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Dear Families, Faculty, and Friends,

Welcome to this year’s virtual ceremony! This page is dedicated to all of the Preparatory students who have been exceptional representatives of the Peabody Institute through their hard work and talents throughout the past year.

Traditionally, this honor has been celebrated with students and families alongside their instructors at the Annual Awards Ceremony, however this year marks a unique first, and with it, an opportunity to celebrate these accomplishments on a completely digital platform. 

To all the deserving students: while all of us at the Prep wish that we could congratulate you in person, please know that we are with you in spirit, and hope that this page, created for you and enriched by your achievements, provides a sense of pride to you and all whom you wish to share it with.

Thirty-Sixth Annual Awards Ceremony Program

2019 - 2020 Academic Year

Achievement Awards

Youth Achievement Awards

The Achievement Awards are the most personal of the awards we present. Each year we ask faculty to select students from their ensembles and studios whose work consistently and significantly stood out as exceptional. While the list may seem long, it represents fewer than ten percent of our student body. On behalf of individual faculty members who nominated these students, we wish to recognize them for their hard work and dedication this year.

Adult Achievement Awards

The Adult Achievement Award recognizes similar accomplishments as the Achievement Award but with an understanding that Adult students warrant recognition separate from our school-aged musicians. In addition to their musical endeavors, adult students must also manage their careers and families. Despite these extra challenges, they find the time to diligently practice and excel at their craft. It is because of this that we honor the continuing learners who work hard to pursuit their musical growth.

Graduating Seniors

It is a pleasure to recognize students who are graduating from high school this year. These students represent every facet of study at the Preparatory – from dance, chorus and orchestra to instrumental or vocal study and everything in between. Many have been with the Preparatory since they were young children starting in our early childhood program, creative dance classes or training choir, while others have joined more recently. Their futures show a similar breadth of interests and talents with plans that include studying locally at Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, and the University of Maryland to institutes throughout the country like Oberlin, University of Hawaii, University of California, and Eastman, to name a few.

Seniors - Whatever level of involvement you have had at the Preparatory, know that you have made important contributions to our school. Even though you may be leaving us, you will carry your experiences at Peabody with you the rest of your lives, whether you pursue music or dance in college or choose another career path. As you enter the next phase of your lives, we at Peabody encourage you to pursue your passions with the creativity and artistry that you developed within our walls.

Wherever life takes you, please stay in touch with Peabody and keep us informed of future endeavors. Congratulations again, and we wish you the best!

Senior Performer

Our featured senior performer for this year's virtual ceremony is Fiona Cunninghame-Murray who has been with the Preparatory since 2014 and is a student of Lenelle Morse. Throughout her time at Peabody, Fiona has participated in many competitions, recitals, and concerts, and most recently was a winner of the Spring Virtual Honors Competition. Her performance below of Johann Sebastian Bach's Adagio from Sonata No. 1 in G minor is a shining example of her culminating musical endeavors.

2020 Senior Spokeperson

In keeping with a longstanding ceremony tradition, we have invited a graduating senior to speak about their experience at Peabody. This year we are honored to have Keith Fleming.

Keith Fleming

Keith began his journey to Peabody when he was just eight years old as part of the Tuned-In Program. He has had a vigorous start to his musical career, which includes twelve years with OrchKids, where he was a Teaching Fellow, eight years at Archipelago, where he was a Project Lead Student Instructor, three years at Alpine Brass Band Camp, two years at Interlochen and two years at LA Philharmonic's Take a Stand Festival.

At Peabody, he studied with alumni and faculty, including Elijah Wirth, Daniel Trahey, Jarrel Garner, Peter Lander, Rachel Zephir, and Karen Seward. Keith has toured the country with the Tuned-In Program's educational trips which have included Detroit, New York, and New Orleans. He has also performed in numerous Peabody competitions, played in countless ensembles and took a variety of classes throughout his years, and was the winner of the 2018 Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition.

Keith will be graduating from Baltimore School for the Arts and will be attending the University of Miami in the fall on a full scholarship for Tuba Performance and Music Education.

Performance Awards

The Performance Awards are earned by students who have excelled on stage within the past school year. This award is unique, since a student must have had a notable performance in order to qualify. Each musician honored has invested the many hours of practice that go into creating an outstanding performance. We congratulate them for their accomplishments.

The Director’s Recognition Award

This award is given to the winners of the Peabody Preparatory’s String Ensemble, Young Artists Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, and Youth Orchestra Concerto competitions in recognition of these students’ outstanding performances, both in the competitions and in the concerts that featured their winning performances.

