WMU News

Music students shine at international competitions

June 21, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Two music students from Western Michigan University hit high notes at recent, high-profile competitions.

Tim Davis, a senior from Battle Creek, Mich., was recently selected as a finalist in the Frank Smith Solo Trombone Competition, one of seven solo competitions sponsored by the International Trombone Association. Contestants from all over the world entered the competition. Though Davis, 23, is still an undergraduate student, he was placed in the older division because of his age, pitting him against mostly graduate students.

A panel of world-renowned trombonists chose Davis as a finalist on the basis of a taped audition and invited him to compete at the 31st annual International Trombone Festival at the University of North Texas. Other finalists were from The Juilliard School, Cleveland Institute and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary. Only a first prize is awarded in the competition and went this year to the student from Juilliard.

Davis is a student of Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger, a WMU associate professor of music.

The second WMU student, pianist Wenli Zhou, of China, recently placed second in the 20th International Grace Welsh Prize for Piano held in Chicago. Zhou, who graduates later this month, also competed against students from all over the world. In all, 22 students competed from such leading music institutions as the University of Michigan, Oberlin Conservatory, The Juilliard School and Eastman School of Music.

Zhou is a student of Dr. Lori Sims, a WMU associate professor of music.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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