2016 GYCF Finalists


 In alphabetical order

Joshua D. Alexander

Joshua D. Alexander, Undergraduate Division Finalist

Although intending to be a physicist, Joshua Alexander set out to become a composer at the age of sixteen. He began playing trombone at the age of eight, singing at ten, rapping at twelve, and learning piano at 15. An Atlanta native, Joshua is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in music composition at Georgia State University. Some of his interests include aesthetics, problem solving, art, people, and the esoteric.

 


 

Jorden Beardan

Jordan Bearden, Undergraduate Division Finalist

Mr. Jordan's interest in music began when he started to play the piano at the age of six and continued to grow as he played for his church in Gainesville, GA. He has always had a passion for music, leading him to become proficient on the piano, voice, trumpet, drums, bass guitar, and acoustic guitar. Jordan is a senior majoring in music at LaGrange College, and also serves as a worship leader for LaGrange First United Methodist Church. He is currently studying music production and advancing his composition skills under the instruction of Professor Lee Johnson.

 


 

Robert Cushing

Robert Cushing, High School Division Finalist

Mr. Cushing is a senior at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta. He has studied piano for 13 years with Mary Brown Hinely and has been composing for five years. Robert's compositions include major works, a requiem mass and three musicals, in addition to several choral pieces and various works for piano. Robert was the youngest finalist in The DeKalb Choral Guild 2014 Georgia Young Composers Festival with Agnus Dei, the third movement from his Requiem.

 


 

Jenna Reel

Jenna Reel, High School Division Finalist

Currently a sophomore at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Ms. Reel has played the piano for eleven years, and has been studying classical vocal technique for four years. Jenna has been a member of the Georgia AllState Chorus for the past three years. Last summer she attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Composition Summer Intensive, a seminar for aspiring high school and college age composers. Along with her other musical activities Ms. Reel also enjoys performing as a percussionist in her school's marching band, and spends any remaining free time sitting down to write all types of music.

 


 

Ben Robichaux

Ben Robichaux, Graduate Division Finalist

Mr. Robichaux received his Bachelor's Degree in Instrumental Music Education from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. He is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Music Composition at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. His compositions include works for band, choir, string quartet, solo piano, electronic playback and various chamber ensemble combinations. His band music has been widely performed southern Louisiana, and his choral music has been performed by numerous groups including The Repertory Singers (Athens, GA), The Nicholls Choir (Thibodaux, LA), and the Academy of Voices (Minneapolis, MN). He intends to pursue doctoral studies in the fall of 2016.

 


 

 

2014 Finalists

Congratulations to the following candidates whose outstanding compositions were performed and judged at the final round of the competition.

 

Salvatore LoCascio

Salvatore LoCascio

Graduate WINNER GRADUATE DIVISION


Chicago born composer Salvatore "Sonny" LoCascio is a student at Georgia State University pursuing his master's degree in composition. He has written for a broad spectrum of performers and for a variety of mediums.  In 2010 he won the Atlanta Mu Phi Epsilon Alumni Scholarship, where he was noted showing "achievement in both performance and composition" after performing excerpts of his own Songs of William Blake song cycle.

Liliya Ugay

Liliya Ugay

Undergraduate WINNER UNDERGRADUATE DIVISION


Liliya Ugay was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and graduated from Uspensky Music School. Liliya has won numerous competitions including the 5th International Crystal Camerton Competition (Russia), MTNA National Young Artist Composition Competition, 14th International Piano Competition of Beethoven Sonatas, and the Pre-Art International Composition Competition (Switzerland). Liliya is a senior Piano Performance major at Columbus State University studying piano with Alexander Kobrin and composition with Fred Cohen.

Jonathan Gilmer

Jonathan Gilmer

Undergraduate


Jonathan is a sophomore music composition student at LaGrange College, hoping to pursue a career in film, video game, or television scoring. He has been interested in music since the age of 10, when he began to learn the guitar. Writing songs and playing music became a hobby, then soon turned into a passion. Since age 15 he has been studying and composing different styles of music at LaGrange College.

Dylan Banks

Dylan Banks

Undergraduate


Dylan Banks is an up and coming Atlanta composer, pursuing a degree in Music Composition at Georgia State University, in the composition studio of Dr. Nickitas Demos. Dylan is attempting to create a unique blend of contemporary tonal music catered to his own stylistic influence that makes a truly unique sound.

Nicholas Wheeler

Nicholas Wheeler

Graduate

 

Nicholas is a native of Stone Mountain, GA. He began playing the viola at age 10, then violin and trombone at the DeKalb School of the Arts. He graduated from Columbus State University in Columbus, GA with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2009. Nicholas has composed music for symphony orchestra, chorus, and chamber ensembles and has won the state round of MTNA Young Artist Composers Competition. While currently teaching elementary and general music at Kings Ridge Christian School in Alpharetta, Nicholas hopes to develop his career in composing and orchestrating music for video games and film.

 Robert Cushing

Robert Cushing

High School

 

Robert is 16 years old and a sophomore at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia. He has studied piano for 11 years and has been composing for 3.5 years. His submission is the third movement, Agnus Dei, from his Requiem Mass, Op.3, composed from mid 2011 to early 2013.

 

 

 

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