angeles California along with his school to participate in the Chinese Instruments Competition, where he was presented with a Special Award. In 2011, Haocong participated in the 13th Annual Young People’s Concert Series, performing Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major at the Mann Center for Performing Arts in Philadelphia. That same year, he served as principal cellist for the Trowbridge Chamber Orchestra at the Settlement Music School. Currently, he serves as the principal cellist of his high school’s orchestra. When he is not playing cello, he enjoys reading and exercising.|
|Serim An, piano|
Serim An, 18, was born in Seoul, Korea and began her piano studies at the age of five. She was a student for five years at the Academy for Gifted Young Musicians of Seoul Art Center. During that time, Serim studied with renowned Korean teachers and received numerous awards in local and national music competitions in Korea. After coming to the USA in 2008 and settling in North Carolina, Serim became a student of Domonique Launey. She received honorable mention in the 2009 North Carolina Symphony Concerto Competition and also attended the 2010 Summer Piano Workshop at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she worked with Clifton Matthews. Her family relocated to the Philadelphia area in 2010 where she began, and continues, her studies with Sandra Carlock, Arthur Judson Distinguished Faculty Chair at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, PA. Serim is a scholarship student at the Willow Grove Branch of the Music School.
In March, 2011, Serim was selected to perform in a Master Class conducted by Stephen Hough. Serim was also chosen by audition to perform as a soloist in Settlement Music School’s prestigious Annual Concert, held at the Perelman Theater of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia in 2011. In May of 2011 she was asked to fill the piano vacancy in the Myer Schwartz Advanced Study Piano Trio at Settlement Music School. In April, 2012, as the recipient of the Muzio Clementi Award, Serim visited Finchcocks Musical Museum of early pianos in Kent, England, with Sandra Carlock, where she presented a lecture recital on early pianos of various periods. In addition, in June of 2012, she won the senior high piano division at the competition held by Philadelphia Korean Musicians Association. Serim performs frequently as a soloist as well as a Myer Schwartz Trio member. She also enjoys playing with her younger sisters in local retirement homes and her church.
Serim is currently a senior at Upper Dublin High School in Montgomery County in Pennsylvania.
|Vivian Xu, piano|
Vivian Xu, 13, is an eighth-grader from East Brunswick, New Jersey. She studies piano with Ingrid Clarfield, Professor of Piano at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Her former piano teacher was Mrs. AnLi-Young. Vivian has won numerous top awards in various piano competitions, including placing in her state competition, New Jersey Music Teachers Association (NJMTA), every year since 2006- Honorable Mention, 3rd and 2nd place. As a result of winning the Cecilian Young Artist Competition and Golden Key Festival multiple times since she was 6 years old, Vivian performed as a soloist in many prestigious halls including Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall of Carnegie Hall. Vivian was also a third place winner of the 2010 1st Annual Distinguished Artist Competition of Shore Music Educators Association. In addition, Vivian was a 2011 First Prize winner of the Associated Music Teachers League Scholarship. Some of her most recent awards include Silver prize of the 2012 Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artists Concerto Competition, being a prize winner in the 2012 Steinway Scholarship Competition and the 2012 Piano Teachers Congress Honors Program. Vivian has also received distinction in the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music Examinations (Grade 8). In the summer of 2012, Vivian studied piano at the International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM), 2012 Summer Music Academy and had a great time.
Vivian is also an avid flutist and was in the 2012 Central Jersey Intermediate Regional Band. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing tennis, traveling, and hanging out with her friends.
In late March of 2010, Vivian was chosen as one of the 12 Discovery Girls to represent New Jersey in the 2011 February/March issue of Discovery Girls Magazine.