Announcing the WMMC Fielder Grant Recipients and High School Competition Winners

2021 Fielder Grant Recipients

 The Bonnie Cummins Fielder Grant for Career Advancement is awarded biennially to promising vocalists who are beginning a music career. This year’s finals were held on May 5 at the Steinway Gallery of Austin: the judges were Liz Cass from LOLA and Ron Ulen, Professor of Voice, Texas State University.  

Catherine Goode studied at the University of Houston and Michigan State University, where she received her Master’s Degree in Performance. Ms. Goode performed this past year with the Kentucky Opera as well as in the Merola Opera Program, where she was named as Young Artist for 2021. One of her career goals is to create roles and commission a song cycle for women composers.

Renée Pape is a soprano who holds a Master’s Degree in Music, Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Houston. She also studied at the Moores School of Music, where she recently performed in Carmina Burana. Ms. Pape is Resident Artist, Opera North and, in 2019, she was named Emerging Artist at Opera in the Ozarks.

Brian Yeakley, currently the director of the Houston opera company
Operativo, also studied at and holds degrees from the University of Houston. Mr. Yeakley has pending contracts for 2021 at both the San Antonio Opera and Opera Saratoga, where recently he showcased his talents(from the ridiculous to the sublime) in performances from Pirates of Penzance and Madama Butterfly.

2021 Recipients of the WMMC Fielder Grant (l to r) : Brian Yeakley, Catherine Goode and Krista Renee Pape

2020/2021 High School Competition Winners

Because of the pandemic, this year’s High SchoolAwards contest was limited to high school seniors.The Maurer and Putter Awards were given to the First and Second Place winners, who also shared the Rudd Supplemental Award. The Wilcox Award money, normally given to First and Second Place winners in 9th to 11th grades, was used to create a Third place senior award.

Elliot Kim, First Place Winner

First Place winner is Elliot Kim, Violinist, who won First Place in the Wilcox Contest in 2018. He has studied violin for 12 years, the last 9 with William Dick of Austin. Among his many awards is acceptance to the National Youth Orchestra of the United States ofAmerica in 2020 and 2021. He is first violinist and founding member of the OPUS String Quartet, sponsored by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. He is also an award-winning pianist. Elliot will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, where he plans to continue his music studies and ensemble participation while focusing on pre-medical course work.

Violinist Laoise Matsumoto, Second Place Winner

Second Place went to Laoise Matsumoto, Violinist, and student of U.T. Professor Sandy Yamamoto. Laoise began her violin studies at the age of three, with Kristi Manno. She has participated in numerous festivals, music camps, and institutes over the years, and has won many awards, including two first place awards and a second place award in the 2020 Great ComposersCompetition, an international online competition. Laoise will enter the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the fall, and will study with Professor Sibbi Bernhardsson. She plans to go on to Masters and Doctoral programs after her undergraduate studies.

Flutist Ella Jones, Third Place Winner

Ella Jones, Flutist, won the Third Place Award. She is a student of Ann Kjerulf Knien, who has given us several winners in the past. Ella has won many honors, including first chair in All-State Band, First Place in the Junior Division of the Austin Flute Society’s Young Artist Competition, and 3rd Place in its Senior Division. She will attend Trinity University in San Antonio in the fall, where she has been invited to play in their wind symphony and orchestra.