June 2010 Winners: Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins

The June 2010 Young Artist Award recipients are Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins, both seniors at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. David Leach, Director of Bands at the Grammy Award-winning Pioneer High School nominated both students. Leach states, “These students are two of the finest musicians I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with in my 23-year career as a music educator.”


Dylan and Megumi are members of the symphony band, orchestra, and marching band, having shared in the responsibilities of the role of principal trumpet in each ensemble.


While Dylan hails from Ann Arbor and is also known for his dual enrollment and participation in Community High School’s Advanced Jazz Combo (frequently gigging around town), Megumi is originally from Otsu, Japan. Megumi came to the USA as a bright middle school student planning to attend school here for one year. After falling in love with American school music programs, she returned to Japan in ninth grade to attend the Osaka International School. Her love of music and American band traditions brought her back to Ann Arbor to finish high school for her final three years.


Both students have performed in the University of Michigan Youth Band and Orchestra throughout high school while also attending numerous summer programs. Dylan has been a member of the Interlochen All-State Orchestra from 2007 – 2009 and performed with the 2009 Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Orchestra. As an accomplished pianist, Dylan has completed all ten levels of the Michigan Music Teachers Association Piano Student Achievement Test, receiving the maximum five trophies. Dylan is an active soloist at his local church where he participates in numerous community service projects to help the homeless. Dylan plans to major in trumpet performance and is currently on the audition trail. He is the son of Carolyn Bybee and Charles Larkins, both professional trumpeters and teachers in Ann Arbor.


Upon completion of eighth grade in 2005, Megumi toured with the Blue Lake International Symphonic Band throughout Europe and in 2007 was selected to participate in the Asia Pacific Activities Conference Band Festival at Brent International School in Manila, Philippines. After attending the High School Trumpet Workshop at Interlochen’s National Music Camp in of June 2008, Miss Matsushita won first prize in the Junior Division of the Grand Valley State University International Trumpet Seminar Solo Competition that July. Both Dylan and Megumi were finalists in the 2009 Ann Arbor Concert Band’s Young Artists Scholarship Competition.


Megumi is a member of the National Honor Society, Pioneer Interact (which tutors Japanese students), and M.U.S.I.C. (Musicians United to Serve the Community) where she volunteers in nursing homes and hospices. Megumi is the daughter of artist/painter Uyen Tonnule and Keiichiro Matsushita, Economics Professor at Kansai University in Japan, and plans to major in chemistry and minor in music.


Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins study trumpet privately with YAA Column Editor Jean Moorehead Libs. who states, “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Dylan and Megumi’s trumpet teacher and mentor for seven years. Bravo to you both!” Both June winners will receive one-year complimentary membership in ITG.


March 2010 Winner: Lakyn Baker

The March 2010 Young Artists Award recipient is Lakyn Baker, a senior at Fayette High School in Fayette, Missouri.

John D. Perkins, who teaches high brass at Swinney Conservatory – Central Methodist University in Fayette nominated Miss Baker. Perkins stated that “Lakyn embodies all the ingredients of an outstanding young musician, is highly conscientious and possesses a unique determination to succeed.”

Lakyn is currently a member of the Fayette High School Pride Concert and Marching Bands, and the football and Pep Bands under the direction of Mr. Skip Vandelicht.

In 2006 and 2007 as a freshman and sophomore Lakyn held top chairs in the All-District Honorable Mention Band, attended the University of Missouri Mizzou Band Camps and was selected to perform in the Honors Brass Choir at CMU’s Brass Invitational Conference.

In 2008 after a rigorous round of auditions based on her performance of the Arban Conservatory method Characteristic Studies Miss Baker was selected to participate in the All-District Band and that July attended the Missouri Fine Arts Academy where she performed in instrumental music, visual arts, theatre, and dance.

Throughout Lakyn’s high school career she has received consecutive “superior” ratings at District Solo and Ensemble Contests and “excellent” awards at the state level performing works from Missouri’s Prescribed Graded Music List. 2010 marked Miss Baker’s fourth season as the solo cornet in the Regional Conference Band. During this time Lakyn also received the Underclassmen Band Award, Upperclassmen Band Award and the Award for Mu s ical Excellence at Fayette High School. Lakyn solos regularly at the Grace Fellowship Church and salutes America’s service men and women playing Taps on Veteran’s Day at all schools in her district.

