2020 - 2021 Winners
Leon Burke III (2011-2013)
Leon Burke III is a native St. Louisan, where he attended Mc Bride High School and John Burroughs School. He holds music degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Kansas. Burke studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Paraguay. Burke has served as Conductor/Music Director of the Lawrence Chamber Players, the Hutchinson Symphony, and the McPherson Symphony. He has been on the faculties of Baker University, Sterling College, Hutchinson Community College, and Webster University. Burke is an active member of Unitarian Universalists Musicians Network (UUMN). He served as a member of the UUA New Hymn Resource Task Force, which was appointed in the Fall of 2003 to create a new congregational hymn resource.
First Place Winner
Isabella Saldaña, 15 years old, has been playing flute for 6 years and is a sophomore at O’Fallon Township High School in O’ Fallon, Illinois. She studied with Dr. Mathew Allison for several years and currently studies under Dr. Shelly Monier. This is her second year as alternate with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and she has played in the OTHS Honors Wind Ensemble, OTHS flute choir, ILMEA band, and Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and was chosen as Piccolo for the 2020 ILMEA orchestra. Isabella also received honorable mention in SIUE’s 2020 Flute Day high school competition, earned superior ratings in Solo and Ensemble contests, and won 1st place for the Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Tuerke Concerto Competition in 2019. Aside from flute and piccolo, Isabella has been playing piano for nine years, taking lessons under Mrs. Amy Jo Sawyer and participating in AIM theory and performance tests each year. She’s also an enthusiastic plant-based cook and baker and runs with her school's cross-country team. She enjoys being a part of an FTC robotics team, her school’s Math Team, Spanish Club, and Marching Band, as well. Isabella would like to thank Dr. Shelly Monier, Mrs. Sawyer, Mr. Donahue, Dr. G, and Dr. Allison for guiding her to where she is today. Isabella is our First Place Winner of the Young Artist Competition and will have a recording of her performance alongside the ASO Virtual Concert on February 21, 2021. She will also receive a certificate and cash prize.
Yosef "Joey" Granillo
Deborah Fox Guild Winner
Yosef (Joey) Granillo, 10 years old and homeschooled in the 9th grade after aging out of the St Louis Region Program for Exceptionally Gifted Students (PEGS). He has studied the violin for seven years and is currently one of Joo Kim’s students. Joey previously won the runner up award at MMTA in 2018. He was very grateful to join the Alton Junior Youth Symphony Orchestra in fall of 2016, the Junior Youth Symphony Orchestra Chamber Group in spring of 2017, the Alton Youth Symphony Orchestra in fall of 2017 and through spring of 2020. He is now in the first violin section of the Young People Concert Orchestra of the Webster University Community Music School. His dream is to eventually join the St Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Besides violin, Joey loves math and is currently taking Calculus at Washington University in St Louis. He is also taking university-level computer science courses. Before the pandemic, he went to prestigious math camps, such as the Epsilon Camp. He took the SAT at 9 years old and his scores resulted in his admission into the Julian C. Stanley Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) at John Hopkins University. He hopes to attend MIT or a combined math and music program at Columbia University and The Juilliard School. Joey is our Deborah Fox Guild Winner and will have a recording of his performance alongside the ASO Virtual Concert on December 5, 2020. He will also receive a certificate and cash prize.
First Place Runner-Up
Jay Lipsutz, a senior at Parkway North High School in St. Louis. He began studying viola under Chris Tantillo three years ago and previously studied with Dana Edson Myers on violin. He is extremely grateful for the guidance they have given him. Jay is in his third season with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, this year as principal viola. He has played with the Prep Program at Webster Community Music School for four years under the direction of the remarkable Vera Parkin. He has also participated in CMS’s orchestral programs, including the Young People’s Concert Orchestra and Young People’s Symphonic Orchestra. In the summer of 2019, Jay went to the Interlochen Academy of Arts Camp and greatly enjoyed meeting new friends and playing new music with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. Jay has participated in the Missouri All-State Orchestra for the past two years and was principal viola in 2020. He has also been a member of the Parkway North symphonic orchestra on violin for the past four years, and greatly appreciates his orchestra teacher, Ken Rapini. In addition to music, Jay enjoys hanging out with friends and reading. His favorite subjects in school are English and history. Jay would like to thank his dad, Gary Lipsutz, for being the reason he started music in the first place. He will never forget the importance of the instruction he received from him when he first became a music student. Jay is our First Place Runner-Up of the Young Artist Competition and will have a recording of his performance alongside the ASO Virtual Concert on April 24, 2021. He will also receive a certificate and cash prize.