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WCCB Annual Concerto Competition Winners


Tohei Ichikawa:
2018 winner of the 4th Annual Concerto Competition

Performed Second Concerto for Clarinet by Carl Maria von Weber on March 15, 2018.

Sixteen-year-old Tohei began his journey with the clarinet in 5th grade at Lakewood Elementary in Ann Arbor. He soon began studying privately with Jay deVries, who has been and continues to be an insightful and humorous music educator. Along his journey, Tohei has participated in various performances with the clarinet, learning from distinguished conductors, clinicians, and other educators the nuances of musicality.

Currently, he is a junior at Skyline High School and a member of its Symphony Band and Symphony Full Orchestra under directors Jason Smith and Andrea Cowper, respectively. In addition, he is a participant in the Michigan Youth Ensembles, playing for his 3rd year in the program with the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra under Professor Anthony Elliott of the University of Michigan. He has also been a participant of the MSBOA All-State Bands several times.

Before studying the clarinet, Tohei had been learning the piano. He learned rhythm, expression, and other foundations of music from his many piano teachers from the age of five. To this day, he still plays transcriptions of video game, anime, and Japanese pop music on the piano. Recently, he has begun accompanying for MSBOA Solo & Ensemble events.

In addition to his musical interests, Tohei also hopes to one day be able to zealously pursue Jesus Christ. Accordingly, he is a member of the Church in Ann Arbor and its youth group, Ann Arbor Youth, for which he serves on the music team. With the rest of his spare time, he has been volunteering at the Food Gatherers Community Kitchen for the past 4 years and has been tutoring kids at Kumon.

Now, as the winner of the WCCB's 4th Annual Concerto Competition, Tohei Ichikawa is honored to be invited to play a concerto — something that, just a year before, was but a dream to him. He thanks his family, his piano accompanist Nina Yamakado, his band director Jason Smith, his private teacher Jay deVries, and his God for providing for this grand opportunity.

Kevin Tan

Kevin Tan:
2017 winner of the 3rd Annual Concerto Competition

Performed Fantasia for Alto Saxophone by Claude T. Smith on May 11, 2017.

Kevin Tan has played the alto saxophone since the 5th grade after begging his elementary school band director, Mrs. Caroline Fitzgerald, to be switched from the clarinet. Since then, music and the saxophone have grown to be an important part of his life. Kevin has studied under his private teacher, Evan Blanchard, since his first ventures on the saxophone, and would like to thank him for many years making music together.

Now a junior at Huron High School, Kevin leads the saxophone section under the guidance of his band director, Stephen Roberts. Last year, Kevin played with the Huron High Symphony and Jazz Bands in a tour across Spain from Madrid to Toledo to Seville and more. He also performed at the 2016 Michigan Music Conference with the All-State Band, Huron Symphony Band, and Huron Jazz Band. Kevin also plays in the Michigan Youth Band as the principal alto saxophone, a position that he has held since the 8th grade.

Last year, Kevin achieved high honors at the District and State Solo and Ensemble Festival, moved on as a Nominated Outstanding Soloist, and eventually performed as a Gala Soloist at the 2016 Annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival.

Outside of his involvement with music, Kevin strives to give back to his community and has founded an educational nonprofit organization of high school students called INNO that is dedicated to helping middle school students learn and think in new ways. Through this experience, he has treasured being able to make connections with like-minded high school students as well within a professional network. This summer, INNO will be holding its first annual summer program for middle school students, which Kevin looks forward to greatly. Running INNO has allowed him to learn many valuable lessons about being a student, a productive member of society, and an aspiring entrepreneur!

Kevin is honored to be featured with the Washtenaw Community College Concert Band and is thankful for this opportunity to share his passion for music, and for the alto saxophone, with the audience.

Annie Li

Annie Li:
2017 Runner Up, 3rd Annual Concerto Competition

Performed Giacchino Rossini's Introduction, Theme and Variations on clarinet on June 29, 2017.

Annie Li lives in Ann Arbor and is a currently a junior at Pioneer High School. She started playing the clarinet in 5th grade under the direction of Gene Bartley. Soon she began taking private lessons with Jay deVries, to whom she owes her musical success through his countless hours of tutoring and support. She became a member of the Pioneer Symphony Band in 9th grade under the baton of David Leach and is now first chair in her section. She has also been a participant of the MSBOA All-State Bands from 2013–2017. This is her first concerto competition.

Annie is immensely grateful for all the music teachers she has had and the incredible experiences that music has given her throughout the years. Among these is her experience playing the piano, which she began studying at the age of 7 with Zhihua Tang. In high school, she continued under the guidance of Yili Lin and earned her Level 10 SATD piano certification in 10th grade. She also has the fortune of being a part of Pioneer's award-winning band program, which she traveled with to New York in April 2016 to play at Carnegie Hall. She has many inspiring, fun memories of her time in the band and looks forward to making more during the rest of her high school career.

Aside from music, Annie enjoys science, writing, and volunteering. She is an active member in her school's Red Cross club and Science Olympiad team. She hopes to study computer science after high school and to continue her musical pursuits, whether through a college course or by participating in local ensembles.

Jonathan Lynn

Jonathan Lynn:
2016 winner of the 2nd Annual Concerto Competition

Performed Glazunov's Concerto for Saxophone on Thursday, March 3, 2016.

