Music Student Wins First Place

WWU students compete in Musicfest

By: Becky St. Clair

Sophomore Jonathan Woodruff has been playing cello for 11 years.

Sophomore business administration major Jonathan Woodruff recently won first place at the 2009 Musicfest Northwest in Spokane, Wash.  Several Walla Walla University students participated in this year’s competition, and five brought home awards.

“I was pleased to find out I’d won the competition,” says Woodruff.  “There were a lot of other excellent performers there.”

Woodruff has been playing the cello for 11 years, and has competed in Musicfest NW for 8 years.  He is currently under the tutelage of professor Ben Gish at WWU.  Woodruff has a gold medal under his belt, and has played on the radio multiple times.  

“I have to admit, though,” says Woodruff, “that my first reaction was, ‘oh no – now I have to play again with a symphony in front of lots of people!’”

For the competition, he was required to play two pieces – one chosen for him, the other of his choosing.  The required piece he played was Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor.  The piece he chose for his second performance was the Hungarian Rhapsody by Popper.

The other WWU student winners were: Jared Hiscock, Romantic Class Silver Medal on piano; Alban Howe, Bach Gold Medal and Romantic Class Silver on organ; Lauren Williams, Pre-Bach Silver Medal and Romantic Class Silver on organ; Ian Field, Solo Level 3 Silver Medal on cello.

Woodruff won $600 for his performance, and was awarded the opportunity to play with the Spokane Symphony in Fox Theatre on May 13.

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