The Rising Star and Fortissimo 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.
Fortissimo Will Mowry
Cheerful and hardworking, Will Mowry (age 13), studying piano with Becky Smith, has got a lot going for him! His dedication to studies has broadened his technical abilities, theory knowledge and helped him play in a wide range of styles. Becky says he is “up for anything;” he takes on challenging pieces that Becky suggests as well as bringing his own pieces to the table. Will’s love of music carries over to music making with his family, as well as coordinating and preparing a performance.
Fortissimo Quinn Raynak
Super musical Quinn Raynak (age 13) is a guitar student of Seth Burrows. A natural born rock star, she has participated in several rock bands, playing guitar and singing, as well as writing her own music. She keeps herself rounded by openly learning many styles of guitar. Best of all, Quinn is a bright soul that elevates everyone around her, bringing out the best in her bandmates. Her singer/songwriter aspirations are not far from her reach!
Rising Star Ryan Duarte
Ryan Duarte (age 15), in the words of his guitar teacher Kenny Hadden, is uniquely and truly “the primary driver of his own learning.” His passion helps him soar through his studies, and inspires him to go above and beyond, creating his own electronic music. He is not only a fast learner, but a diligent one as well. Ryan enjoys learning; he is always forward thinking, focused not on what he has learned but what he has yet to learn.
Rising Star Jonah Mandry
Drummer Jonah Mandry (age 14) is a student of Meshem Jackson. While he appreciates learning to copy that of other great drummers in his favorite songs, where he truly shines is his creative drive — he is always coming up with his own ideas. According to Meshem, this quality is part of the recipe for truly great and innovative drumming. Jonah’s hard work has paid off in the remarkable progress he has made!
Rising Star Sophie Dibble
Sophie Dibble (age 12) has made fantastic strides with her clarinet teacher Ali Bylund. She is inquisitive and naturally intuitive, and this nature directly contributes to her excellent musicianship! Sophie’s care in her studies shows in her great attention to detail. She always strives for proficiency.
Rising Star Rachel Burr
Rachel Burr, adult cello student of Jay Bednorz, is loving learning the cello! She is dedicated to her practice — especially learning new skills and techniques. Her consistent progress is evidence of her bring-it-on attitude. Rachel is especially driven to make beautiful music in the duets she plays with Jay.
Rising Star Kaylee Dildine
Kaylee Dildine (age 14) studies both voice and piano with Michelle Van Handel and is really blossoming into her musicianship. She personalizes the music she performs; she is never afraid to sing songs with her own musical inflection and style. Her consistency in practice allows her natural musicality to shine through. Not to mention Kaylee’s great sense of humor makes trying crazy new things a blast!
Rising Star Alex Renfors
Alex Renfors (age nine) is a bright violin student of Ginny Hollon. While he understands written music, his quick ear is his greatest strength. His ability to listen to, repeat and memorize a phrase gives him a great advantage. He also enjoys picking his own tunes to play. Alex’s natural gift is accompanied by an eagerness to learn!
Rising Star Oscar Clements
Oscar Clements (age six) is a talented piano student of Peter Brownlee. Oscar is dedicated to his musical studies and, as a recent winner in the CSM’s Got Talent Competition (Kindermusik category), he shows great promise as a musician. Well done Oscar!
Rising Star Elda Hughes
Elda Hughes (16 years old) is a voice student of Cullie Treichler with an understated elegance. She loves to express herself through song – she has an appreciation for classical music, and an affinity for singing in other languages. She always comes prepared and ready to work! Elda is truly committed to learning what it means to sing with freedom in order to best communicate the music.