PORT ANGELES — The 37th annual Nico Snel Young Artist Competition returned to an in-person format Saturday, awarding cash prizes to musicians who came from across Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Violinist Aaliyah Cassidy Yearian, 17, of Port Townsend placed first in the senior competition with her performance of Fritz Kreisler’s “Praeludium and Allegro.” The high school junior took home $500 from the contest, which is hosted by the Port Angeles Symphony.
Alto saxophone player Maria Powell, a high school senior from Nordland, won the $250 second prize for her offering of a Paul Creston sonata, while vocalist Liam Getzin, a college freshman from Port Angeles, took third and $200 for his performance of Francesco Paolo Tosti’s “Non t’amo più!”
An honorable mention was presented to high school junior Anabel Moore of Port Townsend, who played the Allegro from J.S. Bach’s Concerto in A minor.
In the junior competition, open to musicians 14 and younger, violinist Amalia Bell, a ninth-grader from Port Angeles, won the $250 first prize for her piece, Handel’s Sonata No. 4 in D major.
Pianist Joshua Yearian, a Port Townsend eighth-grader, chose Chopin’s Waltz in A minor, and took home the $125 second prize.
And pianist Amelia Jusko, a fourth-grader from Port Angeles, won the $75 third-place award for her performance of J.S. Bach’s Minuet in G.
The competition, as in years past, was held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave. Serving as judges and giving feedback to each student were Port Angeles Symphony conductor and artistic director Jonathan Pasternack, Symphony Concertmaster Jory Noble and pianist-composer-arranger Linda Dowdell.
“I am thrilled that we were able to present our first live, in-person competition since January 2020,” Pasternack said after the contests had finished Saturday afternoon.
The prizes for the contest are provided by anonymous donors and by the Port Angeles Symphony board of directors.
For information about the symphony’s 90th anniversary season, see portangelessymphony.org, phone 360-457-5579 or email email@example.com.
Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.