Each year Yamaha Corporation’s Young Artist Services and Band and Orchestra Division honor and encourage young musicians through the Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition. Competitors submit recordings and supporting material, which are evaluated by a panel of Yamaha performing artists and celebrity musicians. Nine winners receive an all-expense paid trip to YYPA Celebration Weekend. Held June 20-23 this year, the weekend included rehearsals, master classes, social events, and workshops focused on how to establish and maintain a career in music. It culminated with a concert at Emens Auditorium, Ball State University, which kicked-off Yamaha’s Music for All Summer Symposium.
This year’s YYPA winners include: Michael Alampi (flute) Glen Ridge, New Jersey; Graeme Johnson (clarinet) Austin, Texas; Stuart Englehart (bassoon) Olmsted Falls, Ohio; Patrick Bartley, Jr., (saxophone) Hollywood, Florida; Braden Waddell (trumpet) Graham, Washington; Zachary Grass (tuba) Waynesboro, Pennsylvania; Misaki Nakamichi (drum set) Osaka, Japan; Kyle Price (cello) Worthington, Ohio; and Jae Young Kim (piano) Seoul, South Korea.
The YYPA Program underscores Yamaha’s commitment to music education and recognizes exceptional emerging jazz, classical, and contemporary musicians. This year’s featured artist was saxophonist, composer, and educator Jeff Coffin. The three-time Grammy winner and bandleader presents music clinics nationwide. Many past YYPA winners have gone on to successful careers in the music industry, including Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) member and The Philadelphia Orchestra principal clarinet Ricardo Morales, as well as Local 33 (Tucson, AZ) member and Tucson Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Conrad Jones.