2023 - 2024 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
Aiden Moon, 16 years old, is a sophomore at Parkway Central High School. Before he began to play the violin, Aiden first studied piano when he was 5 years old. He started learning the violin at the age of 8 and currently studies with Joo Kim of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Aiden has been a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra for three seasons and is currently a participant in the Gateway Music Outreach’s Peer-to-Peer program, which works to extend classical music to underrepresented communities. He is also in his school’s Symphonic Orchestra and Tri-M Music Honor Society. Additionally, Aiden was a member of 2023 Missouri All-State orchestra and has been studying chamber music in the Preparatory Program at the Community Music School of Webster University. In his freshman year, Aiden soloed with various orchestras including the Town and Country Symphony Orchestra, the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra, and the St. Louis Civic Orchestra, as a winner of their corresponding concerto competitions. In the summer of 2023, Aiden studied at the Meadowmount School of Music under the direction of violin pedagogues Paul Kantor and I-Hao Lee. Apart from violin, he is a black belt in Taekwondo, enjoys video games, solves Rubik’s cubes, loves to read mystery books, and serves as the Vice President of his class student council. Aiden is incredibly grateful for the endless and dedicated support of his family and all his teachers.
Deborah Fox Guild Winner
Louis Chen, age 9, is a 4th grader in Kehrs Mill Elementary in St. Louis, Missouri. Louis started violin lesson at age 5 and has been a student of Joseph Kaminsky and Pavel Ilyashov. Louis was the 1st Place winner for violin solo in grade 1-3 division in 2022 MMTA State Strings Audition. Louis has been playing in String Orchestra and Young People’s Concert Orchestra at the Webster University Community Music School. Besides music, Louis loves drawing and playing tennis and soccer.
First Place Runner-Up
Zoe Baldwin, age 14 and a freshman at Clayton High School, began studying the violin at age four with Renita Luehrman, and currently studies with Angie Smart. Zoe was a member of the Community Music School's SO, YPCO, and YPSO, and in 2021, she was a YPSO Concerto Competition winner and soloist. Zoe has also been a member of the CMS Chamber Music Preparatory Program for the past two years. Zoe was a Young Artist at the Arianna Chamber Music Festival in 2022 and 2023, she also attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont. This is Zoe's second year in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. In her free time, Zoe enjoys reading, playing soccer, and hanging out with her friends. Zoe would like to thank her private teacher, Angie Smart, for her wisdom, mentorship, and constant inspiration. She would also like to thank Renita Luehrman, Davin Rubicz, Patrick Johnson, and the Arianna String Quartet for their guidance in her musical journey, and also her friends, family, and her dog Miles for their support.