Mounds View musician takes the stage during 2016 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Concert

Celebrating some of the country’s brightest young musical talent, the 28th annual Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program was held June 25 – 28, at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. There, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis, in conjunction with the Yamaha Band and Orchestral division, presented its outstanding roster of 2016 YYPA Competition Winners.

Among this year’s talented winners was saxophonist Justin Sales of Mounds View.

Underscoring the company’s commitment to music education, the annual YYPA program recognizes exceptional and emerging musicians in the jazz, classical and contemporary genres. The winning musicians demonstrated technical skill and artistry in a variety of musical instruments, including brass, winds, strings, percussion and piano.

The 2016 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Winners, from left, (Back Row) Paul Cornish, Federico Montes, John Paul Powers and Henry Solomon. Front row, from left, Justin Sales, Hyerin Kim, Ivy Ringel, Rebekah Ko, and Wickliffe Simmons (Submitted photo)
The 2016 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Winners, from left, (Back Row) Paul Cornish, Federico Montes, John Paul Powers and Henry Solomon. Front row, from left, Justin Sales, Hyerin Kim, Ivy Ringel, Rebekah Ko, and Wickliffe Simmons (Submitted photo)

The 2016 YYPA Winners include:

Justin Sales – Saxophone, Mounds View, Minn.

Hyerin Kim – Flute, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Ivy Ringel – Bassoon, Hillsborough, N.C.

Henry Solomon – Saxophone, Palo Alto, Calif.

Federico Montes –Trumpet, Colombia, SA.

John Paul Powers – Tuba, Clinton, Tenn.

Rebekah Ko – Marimba, Torrance, Calif.

Wickliffe Simmons – Cello, Atlanta, Ga.

Paul Cornish – Piano, Houston, TX.

These winners received an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend, which included workshops and clinics designed to help them to support their developing artistry, as well as launch a professional career. They also enjoyed global media exposure via the Internet, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in front of thousands at the annual YYPA Concert, on Monday, June 27, at Emens Auditorium. There, the winners shared the stage with world-renowned trumpet soloist and Yamaha Performing Artist Rex Richardson.

“Yamaha is deeply committed to music education and to nurturing and developing young musical talent,” says John Wittmann, director of artist relations, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “It’s tremendously gratifying to witness not only the profound impact made at the celebration weekend, but also the enduring influence this program has on many of these young musicians as their careers develop.”

The 2016 YYPA Winners join the pantheon of more than 200 talented musicians who have been recognized since the program’s inception. Many of these musical artists have established successful music careers, both as performers and educators. These include: Ricardo Morales, principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Alex Han, saxophonist with Marcus Miller; Otis Murphy, professor of saxophone, Indiana University; Conrad Jones, principal trumpet with the Indianapolis Symphony; and Aaron Parks, jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist.

For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, visit http://4wrd.it/YYPA.

Compiled by Sam Lenhart for Sun Focus Newspapers.