2019 Young Soloist Competition Finalists

Congratulations to our 2019 Young Soloist Competition Finalists!

These finalists will be performing in the final round of our 2019 competition on February 10, 2019 from 2-5 p.m. in Aasen-Hull Hall (190) at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance. The event is free and open to the public. Scroll down to meet our contestants!

Junior Division

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Derek Choi, violin
(Age 12)

Sarasate: Introduction and Tarantella, Op. 43

Derek is in 7th grade at Arts & Communication Magnet Academy. He started studying piano and classical guitar at the age of 6, and violin at the age of 8 with Hae-jin Kim. He played in MYS Vivaldi Strings for one season then joined the Portland Youth Philharmonic, playing in the Young String Ensemble as assistant concertmaster, then advanced to Conservatory Orchestra the next season, and is currently a first violin in PYP. Derek is a finalist for the American String Teachers Association of Oregon 2018 Solo Competition, and has been a winner at Oregon Music Teachers’ Association Classical, Romantic, and Ensemble Festivals 2015-2018 including the Trula Whelan Concerto Competition. Derek also has experiences in playing chamber music, having performed at the University of Portland Chamber Music Camp, Portland Summer Ensemble at Marylhurst University, and Haystack Chamber Music Camp at Portland State University. When not playing music, Derek is interested in drawing and modern designs.

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Yooeun Kang, cello

(Age 11)

Golterman: Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 30, I. Allegro moderato

Yooeun Kang is an 11-year-old student at Stoller Middle School. She started cello at the age of eight years old and currently studies with Hyun-jin Kim. She has been part of the Portland Youth Philharmonic Young String Ensemble for two years. She has also studied piano for five years.


Kaellen Lee, cello
(Age 13)

Lalo: Cello Concerto in D Minor, I. Prelude, lento – Allegro maestoso

Kaellan Lee is a 13-year-old 8th grader at Spencer Butte Middle School in Eugene, Oregon. He started playing the cello at the age of five with Community Music Institute at the University of Oregon. He currently studies with Ms. Eun-Ju Lee, and participates in the Youth Symphony of Eugene Springfield Youth Orchestras (ESYO). He attended the String Quartet Academy of Delgani String Quartet in Summer 2018. He also played the alto saxophone for 2 years in the school band.
Kaellan is a volunteer cellist at the Cascade Manor retirement home and performed at a community event with fellow volunteer musicians of the Ambassador Musician Program (AMP) of ESYO. Kaellan enjoys hiking, playing tennis, cooking, and hanging out with friends while playing video games.


Angela Rose Padula, cello
(Age 11)

Boccherini: Concerto in B-Flat Major, I. Allegro moderato

Angela Rose Padula began playing cello at age 7. After moving to the Portland area this past summer, she began studying with Hamilton Cheifetz. Prior to this, Angela Rose studied with Andrew Cook at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, receiving highest scores on juries and performing in Honors recitals. With her first teacher, Alita Rhodes, Angela Rose received the highest score in the country for her level in the Royal Conservatory of Music assessment program, receiving a gold medal and performing in a Festival of Excellence at USC. Angela Rose has played in a string trio with her brothers for 5 years, performing as an Honors Group with Junior Chamber Music of LA, and receiving second place in Classics Alive Competition. The trio also have a Celtic style fiddle band, Three for Joy.


Sadie Wang, cello
(Age 11)

Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, III. Allegro molto

Sadie Wang is a fifth grader at Jacob Wismer Elementary School in Portland Oregon. A student of Hyun-Jin Kim, Sadie began playing cello at age 8. After just over 9 months of learning cello, she received first place in the 2017 Oregon Cello Society Scholarship audition. Sadie has participated in a solo master class with Jeffrey Butler in June 2018 and she was selected for the live audition round of the MetroArts Inc. 25th Young Artists Debut Competition. Sadie is the First Place Winner of the 2018 American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music and she will perform at the Carnegie Hall in New York City on March 31, 2019.

Sadie joined the Portland Youth Philharmonic Young String Ensemble in 2017, and was selected as the Principal Cellist and a member of the PYP Young String Ensemble String Quartet. She is currently a member of Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra.

Senior Division


Iris Fu, flute
(Age 16)

Hüe: Fantaisie

Biography and Photograph Forthcoming.


