11 High School Competitors Take Prizes at NSU’s Young Artist Competition

ABERDEEN, S.D. –At Northern State University’s Friends of the Arts/NSU Young Artist Competition, 22 talented high school juniors and seniors from South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota performed for NSU faculty judging panels throughout the event on Saturday, Jan. 5.

The event was held in Johnson Fine Arts Center, and offered awards with a total of $7,000 in cash prizes, including $1,000 for first-place winners of each category, $500 for second-place winners, and $250 for third-place winners.  Top music scholarships will also be available for those students who choose to attend Northern State University next year.

“It was an outstanding day of performances by so many well-prepared, talented and serious music students,” said Dr. Kenneth Boulton, Dean of the School of Fine Arts.  “This is one of several new initiatives the faculty have implemented this year to raise the impact of our program throughout the state and region.”

The event was capped with an awards ceremony followed by solo performances by the top prize winners from each instrumental and vocal category.  Listed below are all prize recipients from the competition:

String Category

First Prize: Yufeng Peng, cello (Aberdeen Central High School)

Second Prize: WangSan Lester, cello (O'Gorman High School)

Piano Category

First Prize: Analise Levesque (Lincoln High School)

Second Prize: Joseph Skilbred (Breckinridge High School)

Third Prize: Jarret Johnson (Tea Area High School)

Woodwinds/Brass/Percussion Category

First Prize: Katelyn Cermak, flute (Mandan High School)

Second Prize: Breanna Olson, clarinet (Ellendale High School)

Third Prize: Melissa Graue, clarinet (Tea Area High School)

Vocal Category

First Prize: Abigail Turner, soprano (Miller High School)

Second Prize: Sydney Raap, soprano (Aberdeen Roncalli High School)

Third Prize: Tanner Pietz, baritone (Aberdeen Central High School)

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $55 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.