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April 1, 2024

Chamber Music competition highlights MSU best talents

Annual event features six groups vying for top prizes and “people’s choice” award.

Shining chamber music stars from the Michigan State University College of Music bring their talents to the stage this spring for recognition and prizes in the fourth annual Barbara Wagner Chamber Music Competition Showcase. Part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series, the competition will take place on Saturday, April 6 at 6:00 p.m. in Cook Recital Hall of the Music Building.

The six competing groups this year are some of the MSU College of Music’s top chamber musicians who will showcase their excellence in brass, strings, percussion, and winds. Competitors will perform before a live audience and a panel of distinguished judges for first, second and third-place scholarship awards, performance opportunities, and specially commissioned works. Judges for the preliminary competition included Steve Williamson, Brian Chin, and David Skidmore, and the final performance judges will include Nathalie Joachim, Melissa White, and Winston Choi.

The competition will last approximately 3.5 hours with a brief intermission in the middle and a short break at the conclusion to allow for judge deliberation. Audience members are encouraged to participate in selecting the People’s Choice Award from among the performers. Voting will take place after the final performance.

“There is a lot of buzz and excitement building up here about this year’s competition,” says Yvonne Lam, assistant professor of violin and coordinator of Chamber Music at the MSU College of Music. “The groups are all working very hard to prepare and we anticipate these performances will receive high marks from our visiting judges. And, with such a great variety of chamber music groups, our patrons are in for a unique concert-going experience.”

The six competing chamber groups that will perform are comprised of MSU College of Music graduate and undergraduate instrumentalists. They include Grand River Brass, a brass quintet; Proteus Percussion, a percussion quartet; Subito Majesty, a trio of clarinet, piano, and violin; Lunar String Quartet, two violinists, a violist, and a cellist; Quartet Fiume, a saxophone quartet; and Trio Melophiles, a trio of cello, clarinet, and piano. The top three honors will be announced at the concert’s conclusion, including the announcement of the People’s Choice Award voted on by audience members.

The chamber music competition program and concert is generously sponsored by Barbara E. Wagner and the 2023- 2024 Showcase Series is underwritten by the MSU Federal Credit Union. For more information about the competing groups and the concert, visit the Wagner Chamber Music Competition event pages posted online.

General admission seating is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (age 60 and older) and free for students. The event will also be streamed live from the College of Music’s website at chamber-music-competition-showcase. Information on this and other concerts, recitals and performances can be found at

This story originally appeared on the College of Music website. 

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