Trinity Goff, piano
(Age 17)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 - I. Allegro

Trinity Goff began piano lessons at the age of three and is currently studying under Dr. Jean-David Coen of Willamette University. Her most recent awards include second place at the Wiscarson Young Musicians’ Concerto Competition, second place at the Donna and David Eason State Scholarship Competition, and first place in the Gibbens Family Scholarship Competition. She has been a winner in many OMTA State Festivals, and in 2017 she passed with distinction the highest level of OMTA Syllabus. In 2018, she attended the John Perry Academy of Music Summer Festival. Trinity has had masterclasses and lessons from renowned teachers John Perry, Sasha Starcevich, Gregg Pauley, and Andrew Park. Besides playing the piano, Trinity enjoys playing the organ, composing, reading, and watching baseball.


Michael Gu, piano
(Age 14)

Schumann: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54 - I. Allegro affetuoso

Biography and Photograph Forthcoming.


Jacob Nenow, piano
(Age 14)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 - III. Rondo – Allegro

Jacob Nenow has been playing piano for seven years and has studied the last two years with Dr. Renato Fabbro. He was the 2018 Oregon MTNA Junior Piano Division winner. Jacob also won first prize in the 2018 Portland Steinway & Sons Junior Piano Competition and the 2018 OMTA Suzanne Raines Junior Scholarship Award Competition. He was runner-up in the 2018 Central Oregon Symphony Association Young Artists Competition and will perform a concerto with the symphony in February 2019. Jacob also attended the 2018 Seattle Piano Institute Camp and had a master class with Dr. Robin McCabe. In 2017 he won first prize in the OFMC Suzanne Raines Young Pianists Scholarship Competition and the Spokane Junior Piano Competition in both the Classical Division and the Contemporary Division.

Jacob is in 8th grade, from Portland, Oregon and loves math, science, composing music, and distance running.


Morgan Paige, soprano
(Age 21)

Offenbach: “Les oiseaux dans la charmille”

Bernstein: “Glitter and Be Gay”

Morgan Paige is a senior vocal performance major at the University of Oregon. She is originally from Oak Park, California, and has been singing since she was a little girl. While she has always had a passion for performing and musical theater, she has discovered a new passion for opera and classical music in college. She has performed the role of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with the UO Opera ensemble, and will be performing the role of Olympia in the UO Opera ensemble’s production of Les contes d’Hoffmann this February. She is extremely honored to be in the finals of the 2019 OMP Young Soloist Competition and will be performing “Les oiseaux dans la charmille” from Jacques Offenbach’s Les contes d'Hoffmann, and “Glitter and Be Gay” from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.


Nate Strothkamp, violin
(Age 15)

Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

Nate Strothkamp is a fifteen year-old violinist from Portland, Oregon. He began playing violin at age five and now studies with Carol Sindell and plays in the Portland Youth Philharmonic and Camerata orchestra. The runner-up in the 2016-17 state-level MTNA Junior Performance Competition, Nate has also had the chance to play his music for renowned artists such as Carol Sindell, Hamilton Cheifetz, Ida Kavafian, Bella Hristova, Charlie Castleman, Janet Guggenheim, and others. His love of chamber music grew immensely when he attended the Castleman Quartet Program in Fredonia, NY during the summer of 2018. In August 2018, Nate was named a semi-finalist and ambassador in the nationwide Classics Alive Young Artists Competition. Additionally, Nate competed in the 2018-19 state-level MTNA Senior Performance Competition and received an honorable mention. Nate was recently selected to participate in the 2019 NAfME All-Northwest orchestra. He also enjoys running cross-country and track, academics, and pursuing social justice through his work teaching music to economically disadvantaged children.


Jenny Yu, piano
(Age 17)

Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16 - III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato – Quasi presto – Andante maestoso

Jenny Yu is currently a senior at West Linn High School. She currently studies with Mark Westcott, having previously studied with Dr. Jean-David Coen and Elizabeth Stern. In the past, she has won the 2017 MetroArts Young Artists Debut competition, the Trula Whelan Concerto competition twice, the Eleanore East and Edward G. Michaels scholarship competition, and was named honorable mention in the Chris Tapang Scholarship Competition, as well as many state festivals. Aside from piano, Jenny is also a member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic as a violinist and currently studies with Carol Sindell.

At school, Jenny has been the concertmaster of her school's Symphony for two consecutive years, and is the founder and president of her school's East Asian Pacific Coalition. Jenny is also a competitive solo ice dancer, currently holds four national titles, and is the vice president of her skating club's junior board.