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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

March 17, 2008
CONTACT: Edie Stern
Phone: 410-516-6542 | Cell: 410-913-0745

Winners in First Concerto Competition to Perform

Two Johns Hopkins University juniors, bassoonist Katie FitzGibbon of Rockville, Md., and pianist Ji Hea Hwang of Cheong-ju, Korea, have won the first-ever Hopkins Concerto and Aria Competition.

Their prize is a performance with the Hopkins Symphony Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, April 6, at 7:30 pm in Shriver Hall on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus at 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. FitzGibbon will play Carl Maria von Weber's Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in F Major, Opus 75. Hwang will play Camille Saint-Saëns' Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 22. Vladimir Lande will conduct.

The winners were chosen from an original field of 21 contestants, based on an application and audition. The judges were Hopkins Symphony Orchestra music director Jed Gaylin and HSO timpanist and musicologist Max Derrickson.

FitzGibbon, a neuroscience major, has played in the HSO since 2006 and is also a member of the Peabody Wind Ensemble at the Peabody Institute, the university's music conservatory. She has performed with the National Festival Orchestra and National High School Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. She has recorded with the Peabody Wind Ensemble and with the Columbia Union College's New England Youth Ensemble and Columbia Collegiate Choir. In 2004, FitzGibbon was a finalist in the Landon Competition for Young Woodwind Performers and a semi- finalist in the Maryland Distinguished Talent-in-the-Arts Competition. She has studied bassoon with retired National Symphony Orchestra bassoonist Linda Harwell and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra principal bassoonist Phillip Kolker. She is a 2005 graduate of Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md.

Hwang, an East Asia studies major, was born in Korea. She began studying the piano when she was 3. Since age 5, she has won grand prizes in the Hyundai National Music Competition and Cheong-ju City Music Association Competition, and the first prize in the Korea Times Competition. At age 9, she performed as a soloist with Cheong-ju Youth Orchestra. In 1998, she moved to the United States and entered the Juilliard Pre-College, where she studied with Frank Levy and was a recipient of the Relson Family Scholarship in piano. She won first prize in the Ithaca College Piano Competition, concerto division, and second prize in the solo division. She has given solo recitals and chamber music concerts at the Paul Recital Hall, Morse Recital Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 2005, she performed as a soloist with the Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra. She currently studies piano with Peabody faculty member Corey McVicar. She is a 2005 graduate of Bergen County Academy in Hackensack, NJ.

The Hopkins Concerto and Aria Competition was the brainchild of senior Hernan del Aguila, who wanted to give Johns Hopkins Homewood campus students a chance "to further their musical studies, gain experience in auditioning for professional musicians and receive public recognition for their work." The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students not pursuing a degree in music. Del Aguila consulted with fellow students, staff and faculty about his idea and created a business plan for the competition. He obtained funding through an Arts Innovation Grant from Johns Hopkins Vice Provost for the Arts Winston Tabb and Associate Vice Provost for the Arts Eileen Soskin. He built a Web site, supervised the applications and auditions, and is training another student to take over the competition next season.

Born in Lima, Peru, del Aguila grew up in Hurley, N.Y., and graduated in 2005 from Kingston (N.Y.) High School. At Johns Hopkins, he has played oboe in the HSO and its chamber orchestra, as well as the Johns Hopkins Wind Ensemble and the pit orchestra for the university's Barnstormers theatre troupe. He sang in the a cappella group the Vocal Chords and served as its music director. Beyond the university, he was a drum major for the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in the 2006 Drum Corps International Summer Music Games and is now a music and visual consultant for several high school marching bands. He will graduate from Johns Hopkins in May with a degree in international relations, earned in three years. Then he will pursue a second bachelor's degree, in music education, at Towson University. He has just been awarded the Johns Hopkins University 2008 President's Commendation for Achievement in the Arts. At the April 6 chamber concert, he will play Saint-Saëns' Oboe Sonata. Tickets for the April 6 concert are free for Johns Hopkins students; $6 for non-Johns Hopkins students, seniors (60+), and Johns Hopkins staff, faculty, and alumni; and $8 general admission.

For information about the competition winners, the April 6 performance, and all Hopkins Symphony programs, call 410 516-6542, write to hso@jhu.edu or visit http://www.jhu.edu/jhso. Digital photos are available upon request to hso@jhu.edu.

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