Congratulations to the 2023-24 Winners!
Young Artists’ Concerto Competition
Sophia Vu, Violin, 11th Grade
Northshore High School / NOCCA
Sophia will perform the third movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D maj on January 18, 2024 at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium. Read Sophia’s bio below:
Sophia Vu is a 16-year-old junior at both Northshore High School in Slidell and the Classical Instrumental Department at NOCCA. Sophia started violin lessons at age 5 with the Suzuki school program. She has been studying under Dr. Zorica Dimova since age 6. Sophia joined the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (GNOYO) in 2015 and was the winner of their Young Soloist Concerto Competition – Sinfonia division in 2016 and 2017; Philharmonia division in 2019. Sophia was selected to perform at the Junior Philharmonic Society of New Orleans concert in 2017 (violin), 2018 (piano), 2019 (violin), 2020 (piano), and 2023 (violin). She received the “Emily Friend Bayle Award” in 2017, “Platzer Award” in 2019, and “John Tobin Award” in 2023. Sophia has been a part of the LMEA All-State Orchestra since the 9th grade. During 2023 at Brevard Music Center Summer Institute, Sophia was selected as concertmaster and assistant concertmaster of the Institute’s concert series.
She was the winner of the 2019 LPO Annual Young Artists’ Concerto Competition for Grade K-8 category, and the 2021 LPO Annual Young Artists’ Concerto Competition for Grade 9-12 category.
Zoe Heim, French Horn, 12th Grade
Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies
Zoe will perform the third movement of Strauss’ Horn Concerto in Eb Major on January 19, 2024 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center. Read Zoe’s bio below:
Zoe Heim, a senior at Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies, started playing the trumpet in the third grade and the French horn in seventh grade. Mollie Pate, her private teacher, is the Principal Horn of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. At Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies, she is a Drum Major in the Marching Band and the Section Leader in the Symphonic Band and the Jazz Band. Additionally, Zoe performs regularly with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, the Next Generation Jazz Band of New Orleans, and the St. Clement of Rome Brass Ensemble.
All four years of highschool, Zoe was selected for the Louisiana Music Educators Association’s All-State Band and Orchestra. Last year, she received the District VI Band Directors Association’s “Brass Player of the Year” award. During the summer of 2023, Zoe attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute for the French Horn Workshop, BUTI Young Artists’ Wind Ensemble, and BUTI Young Artists’ Orchestra. Zoe is also a recipient of the Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship.
Zoe’s interests include fitness, reading, and studying. Also, she enjoys quality time with her family, friends, and dogs, Capri and Violet. Her future plans include focusing on academia in musical arts with a concentration in French Horn Performance. Zoe intends to pursue a career in an orchestra, while maintaining a private studio and helping students to develop their love of music. Zoe’s music teachers are a substantial influence on her life’s artistic aspirations and have been pivotal to her flourishing musical and performing arts career.
Gaon Kim, Violin, 8th Grade
Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies
Gaon will perform Willem Ten Have’s Allegro Brillante, Op. 19 on January 30, 2024 at Loyola University Roussel Hall. Read Gaon’s bio below:
Gaon Kim is currently a 13-year-old eighth grader at Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies. She started learning violin at the age of 5 at a music program at her elementary school in Philadelphia. She is currently learning violin under the direction of Byron Tauchi, a violinist playing in Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). Gaon also plays piano, and she started learning at the age of 7.
After moving to New Orleans, Gaon joined the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (GNOYO) in 2022. She won a competition in the Junior Philharmonic Society of New Orleans in 2023.
Gaon enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and writing. She has entered and won multiple Korean writing competitions over the years. Most recently, she won a writing competition organized by the National Association of Korean Schools and another organized by the Korean Consulate General San Fransisco. Gaon occasionally plays violin and piano with the worship team at her church. In the future, she wishes to become an author who will write stories everybody will enjoy.