Six musicians from Manual performed on Louisville’s Classical 90.5 WUOL radio on Wednesday Nov. 26 after winning first place, second place and honorable mention in the station’s annual Young Artist Competition.
The musicians performed on the station’s “Lunchtime Classics,” a semi-weekly live radio concert series that takes place in the afternoon. The winners included Aemin Kim (12, MST, piano), Christopher Zhou (12, MST, clarinet), Maxwell Thompson (11, YPAS, marimba), Ted Kang (11, YPAS, violin), Megan Wang (9, MST, piano) and Emily Redden (12, YPAS, vocal). The remaining four winners came from Noe Middle, Kamerer Middle, Kentucky Country Day and home school in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kim won first place in the competition, which included a $200 prize. Thompson and Redden tied for second place, and Zhou, Wang and Kang each received honorable mention. According to Kim, performing for competitions are rather different than performing for recitals or concerts.
“I feel they are on another playing ground,” Kim said. “It is more pressure and it gives me kind of a goal to reach.”
The competition is in its eighth year, and WUOL Program Director Daniel Gilliam hosted the show that day for the students
“A lot of these musicians will spend their lives doing these kind of competitions for either jobs or prizes,” Gilliam said. “Our competition is unique in that we are the only organization in the region that has a goal of putting the winners on the radio, and making that experience a key part of the competition.”
Zhou believes every musician’s goal is to reach perfection, and to play as best as he or she can
“If I feel I have played the best I possibly can, then I have no regrets, whether I win or lose,” Zhou said. “Music is not really meant to be competitive. It is actually meant to do the opposite and bring people together, and that is why music competitions are so difficult. It really does put pressure on the performer to play as best as he or she can, and it really does bring out the best in us.”