Winner, String Ensemble Competition

Alexander Yang, cello, was the winner of the 2020 Preparatory String Ensemble's Concerto Competition. A student of Alicia Ward, Alexander won the competition with his performance of the Allegro from Sonata in C major, Op. 40, No. 1 by Jean-Baptiste Bréval.

Winner, Young Artists Orchestra Concerto Competition

Taeyeon Park, violin, was the winner of the 2020 Young Artists Orchestra Concerto Competition, which was a part of the first annual Concerto Competition Day. Her performance of Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, NWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach was featured with YAO on the Concerto Concert in February.

Winner, 2019 Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition

This year was unique, as we honor two winners of the Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition, whose performances were both within this academic year.

Emmeline Murphy, oboe, was the winner of the 2019 Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition, and is the student of Victoria Ritter. Her performance of Theodore Lalliet's Fantaisie sur Martha, Op. 23 was performed with the Peabody Wind Orchestra in their December concert.

Winner, 2020 Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition

This year was unique, as we honor two winners of the Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition, whose performances were both within this academic year.

Angela Sieun Park, flute, was the winner of the 2020 Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition, which was a part of the first annual Concerto Competition Day. Angela is the student of Rachel Choe, and her performance of Jacques Ibert's Flute Concerto was featured with the ensemble on the Concerto Concert in February.

Winner, Peabody Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition

Miyabi Henriksen, violin, was the winner of the 2020 Peabody Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, which was a part of the first annual Concerto Competition Day. A student of Herbert Greenberg, Miyabi's performance of Antonin Dvořák's Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 was featured with the orchestra on the Concerto Concert in February.

Special Prizes and Awards

The Preparatory has established several special prizes to recognize unique accomplishments within the classroom and on-stage. These awards include a monetary prize thanks to the generosity of several donors.

Additionally, each year we recognize members of the Preparatory community who voluntarily give their time and expertise in ways that improve the quality of education for all of our students. These individuals went above and beyond to make significant contributions to our school.

The Richard Franko Goldman Prize

This prize recognizes an outstanding student from the Peabody Youth Orchestra. Mr. Ankush Bahl, Director of the the Peabody Youth Orchestra, nominates a recipient based on their overarching excellency and engagement in all facets of orchestral studies while maintaining a positive and encouraging attitude.

We are pleased to present this year’s recipient to the principal violist of PYO, Nathan Hoffman.


The Victoria Gittings Prize

This prize reserved for pianists of the highest caliber, who have shown dedication to their craft, and their studies while here at the Preparatory. This year’s recipient has performed in numerous recitals and competitions at Peabody, and most recently was a winner of this spring's Virtual Honors Competition. We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient is Heejee Lee.

A student of Hyun-Sook Park, she described Heejee as "the most diligent and actively performing pianist for this school year at Peabody Preparatory. As a member of Piano Academy, she has shown a great attitude, always prepared to perform, to contribute to the class discussion and to participate in a positive way. She is respected by her peers for a good sense of humor and a kind demeanor."

The Louis Cheslock Prize

This prize is awarded by our composition department, and recognizes a graduating senior who has established themselves as an outstanding young composer. We are pleased to present this prize to Aaron Lieberman.

Dr. Judah Adashi, Aaron's composition instructor, had this to say about nominating him: "Over the past five years, I have had the pleasure of watching Aaron Lieberman develop into one of my finest high-school composition students in recent memory. As his fantastic new cello suite demonstrates, Aaron is well on his way to finding what all artists strive towards: a distinctive, personal voice."

The Elmer Reid Burgess Prize

This prize is awarded to the winner of the annual Preparatory Concerto Competition. This year’s recipient performed Antonin Dvořák's Concerto in A minor, Op. 53 with the Peabody Youth Orchestra this past February.

We are delighted to present this prize to Miyabi Henriksen.

Volunteer Service Award

We are pleased to present this award to Rodger Perrin, of Perrin & Associates Fine Violins.

When the Preparatory went online, the Young People's String Program (YPSP) asked Rodger if he would be able to tune instruments for our young students. Rodger did not hesitate and stepped up immediately to help, offering our families the option of visiting his shop downtown as often as needed for free tunings. Rodger has also made his expertise available to our string students for instrument repairs as well as string and bow replacements in emergencies, and has found a way to still rent violins all while practicing safe social distancing. In short, many of our students would not have been able to continue their online lessons (at least not very easily) without his assistance.

Thank you, Rodger and your professional associates, for your invaluable support to the Peabody Preparatory string community!

