Lawrence University Percussionist, Saxophonist Earn Top Honors in State Music Competition

Lawrence University senior Michael Truesdell and 2005 Lawrence graduate Sara Kind shared top honors at the 12th annual Neale-Silva Young Artists competition held Sunday, March 19 in Madison.

Truesdell, a percussionist from Verona, and Kind, a saxophonist from Oshkosh, were named two of the five winners in the Wisconsin Public Radio-sponsored competition. It was the sixth time in the past nine years that Lawrence music students have won or shared top honors in the Neale-Silva.

The competition is open to instrumentalists and vocal performers 17-26 years of age who are either from Wisconsin or attend a Wisconsin college. This year’s competition attracted 49 musicians, including three quintets, two quartets and a trio. Fourteen musicians were invited to perform as finalists.

Lawrence and UW-Madison accounted for all of this year’s competition winners. In addition to Truesdell and Kind, UW pianist Kayme Henkel, violinist Jeannette Jang and a piano quintet also received first-place honors.

Truesdell performed on the marimba for the competition, playing “Three Movements for a Solo Dancer” by Eckhard Kopetzki, “Mirage for Marimba” by Japanense composer Yasuo Sueyoski and Federico Chueca’s “Los Paraguas.” He is a student of Associate Professor of Music Dane Richeson.

Kind, who also earned first-place honors in the 2004 Neale-Silva competition as a member of the Lawrence University saxophone quartet, performed “Fantasia” by Heitor Villa-Lobos. She is currently studying with Professor Steven Jordheim through the Lawrence Academy of Music.

Truesdell and Kind will reprise their winning performances Sunday, April 2 in WPR’s Neale-Silva Concert of Young Musicians at Madison’s Chazen Museum. The concert also will be broadcast live statewide as a special edition of “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” from 12:30 – 2 p.m. on the NPR News and Classical Music stations of WPR. In addition, Truesdell and Kind both will receive $300 for their winning performances.

The Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition was established to recognize young Wisconsin performers of classical music who demonstrate an exceptionally high level of artistry and is supported by a grant from the estate of the late University of Wisconsin Madison professor Eduardo Neale-Silva, a classical music enthusiast who was born in Talca, Chile and came to the United States in 1925.