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Dear Students, Families, Faculty, and Friends,

Welcome to thirty-seventh Annual Awards Ceremony, and our second Virtual Awards Ceremony! This webpage is dedicated to all of the Preparatory students who have been exceptional representatives of the Peabody Institute through their hard work and talents within the past year.

Traditionally, this honor has been celebrated in-person with students and families alongside their instructors at the Annual Awards Ceremony, however this year, like last year, marks a unique opportunity to celebrate these accomplishments on a completely virtual platform. 

To all the deserving students of music and dance: while all of us at the Preparatory 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-Seventh Annual Awards Ceremony Program

2020 - 2021 Academic Year

Click the playlist below to view all eight Award Ceremony videos.

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, especially given the unique challenges of this year. These students persevered through countless obstacles and have excelled using incredible ingenuity and imagination. They 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 the Peabody Conservatory and Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, and the University of Maryland to institutes throughout the country like Yale, University of Arizona, University of California, and Rice University, 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. We hope that 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 very best!

Senior Performer

Our featured senior performer for this year's virtual ceremony is Henry Bushnell, cellist.

Henry began at the Preparatory as part of the Early Childhood program in a Music for Toddlers class. By the age of five he became a student of Bai-Chi Chen whom has been his teacher throughout the remainder of his time at Peabody. Henry has participated in countless competitions, recitals, concerts, classes, and ensembles, not just in cello, but also percussion where he was a member of the Tuned-In Program. Most recently, Henry was one of the winners of the Spring Virtual Honors Competition. His performance below of Edward Elgar's Allegro from Concerto in E minor is a shining example of his talent and time at the Peabody Preparatory.

In the fall, Henry will be attending University of Maryland College Park on a Dean’s Scholarship and School of Music Merit based award. Henry will be double majoring in cello performance and computer science.

2021 Senior Spokesperson

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 Alan Mao.

Alan Mao

Alan Mao, 18, is a senior at Towson High School. He has been studying piano with Dr. Hyun-Sook Park for 14 years.

At the Peabody Preparatory, Alan has also participated in number of chamber groups, ensembles, and took a variety of classes throughout his years and is a graduate of the Peabody Piano Academy. He has been selected countless times to perform in Honors Recitals, Vella Silver Recitals, and the Lynn Hebden Taylor Part Recitals, which for this year alone, was a winner of both the fall and spring Honors Competition, the 2021 Part-Recital Competition, and Runner Up in the Peabody Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition.

As a soloist, he has placed first multiple times in the MSMTA Miriam S. Gottlieb Memorial Piano Competition, Doris Chase Sonata Competition, and the Gertrude S. Brown Piano Concerto Competition. In 2015, Alan received first prize at the VI Chopin International Piano Competition, and in 2018, his chamber group Trio Spielen, with violinist Connor Chaikowsky and cellist Caleb Park, won the Misbin Competition organized by Levine Music and Washington Performing Arts Society. Last year, Alan was the 1st prize winner of the Concert Artists' International Piano Competition, 2nd prize winner of the Knabe International Piano Competition, Finalist of the Kaufman International Piano Competition, and Szymanowski Prize winner of the Kosciuzsko Foundation Chopin Competition.

Over the last few years, Alan has had the honor of working with ensembles including the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Wind Orchestra, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has performed throughout the U.S. in venues including Meyerhoff Hall, Washington National Cathedral, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Hall. For his excellence in piano studies, Alan was awarded the Victoria Gittings Prize from the Peabody Institute in 2020.

This fall, Alan will be attending Johns Hopkins University to pursue majors in biomedical engineering and piano performance.

Performance Awards

The Performance Awards are earned by students who have excelled on stage or virtually 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 Young Artists Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, and Youth Orchestra Concerto Competitions in recognition of these students’ outstanding performances in these virtual competitions.

Winner, 2020 Young Artists Orchestra Jr. Concerto Competition

Liana Kai, cello, was the winner of the 2020 Young Artists Orchestra Jr. Concerto Competition. A student of Alicia Ward, her performance of the movement Moderato from Concerto No. 1 in C major by Joseph Haydn was part of the Virtual Concerto Competition Day in November.

Winner, 2020 Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition

Lowrider James, tuba was the winner of the 2020 Wind Orchestra Concerto Competition, and is the student of Milton Aldana. Lowrider won this competition with his virtual performance of Edward Gregson's Tuba Concerto.