Outside of her musical endeavors Lakyn is a member of the National Honor Society, the Math and Science Club and volunteers for clean up duty for her community’s “Adopt a Highway” program. Lakyn currently resides with her proud mother Rebekah Baker and siblings Dustin and Grace. In the fall of 2010, she plans to attend Central Methodist University with a dual major in music education and English. With that combination, a prospective ITG Journal writer may be in the making… Miss Baker will receive a one-year complimentary membership in ITG. Congratulations, Lakyn!

Photo Credit: © 2009 Anna Dougherty

January 2010 Winner: Anthony Bellino

The ITG is happy to announce that Anthony Bellino is the January Young Artist Award winner. He is a junior at Niskayuna High School in the Albany area of New York, where he performs as principal trumpet with the orchestra, the symphonic band, and as lead trumpet with the jazz band. Anthony plans to finish his high school experience as a senior at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Anthony began his trumpet studies at the age of four with his father, a professional musician and teacher. Since 2006, he has studied with Paul Merkelo, principal trumpet of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his performance experiences at Niskayuna High School, Anthony is the principal trumpet of the Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO), a position he has held since 2006. He won first place in their Lois Lyman Concerto Competition in 2007. As the winner, he performed Bloch’s Proclamation with the orchestra in their opening concert for the 2007 season. In 2008, he was a featured soloist with the youth orchestra in its annual televised Melodies of Christmas concert series. Earlier that year, Anthony won first place at the National Trumpet Competition held at George Mason University. His prize was a full scholarship to the Interlochen Summer Arts Music Camp. Anthony won a scholarship to the 2009 ITG Conference in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was a finalist in the Youth Solo Competition.

Anthony is a member of the Nat ional Honor Society and the Horticulture Club. He also tutors in the Kumon math enrichment program. He is active in his church’s youth group, and he has helped serve meals at soup kitchens, packed food at the Regional Food Bank, and helped with bake sales and other youth ac tivities. He also gives free trumpet lessons as part of ESYO’s community outreach program. In addition to his cooking skills, Anthony enjoys running, soccer, and ultimate Frisbee. Anthony is the son of Peter and Sunitha Bellino.

Anthony will receive a one-year complimentary membership in ITG. Congratulations Anthony!

October 2009 Winner: Eric Millard

Our June 2009 Young Artist Award recipient is Ansel Norris, a rising senior at East High School in Madison, Wisconsin. Ansel was nominated by his private teacher, John Aley, professor of trumpet at the University of Wisconsin.

In 2006, the Capital Sound Drum and Bugle Corps selected Ansel as “Rookie of the Year.” He received honorable mention in the 2007 Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and the 2008 Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition. During his junior year, he received an Emerson Award, a full-tuition scholarship to attend the Interlochen National Music Camp, and went on to play principal trumpet with the Interlochen Philharmonia Orchestra.

In November 2008, Ansel was a recipient of the Jack Cooke Young Artist Award “From the Top,” which is a non-profit organization that celebrates the passion, dedication, and personal stories of the nation’s outstanding young classical musicians. As part of this honor, he was featured on National Public Radio performing Arban’s Carnival of Venice.

This past February, Ansel performed the Tomasi Concerto with the Madison Symphony Orchestra on a Wisconsin Public Television program as one of four Bolz Young Artist Competition finalists. This year he will continue as principal trumpet with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra and in the Winds of Wisconsin, a premier high school youth wind ensemble. At East Madison High, Ansel performs in the Wind Sinfonietta and the jazz ensemble under the direction of Scott Eckel. In March of 2009 Ansel participated in the high school solo division of the National Trumpet Competition.

Ansel’s parents, Tim Norris and Katherine Esposito, are very supportive of his musical activities, and he is very proud of his older brother Alexander, a violin performance major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Apart from his busy music schedule, Ansel enjoys creative writing.

Ansel plans to major in trumpet performance and has an exciting audition trail ahead of him. As the June 2009 recipient of the Young Artist Award, Ansel will receive a one-year complimentary membership in ITG.


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