Four students in West Virginia University’s renowned flute program in the College of Creative Arts swept several recent top national and international competitions. Another WVU student toured and performed with the Turkish/Greek Youth Orchestra this summer.

Tatiana Cassetta won first prize in the Great Composers Competition Series in the Art of Woodwind and Brass as well as first prize in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition Vienna. As a first prize winner she has been invited to give her European debut at the Metallener Saal Musikverein in Vienna, Austria.

A flutist, performer and educator from Detroit, Michigan, Cassetta is pursuing a master’s in music performance, studying with internationally acclaimed flutist and Assistant Professor of Flute Nina Assimakopoulos. She performs with the WVU Symphony Orchestra, WVU Chamber Winds, WVU Fife and Drum Corps, and is principal flute in the WVU Wind Symphony. Cassetta is also an associate teacher of flute and piccolo with the WVU Community Music Program and is president of the WVU Flute Club.

WVU students Mirim Lee and Alyssa Schwartz placed in the top three at the Golden Classical International Music Competition in both the solo and chamber music categories.

Lee, from South Korea, won first prize in the solo division and will be performing her New York debut at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, in March 2017. Schwartz, from Jamestown, New York, earned third prize in the solo division. Together, she and Lee won third prize in that competition’s chamber music division.

Lee also won second prize at the Mid-South Flute Festival Young Artist Competition this past spring, and Schwartz took second prize in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition Vienna and a first prize Helga Hulse Mozart Club Music Scholarship with an award of $2,500.

Both completed master’s degrees at WVU and are pursuing doctorates in flute performance under Assimakopoulos.

Angela Reynolds from Virginia Beach, Virginia, another student pursuing a doctorate in flute performance, was the winner of the Mary Ann Starring Memorial Award in the Sigma Alpha Iota Graduate Performance Awards competition. She was recently appointed adjunct flute professor at Fairmont State University, and is a member of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra in Tennessee. Reynolds also was a featured performer at the recent Vox Novus concert series in New York City and the Society of Composers International Conference in Huntington.

Doctoral student Eftihia Arkoudis, from Athens, Greece, was awarded second prize at the International Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition Salzburg in June and invited to perform with the Greek-Turkish Youth Orchestra in Greece and Turkey. She also was a winner of WVU’s Young Artist Concerto Competition this past spring and played as a soloist with the WVU Symphony Orchestra.

“All of these students have spent many hours in practice rooms and in preliminary performances during studio classes and on stage preparing for these competitions,” said Assimakopoulos. “Their representation of West Virginia University and our College of Creative Arts with prizes at such high national and international levels are successes to be extremely proud of.”



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