Young Artist Competition returns Saturday

Youthful performances open to the public at church in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Young musicians — singers to saxophonists — from across the region will gather this weekend to play the classics and compete for cash awards in the 37th annual Nico Snel Young Artist Competition.

The Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra hosts the contest, which is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. until noon Saturday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave.

Admission is free with masks recommended. Attendees can come for part of the event or stay the whole time.

They will hear youthful performers play live music of masters ranging from Handel and Chopin to J.S. Bach and Paolo Tosti.

Each competitor has chosen a piece up to 10 minutes in length to perform for the judges: Sequim pianist and composer Linda Dowdell, Port Angeles Symphony Concertmaster Jory Noble and symphony artistic director and conductor Jonathan Pasternack.

The trio will choose the winners as well as offer constructive feedback to each player.

“We’re very excited to be in person again,” said Pasternack, noting this is the first fully live competition since January 2020. Last year, he judged the competitors’ performances on videos they sent him and delivered his remarks on Zoom.

The participants in the junior competition, open to musicians 14 and younger, are:

• Violinist Amalia Bell, a Port Angeles ninth-grader;

• Pianist Amelia Jusko, a Port Angeles fourth-grader;

• Pianist Joshua Yearian, an eighth-grader from Port Townsend.

The senior competition, for musicians up to age 22, includes:

• Vocalist Liam Getzin, a college freshman from Port Angeles;

• Violinist Anabel Moore, a high school junior from Port Townsend;

• Alto saxophonist Maria Powell, a senior from Nordland;

• Violinist Aaliyah Yearian, a high school student from Port Townsend.

The winners of the senior contest will take home $500 for first place, $250 for second and $200 for third place. The junior competitors stand to win $250 for first place, $125 for second and $75 for third.

Anonymous donors and the Port Angeles Symphony board of directors provide the competition prizes, as they have done for many years.

For more about the symphony, which is marking its 90th anniversary this season, see

The symphony office also can reached via 360-457-5579 and


Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer living in Port Townsend.

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