Ouachita Baptist University junior Richie Blosch was named this year’s winner of the W. Francis and Mary McBeth Wind and Percussion Concerto Competition on Dec. 7. He performed “Concerto for Marimba – I. Despedida” by Ney Rosauro.
Blosch is a music major from Fort Worth, Texas. He received a monetary award of $500 and may be featured as a soloist with the Ouachita Wind Ensemble in the 2018 spring semester.
“It’s one of the greatest feelings to win a competition like that because it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the most talented, but it means the judges connected with you and your performance and they liked it,” said Blosch, who is a percussion student of Dr. Ryan Lewis, associate professor of music. “It made my heart feel so weightless and full of energy.”
Sierra Westberg, a senior instrumental music education major from Arkadelphia, Ark., earned second place for her alto saxophone performance, along with an award of $300. Morgan Taylor, a senior music industry major from Hot Springs, Ark., received third place and an award of $200for her saxophone performance.
Other students who competed include: Holli Barger (horn), a sophomore instrumental music education major from Carrollton, Texas; Cayli Campbell (trombone), a senior instrumental performance major from Texarkana, Texas; Danielle Schaal (horn), a senior biology major from Fayetteville, Ark.; C.J. Slatton (alto saxophone), a senior instrumental music education major from Paragould, Ark.; Ashlynne Turner (clarinet), a sophomore instrumental music education major from Burleson, Texas; and Blake Turner (trumpet), a senior instrumental music education major from Malvern, Ark.
This was the 13th year of the annual competition, which features outstanding Ouachita instrumental students. It is sponsored by Mary McBeth in honor of her late husband, Dr. W. Francis McBeth, former Arkansas composer laureate and longtime professor of music at Ouachita.
Pianists accompanying the students throughout the performance were Kristen La Madrid, Sunday Monroe and Elsen Portugal.