Cascade School of Music Awards Local Students

The Rising Star awards are for students who have been nominated by their teachers for showing talent, effort, achievement and great promise as musicians due to perseverance and commitment to their craft.

Crystal Phelps is an adult cello player studying under Jay Bednorz. Finding balance between work and practice, she has shown serious dedication towards triumphing over her challenges and moving on to the next one. In the words of her teacher, Crystal has an unflappable spirit and is “always game to try new things.” Crystal was also a brave participant in CSM’s first-ever online recital and performed valiantly!

Cellist Kaia Chopra (age 13) is a student of Jay Bednorz. She always comes to lessons with a great attitude and makes the most of them; she never fails to analyze her music beforehand, as well as while playing, to apply her musical knowledge. Kaia is quickly able to master tricky counting and has proven to excel at sightreading. Most importantly, she knows how to have fun with music!

Lucas Sproba (age 16) is a stellar piano student of Matti Joy Puccio. Having an insatiable appetite for music, he constantly goes out of his way to find new pieces to learn and transpose. His dedication to learning new music knows no bounds, and continues to surprise us. Matti says, “Lucas is one of my most self-led students when it comes to learning piano.” Way to go Lucas!

Eli Groves (age 16) studies piano with Matti Joy Puccio and continues to impress. She is incredibly expressive and brings life to the music she plays, even writing story driven poetry on top of her already amazing piano performance. Her determination to master the piano shines brightly, and we know she has a bright future ahead of her.

Outgoing Aria Schnepf (age 14) is a guitar student of Matti Joy Puccio who shows dedication and ambition to her craft. She routinely composes weekly songs to bring to the school, showing her deep love for songwriting. It is clear that, with music playing a large part in Aria’s life, she is always gives 110 percent. Her diligence is infectious!

Ayana Martin (age 15), violin student of Sharon Schwatka, is a persistent and quick learner. No matter what Sharon throws her way, Ayana quickly adapts and adds it to her growing repertoire. Her positive attitude positively helps her in her practice — every mistake is just an opportunity to learn in grow. We are thrilled to support Ayana in her musical journey.

Cate Humphrey (age 15) is a marvelous drum student who studies under Meshem Jackson. She has mastered the art of good old-fashioned practice to overcome her obstacles and quickly grow as an ensemble musician. Recently playing at Bend Roots Revival in part with CSM’s own Academy Blue Percussion, Cate’s strong natural rhythm served the ensemble well. She continues to amaze us with her dedication.

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