Winner, 2020 Peabody Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition

Anne-Marie Wnek, violin, was the winner of the 2020 Peabody Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, which was a part of the Virtual Concerto Competition Day. A student of Rebecca Henry, Anne-Marie's performance of Felix Mendelssohn's Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 was chosen among numerous competitors by selected adjudicators.

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 PYO percussionist Hwanee Pak.


The Grace Kushman Prize

This prize recognizes a student for their outstanding accomplishments in music theory here at the Preparatory. This year was unique, as we had two recipients whom the theory department thought were deserving of such an honor.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient is Heejee Lee.



The Grace Kushman Prize

This prize recognizes a student for their outstanding accomplishments in music theory here at the Preparatory. This year was unique, as we had two recipients whom the theory department thought were deserving of such an honor.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s other prize recipient is Cecilia Rosson.

The Elmer Reid Burgess Prize

This prize is awarded to the winner of the annual Preparatory Concerto Competition. This year’s recipient performed Felix Mendelssohn's Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 in the Peabody Preparatory Concerto Competition.

We are delighted to present this prize to Anne-Marie Wnek.

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 Madeleine Gray.

Madeleine Gray, Recipient of the 2021 Suzanne Seff Kuff Excellence in Teaching Award

Below are just a few excerpts from the students, parents, and colleagues that nominated her:

"She is an incredibly supportive and passionate woman whose students admire and appreciate her to no end. I hope it is evident how well-loved she is by her pupils and how deserving they feel she is of congratulations."

"She pushes me to do my absolute best and has always gone the extra mile to get me amazing opportunities. She is my absolute favorite teacher, and I always look forward to my voice lesson."

"Ms. Gray is the best teacher I have ever had. She expects your best but is always encouraging. She has helped me to become a much better artist and technician."

"Since her entrance through the Peabody doors, she has not only multiplied our enrollment in the Voice Department, but also has created a new landscape of cooperation, good will, and excitement among teachers and students. The competition for excellence has been maintained, but the competition is within the confines of the student’s personal growth to become the best performing artist he/she can be. As a teacher, I feel supported and affirmed by Madeleine, and this gives me pride in being a member of the Peabody community… She is both a leader and a team player… We are lucky to have someone of Madeleine’s passion, energy, vision and drive to call “our own.”

"Madeleine Gray has been an amazing voice teacher for my daughter. She is dedicated, compassionate and extremely knowledgeable. My daughter has always had a passion for singing… Ms. Gray encouraged me to start [my daughter] in her studio and that was the best thing that ever happened. Ms. Gray found a way to connect with [her] that helped her overcome such extreme anxiety that she started to show her skills… This nurturing, support and understanding lead [my daughter] to trust herself and trust her talent. She started performing better in studio recitals, but the greatest change was seeing that confidence transfer to school. [She] started taking chances musically, socially, and academically.... [My daughter] says that without her understanding and support she would not have continued with singing… Ms. Gray gave her the tools to trust herself and celebrate herself. [My daughter] will be continuing vocal performance at college with the hopes of attending a music conservatory as a graduate student. She would not be where she is today without Madeleine Gray."

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 94 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:

Anastazia Anitagrace, Cello

Jason Cox, Piano

Rohan Donley, Piano

Soren Fritz, Cello

Weiming Li, Violin

Aria McCloskey, Cello

Rika Noda, Piano

Hannah Wu, Piano

Intermediate Certificates

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

Sophia Chang, Piano

Weiyang Li, Violin

Miya Mese-Jones, Violin
Awarded with distinction

Hannah Shen, Piano

Hannah Turner, Violin

Jack White, Piano

Alexander Yang, Cello

Advanced Certificates

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

Ethan Chung, Piano

Heejee Lee, Piano

Shuming Alan Mao, Piano

Chloe Smith, Piano

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.

Preparatory Staff

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

Sherry Berlow, Academic Services Specialist
Berni Carrieri, Towson Receptionist
Michelle Feracci, Senior Accountant
Carissa Fowlkes, Registration Systems Coordinator
Ed Hinke, Senior Manager, Business Services Operations
Amy Killian, Towson Campus Coordinator
Charlene Morris, Towson Receptionist
Victoria Ritter, Education Manager
Julie Smith, Towson Receptionist
April Tune, Senior Administrative Coordinator