Cascade School of Music Announces April Rising Star Winners

Avery Brown, age 13, has been a voice student of Stephanie Slade’s for about two years. Stephanie has watched Avery change from a shy little kid to a strong, confident young person. Avery is growing into her own and it really shows! In this year alone, Avery has been in two plays and a solo in her middle school choir. The song was in Latin, which needs to be sung with the vowels very uniformed and vertical. It’s a hard technique to tackle, but Avery was ready to do it! Stephanie is so proud of Avery and is looking forward to assisting further on her journey.

Sixteen-year-old Shea Miller has been taking voice lessons from Stephanie Slade for about seven months. Constantly surprising her teacher, Shea has amazing control and understanding of her instrument. Not only is Shea open to new ideas and techniques, she also does her own research outside of lessons. Hungry for knowledge, Shea is willing to explore every type of music — opera, musical theater, rock, pop, everything! Additionally, this well-rounded musician has also started writing, recording and producing her own music!

Stephanie Slade is the voice teacher of 16-year-old Ella Simpson. In the short two years that Stephanie has known Ella, she has grown so much as a singer, musician and person. Working diligently to advance her vocal technique, Ella is continuing to get more and more in touch with the way her body works to create her unique sound. Dedicated to her practice, Ella always comes to her lesson prepared. Ella even did her first classical music voice competition (solo and ensemble festival) this year. Stephanie is so proud of how far Ella has come and excited to see where she will go with her music!

Louee Elterman, nine years old, has been studying drums with Brent Barnett for about eight months. Brent has stated that Louee is one of the most naturally talented students he has ever had the pleasure of teaching. Her dedication to learning the drums and consistent practice is a tribute to her quick success! Louee is an auspicious listener and always has a great attitude during lessons.

Kwincy Ebner, age nine, has been studying drums with Meshem Jackson for about two years. Kwincy brings a very positive energy and cool style to his lessons — especially while playing the drum set!

Eight-year-old Sierra Hewes has been studying violin with Ginny Hollon for about a year. Since she started, Sierra has been mostly an online student. Despite the difficulties of online learning, Sierra is excelling in all of the following areas: enthusiastically demonstrating a love of music with a natural talent, listening to quality music, practicing regularly and asking appropriate questions. Another accolade to this student’s success is her wonderful family’s support.

Rowan Snider, age eight, has been a fiddle student of Ginny Hollon’s for about 11 months. As a beginning seven-year-old student, Rowan announced that he loves the fiddle and that his goal is to play The Devil Went Down to Georgia! Working with him toward that ambitious goal, Ginny has helped Rowan set progressive goals that will one day help him reach his ultimate goal of playing The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Throughout this tedious process, Rowan has shown independence and a drive to excel, working diligently to play patiently, slowly and precisely.

Julia Perry, age eight, is a ukulele/voice student of Amy Conklin’s. Julia puts her whole self into her music! In her year and a half of music lessons, she has proven to be dedicated to her practice, never shying away from a musical challenge. She sings and plays with such confidence and enthusiasm, it is inspiring. Born to perform, Julia lights up the room with each lovely melody she shares!

Nine-year-old Myles Wenger has been taking piano lessons from Amy Conklin for about two years. A kinder, more respectful young man, you will never meet. Myles comes to each lesson well-prepared, well-practiced and ready to learn. The joy that learning the piano brings to Myles truly comes out in his playing! Myles also enjoys playing musical duets with his older brother (who plays the violin) and together they share the joy of music with their friends and family!

Cullen Blackmarr, age 11, is a piano student of Amy Conklin’s. In the two-and-a-half-years of study, Cullen has practiced very hard and has made quick progress. Cullen has likely practiced in more states that your average 11-year-old. While his family was taking a road trip across the country, Cullen still managed to keep practicing on his electric keyboard and take online lessons. No state line or boundary is going to keep this kid from pursuing his music!

Georgia Boggs, age 12, is a piano student of Amy Conklin’s. In the past two years of lessons, Georgia has become quite the proficient sight reader. Reading the music is one of the most challenging obstacles when learning to play an instrument, but Georgia has progressed quickly due to her hard work and positive attitude. With a raw talent for musicality, Georgia feels the music from her fingers down to her toes. Her most recent performance of Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen brought a huge smile to every face in the audience.

Grey Anderson, age eight, has been studying piano with Amy Conklin for a little over a year. Grey loves to play fast, agile pieces on the piano. His teacher Amy swears that she has often seen smoke rising from above this eight-year-old’s fiery fingers. Grey is also extremely creative, often composing his own music! Passionately curious, Grey never ceases to ask many thoughtful questions during each lesson.

Matti Joy Puccio is the guitar teacher of eight-year-old Lola Mues. Lola has a cheerful and funny demeanor during lessons, never failing to put in the work to be successful. One thing that Matti Joy loves about Lola is her unique approach to her music. This is a quality that is very difficult to teach, but so much fun when a student can naturally portray their musical individuality. Lola’s slow and precise practice has resulted in a strong establishment of music fundamentals!

Eleven-year-old Delaney Hell has been a piano student of Amy Conklin’s for over three years. Delaney has proven to be a diligent, hardworking student, but, (like many other students) was a little shy about performing. The pandemic created the unique new opportunity for pre-recorded online performances, in which Delaney was willing to participate. After performing marvelously in the online recitals, and once things began opening back up after the pandemic, Delaney decided that she was ready to try a live solo performance. Showing off her hard work splendidly, Delaney conquered her nerves and performed beautifully, her teacher Amy had never been more proud!

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