Abilene, TX, (March 28, 2018) Abilene Philharmonic Association hosted the final round of the 2018 Nelda Hodges Young Artist competition on Saturday, March 24th at the Williams Performing Arts Center. Of the three winners, two of which were Abilene’s own young artists.
Winners of the 2018 Nelda Hodges Competition:
First Place: Kenneth Knight- Age 17, Cello of Tyler, TX ($1,500 Scholarship)
Second Place: Eaaton Pye- Age 17, Piano of Abilene, TX ($1000 Scholarship)
Third Place: Feisi “Faith” Fang- Age 15, Violin of Abilene, TX ($750 Scholarship)
“The Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition is a very important part of our Education programs,” says Kevin Smith, Executive Director of the Philharmonic. “Not only does it provide a financial resource for those who win, but it fosters inspiration in these young musicians to pursue higher levels of music education and possibly a career in music.” The scholarships that were given to the winners can be used to further their education in music including university tuition, private music lessons and music camps.
“All five finalists were tremendous! Given the right amount of motivation, I can see each one of them having successful musical careers,” David Itkin, Music Director and Conductor. Previous first place winners have been featured artists that perform with Abilene Philharmonic such as violinist, Fiona Shea, 2016 winner and pianist, Halle Puckett, 2012 winner.
The Abilene Philharmonic’s Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition was established in 2008 to help support outstanding young musicians in the Abilene area. Nelda Hodges, and her husband Eddie, were outstanding supporters of the Philharmonic Orchestra, Foundation and guild for almost 60 years. Eddie Hodges created the competition in honor of his wife to inspire and reward young artist’s love for music. For more information on the Nelda Hodges Young Artist Competition and the Abilene Philharmonic visit AbilenePhilharmonic.org.