Excellence in Teaching

The Excellence in Teaching Award was established to recognize the contributions of outstanding faculty. Every year, students, parents, faculty, staff, are invited to nominate an instructor that they feel has gone above and beyond. This year, we are proud to award Daniel Levitov.

Daniel Levitov, Recipient of the 2020 Suzanne Seff Kuff Excellence in Teaching Award

Below are just a few excerpts from the students that nominated him:

"He is a very good conductor and picks really cool pieces for us to play! In the past few years I’ve been in YAO I have learned so much and made really nice memories!"

"Dr. Levitov always encourages, teaches, and guides me through my learning and playing every lesson or studio class. He never lets me forget to recognize the good things I’m doing and gives me lots of encouragement along with teaching me how to improve my playing. He is not only an amazing teacher, but an all around amazing cellist. Both his playing and teaching inspire me to work at and become the best cellist I can be."

Dr. Levitov is an amazing teacher for every single one of his students. He is able to tailor his advice to each student based on their age and experience, but also based on their specific playing and musicality and their style of learning. He has an uncanny ability to recognize exactly what each student needs and then deliver it."

"I can say with complete confidence that my musical life today would be totally different without his influence. Not only has he taught me to push myself to look for new ways to improve as a cellist, he has given me opportunities that I could only have had as a student of his. He comes to every lesson with the same energy and passion to help us students improve, and I always feel as though he really cares about me not only as a musician, but as a person."

Certificate Awards

Each semester, the Preparatory administers playing exams for students working towards earning a music certificate. Those students who choose to participate follow a rigorously designed curriculum of repertoire and practical theory classes. The certificate program has three levels – Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced – with the requirements at the Advanced level designed to prepare students for admission into conservatory music departments. On average, one hundred students take these exams each semester, however with current events, the obstacles of completing their exams and earning a certificate were even more challenging this year.

The students below are being recognized for completing one of the three major level exams. Additionally, students who earn an average of 95% or higher are awarded their certificate “with distinction” for Elementary and Intermediate, and “with honors” for Advanced.

Elementary Certificates

The following students have completed the requirements for the Elementary Certificate:

Chloe Chang, piano

Audrey Chen, piano

Ashton Christo, cello

Francesca Christo, cello
Awarded with distinction

Eric Huang, cello

Sophia Liang, cello

Zoe Lilly, cello

Thomas Menezes, cello
Awarded with distinction

Nicholai Skaria, piano

Dinghui Xu, piano

Amber Zhang, piano

Intermediate Certificates

The following students have completed the requirements for the Intermediate certificate:

Liana Kai, cello

Kei Leigh Mese-Jones, cello

Lauren Rabe, cello

Advanced Certificates

The following students have completed the requirements for the Advanced certificate;

Florian Grader-Beck, violin

Nathan Hoffman, viola

Joseph Ali Unalp-Arida, cello

Special Thanks

We would like to thank a few people who have made the Preparatory great. This includes not only contributions made this year, but valuable service in the past, and the hard work that makes the Preparatory great for years to come.

Special Thank You: Janet Melnicoff-Brown

Thank you for all your years of service! Rebecca Henry, Strings Department Chair, had these kind words to write:

Janet Melnicoff-Brown has been an invaluable member of the Preparatory String Department for the thirty-eight years. Her influence runs deep, as over the years she has served as the former Young People's String Program Director, founder and Director of Camp Allegro (now Allegro Strings), and founder and Coordinator of the Playing Partners Program, which brought OrchKids students on campus for a preliminary experience at Peabody. It was her leadership that inspired and informed our ability to develop our Tuned-In string program, and her work in collaborating both with Peabody and the OrchKids, Twigs, and Bridges Programs in Baltimore helped guide us in our path to becoming a more diverse environment, which has benefited us all.

The faculty and staff will miss her warmth and understanding as teacher. She has the unique ability to understand the learning path for each child and adapt creatively to each individual. We are so thankful for the years she has given here, where she has mentored and influenced so many, and we wish her well in her retirement!

Preparatory Staff

A huge thank you to all Preparatory staff that make the Preparatory run smoothly behind the scenes:

Sherry Berlow, Academic Services Specialist
Doreen Falby, Howard County Campus Coordinator
Michelle Feracci, Senior Accountant
Carissa Fowlkes, Registration Systems Coordinator
Ed Hinke, Senior Manager, Business Services Operations
Amy Killian, Towson Campus Coordinator
Charlene Morris, Receptionist
Victoria Ritter, Education Manager
Pamela Stevens, Annapolis Campus Coordinator
April Tune, Administrative Coordinator