Jonathan is a resident of Ann Arbor and a senior at Pioneer High School, dual-enrolled at Community High School. He began playing the alto saxophone in school in 5th grade. He also began studying with saxophone teacher John Becker later the same year. His prowess with the saxophone quickly earned him recognition as a musician. In addition to a series of "First Division" ratings at District and State Solo & Ensemble, Jonathan made 1st chair alto saxophone in the Pioneer High School Symphony Band in 10th grade, a position that he has held for the past 3 years. Jonathan is also 1st chair alto saxophone in the Pioneer High School Jazz Band, a position that he has held for the past 3 years. He was recently awarded a concerto performance in Pioneer's 2016 Annual Concerto Competition, the first saxophone concerto awarded to a Pioneer senior in 19 years. Jonathan has performed with the Pioneer Symphony Band and Jazz Band in Prague and Hodonin, Czech Republic, and will be performing again with these ensembles at Carnegie Hall, NYC, in April 2016. He is also proud to have performed as a member of the All City Centennial Band, celebrating 100 years of bands in Ann Arbor Public Schools.

In addition to playing the saxophone, Jonathan is an accomplished pianist. He started studying with piano teacher Dan Latterner when he was 8 years old and completed his Level 10 SATD piano certification when he was in 9th grade. Jonathan discovered jazz when he was in 7th grade, and jazz quickly became his passion. He dual-enrolled at Community High School in 9th grade so that he could take advantage of the classes taught by CHS Jazz Director Jack Wagner. Jonathan's passion for music has helped him win several awards. He has made it to the All-State Jazz Ensemble for the past 2 years and the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) Honors Jazz Ensemble in 2015. Jonathan was also the 1st chair for both Interlochen Arts Camp Jazz Ensembles in 2015, where he studied with Bill Sears. He was fortunate to be able to attend Interlochen Arts Camp in part due to a merit scholarship from the Ann Arbor Public Schools. He has also been a finalist in the Rosalie Edwards Youth Arts Competition and 1st chair in the "Future BeBop Spartans" top jazz ensemble at Michigan State University's 2015 Jazz Camp.

Jonathan recognizes that he would not be where he is today without all the great music teachers that he has had the opportunity to work with over the years, both in school and privately. He is immensely grateful to his AAPS teachers David Leach, Jack Wagner, Nancy Waring, Gene Bartley, Debbie Smith, and Kristi Bishop, as well as his private teachers John Becker, Dan Latterner, Jack Wagner (summers), and Dr. Andrew Bishop. Mrs. Bishop was Jonathan's music teacher in elementary school and she was the person who got him excited about music in the first place. He is fortunate to now be studying with her husband, UM School of Music saxophone professor Dr. Andrew Bishop.

Outside school, Jonathan enjoys listening to music performances by the masters, and he also enjoys teaching the saxophone and piano. He organizes and heads jazz ensembles that perform at various fundraising events, the VA hospital, and area nursing homes. He was awarded the Harold Eastman Outstanding Achievement Award in 2015 by the Breakfast Optimist Club of Ann Arbor for his leadership and community service. Jonathan plans to pursue a dual major in music performance and computer science in college this fall.

Griffin Roy

Griffin Roy:
2015 winner of the 1st Annual Concerto Competition

Performed Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet by Claude Debussy on Thursday, April 23, 2015

A resident of Ann Arbor and a senior at Community High School and dual-enrolled at Pioneer High School, Griffin Roy began playing clarinet in the fifth grade at Ann Arbor Open school under the direction of Carolyn Bybee. As a seventh grader, he earned a seat in the Michigan All-State Band and continued yearly trips to Grand Rapids to work with and perform with the ensembles for each year that he auditioned. Griffin has studied with Jay deVries for the past five years and is immensely grateful to Jay for the incredible challenge and experience he has given him. With Jay's guidance, Griffin made it into the Pioneer Symphony Band, under the direction of David Leach, as a freshman. He has been first chair clarinet for the past two years.

Through band, orchestra, ensemble, and solo work, Griffin has been exposed to many exciting experiences -- travelling to New York to play at Carnegie Hall, travelling to San Francisco for a clinic with Alasdair Neale, performing at the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids, playing under the direction of Michael Adelson, John Pasquale, Michael Haithcock, and Kevin Sedatole, and most recently touring and performing in Budapest, Prague, and Vienna. It was a true honor to take part in the 100th Anniversary Concert of Music in Ann Arbor at Hill Auditorium last spring. On March 26, Griffin will perform Gioachino Rossini's Introduction, Theme, and Variations in the 60th Annual Pioneer Concerto Concert. The proficiency of the Grammy winning Pioneer Music program and the great appreciation the Ann Arbor community has for arts education has fostered years of unique and unforgettable experiences.

Aside from playing the clarinet, Griffin is also a co-captain of the Pioneer Crew Team which satisfies another level of discipline and teamwork. He is also an active member of his church youth group at First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, and will travel with them in June for a work trip in Guatemala. Griffin is also part of the National Honor Society. While these activities keep him busy, Griffin enjoys reading, computer programming, and time with friends when he has some unscheduled hours. He intends to study engineering and certainly plans to insert himself into the music program of his selected University this fall.

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