The Hutchinson Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2021 Anderson Concerto Competition winners: John Mark Koontz, a 2021 graduate of Newton High School; Sara Vance, a senior at Trinity Academy in Wichita; and Karolina Cherenkova, a sophomore at Hillsboro High School. Each year, area-wide students prepare for this prestigious competition, the winners earning a featured solo performance with the Hutchinson Symphony.
For the first time in the history of the Competition, a tie was declared in the Instrumental Division between Koontz and Vance – each flawlessly performing their competition pieces. They and Cherenkova will be guest artists at the December 12th Symphony concert in Memorial Hall.
Koontz, who is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance and Education from Bethel College, is the son of Nathan and Esther Koontz, and has enjoyed many honors during his musical journey – KMEA All-State Orchestra, All-State Jazz Band, KMEA Strings Scholarship, Bethel College Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, “Open Road” and the Emmy-award winning Bethel College Concert Choir. Koontz is a student of Samuel Copeland of Kansas City, KS.
Vance, a flautist for more than seven years, has been encouraged by her lesson teacher Mily Harrod, and her director Ryan Royle. They, along with her parents Judd and Lisa Vance, are credited with building Vance’s passion for music. The Wichita Flute Ensemble, Youth Wind Ensemble, and Repertory Orchestra have all benefited from Vance’s expertise on flute. Although she has not yet chosen a college, Vance intends to double-major in aerospace engineering and flute performance. Vance has expressed that she is honored to perform with the Hutchinson Symphony.
Cherenkova, daughter of Rev. Dr. Michael and Nina Cherenkova was raised in Kyiv, Ukraine and introduced to the piano at age seven. She has won several competitions, including the Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in 2015. Cherenkova currently studies piano with Dr. Sheila Litke, Professor of Piano at Tabor College, who has nurtured Cherenkova’s talent, resulting in many concert performances and winning state competitions. “I see my talent as a God-given gift which brings me great joy and an ultimate sense of mission,” says Cherenkova.
“We are honored to be able to provide a stage for these dedicated young musicians to showcase their talents and musical passion,” said Dianne Blick, Hutchinson Symphony Board President. “Please join us in celebrating the winning performances at 3:00 pm Sunday, December 12th at Memorial Hall.” Tickets may be purchased in advance through hutchsymphony.org, or at the door.