Perform with the WCCB!

Michigan's Premier Concerto Competition

The Washtenaw Community Concert Band's ANNUAL CONCERTO COMPETITION offers cash prizes totalling $2,000. The winner ($1,500 cash prize) and runner-up ($500 cash prize) will perform their concertos with the WCCB in concert.

Applicants must be enrolled in grades 9–12 in a public, parochial, or private high school located in Washtenaw County, be a member of the school's band or orchestra, and be a player of an instrument commonly used in concert bands. The applicant must have parental and band/orchestra teacher approval to apply. Music to be performed for the audition must be from the approved list. Prior approval from Chris Heidenreich, Conductor and Music Director, is required for any proposed substitutions (email The initial round of judging is based on a video recording that the applicant posts on a non-public section of YouTube.

Carsten Wright

Carsten Wright:
2019 winner of the 5th Annual Concerto Competition

Performed Edward Gregson's Tuba Concerto on February 28, 2019.

Carsten Wright is a seventeen-year-old senior at Pioneer High School who was born and has lived in Ann Arbor his entire life. He is honored to have this opportunity to perform with the Washtenaw Community Concert Band.

Carsten's study of music began with playing piano at age five, and since then he has studied under a series of wonderful instructors, culminating with his current teacher Sarah Malick. Carsten was first inspired to play tuba by his father Merrill and his older sister Aubrey, both of whom played. In middle school he was part of the Slauson band under Gene Bartley and began taking tuba lessons with Joe DeMarsh. He joined the Pioneer Symphony Band as a freshman, and throughout his four years in the Pioneer band program, director David Leach's enthusiasm and vision have inspired Carsten and given him many amazing experiences and opportunities. He has traveled with the band on two unforgettable trips: to New York in 2016 to play at Carnegie Hall, and to Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia in 2018.

In addition to his musical interests, Carsten enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, rock climbing, singing, camping, hiking, computer programming, reading, and chess. He has been part of Boy Scouts of America for nine years, earning the rank of Life Scout, and is currently working on his Eagle Scout service project.

After graduating in June, Carsten plans to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He plans to enroll at Brigham Young University studying a combination of business, engineering, and computer science. He hopes to own a business someday while remaining involved in music throughout his life.

Carsten would like to thank the following: Sarah Malick whose understanding and flexibility have allowed him to continue improving his piano playing during a very busy season of life; Gene Bartley whose patient support allowed him to become the player he is today; Joe DeMarsh for his many years of guidance and encouragement which have kept him focused and dedicated; David Leach who has given him a vision to work toward; and God for his blessed life and many opportunities.

Zack Gabanyicz

Zack Gabanyicz:
2019 runner up

Performed Ropartz Andante et Allegro on June 27, 2019.

Zack Gabanyicz, a senior at Saline High School, began playing the trumpet in the fifth grade under the direction of John Mason. He studied trumpet with Tammy Schoenfeldt from the eighth grade until he began to work with Becky Bloomer his sophomore year of high school. At Saline High School, Zack is trumpet section leader in the Wind Ensemble and Saline Marching Band under the direction of Nate Lampman. Zack has also been a member of the Michigan Youth Ensembles at the University of Michigan and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Youth Ensembles since sophomore year. This past year Zack was principal trumpet in the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Zack has participated in the MSBOA All-State Band and MSBOA/MYAF Honors Band for the past two years and served as principal trumpet in the All-State Band this past winter. Zack has spent four summers at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp participating in their Masterworks Orchestra Program and has toured with the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra as principal trumpet.

When he is not playing trumpet, Zack enjoys running, hiking, rock climbing. Zack will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall to study trumpet performance.

Leah Keller:
2019 honorable mention

Through a generous donation by Andy Perez, an additional participant was recognized for her performance in this year's concerto competition. Leah Keller, a flute player from Saline High School, chose Fantasy by Gabriel Fauré for her concerto audition. Leah received an honorable mention prize of $250.