For the love of music, the Music Guild of New Mexico supports, promotes, and encourages nonprofit musical organizations that will educate, enhance, engage, and enrich the quality of our New Mexico community.

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News About Our JMYAC Past Participants

Seth Zamora, honorable mention in piano, 2014, has been awarded the Larry McGehee Memorial Piano Scholarship at New Mexico State University for two years in a row.  He performed Prokofiev at our competition in 2014 and continues to be an outstanding NMSU student.

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The Golden Key Music Festival, dedicated to encouraging and inspiring young musicians for 16 years, continues its tradition of uniting student and professional musicians on the same stage. The winners, who competed with musicians from the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, share the stage with Beethoven interpreter Professor Stephan Möller, and with Gregory Martin, laureate of the 2015 Debut International Piano Competition, Third Degree, Senior Category. Gregory, from Farmington, NM, will be a guest artist at the Winners's Recital. He won the Jackie McGehee Young Artists' Competition for Piano in 2008 when he was 13 years old. You may visit for more information.

Jonathan Lee, 2010 winner in the JMYAC strings division, is currently the third chair cellist in the Dayton (OH) Philharmonic Orchestra and in the Kentucky Symphony. He is a junior at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Jonathan has performed at the Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall, Kitara Hall, the Sydney Opera House, the Mozarteum and Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt and in numerous concert series and music festivals including the Pacific Music Festival and the National Orchestral Institute. He has studied chamber music with members of the LaSalle, Johannes, and Ariel Quartets and played in master classes for cellists Robert DeMaine, Rafael Figueroa, Paul Katz, Wendy Warner and Hans Jorgen Jensen.Ilya Finkelshteyn and David Schepps have been his primary teachers. He is also a member of the Lyseon Piano Trio.

Donna Bacon is a freshman at the University of New Mexico majoring in violin performance. She has attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and was a finalist in the Jackie McGehee Young Artists’ Competition. She has performed in masterclasses for the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Szymanowski String Quartet, and Rachel Barton Pine. Donna won the Albuquerque Youth Symphony 2013-2014 Concerto Competition. She currently studies with Cármelo de los Santos.

Laura Steiner, as 2011 First Place Strings winner of the JMYAC, performed Romance for Viola and Orchestra by Max Bruch at the inaugural concert of the New Mexico Philharmonic in May 2011.  Her solo debut began with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony in January 2011, playing the Suite for Viola and Small Orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  In the summer of 2014, she presented a solo performance of Der Schwanendreher by Paul Hindemith with the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra.  In March 2015, Laura performed the Bartok Concerto for Viola and Orchestra as co-winner of the University of Alabama's Huxford Symphony Concerto Competition.Laura will graduate Summa Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in May 2015, earning a bachelor's degree in viola performance.  During her time there, she won a contract position with the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and was recently named 2014/2015 Outstanding Senior at the School of Music. Most recently, Laura received graduate school scholarship offers from Southern Methodist University, Peabody Institute and Eastman School of Music.  She has chosen the University of New Mexico, having been selected to receive an assistantship in music theory, as well as several other scholarships.  In addition to pursuing a master's degree in viola performance, Laura will seek additional master's degrees in music theory and string pedagogy at UNM, and desires to continue her schooling to earn a doctorate degree.  She would also like to teach both applied viola and music theory at the university level, as well as continue to perform solo, chamber and orchestral works.
Johnny Mok, a University of Alabama cello performance major, and 2011 Second Place Strings winner of the JMYAC, shared the University of Alabama's Huxford Symphony Concerto Competition honor with Laura Steiner, performing his cello concerto in February 2015.  This was the first time in the history of the Huxford Symphony that two co-winners were named--quite an honor for Albuquerque to be represented in this way at the University of Alabama!

Maria Vigil, our 2013 winner in piano, soloed with the Notre Dame Symphony recently. She has a double major, music and medicine.

Mario Bastea-Forte, cellist and 2012 winner of the strings competition, will pursue graduate work at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He will graduate from UNM this spring.

Gregory Martin was the third place winner in the Senior Category of the Debut International Piano Competition this spring. He won the Jackie McGehee Competition in 2008 when he was 13 years old.

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Ken Lien,
the 2014 winner in piano, is a junior at the computer-based Southwest Secondary Learning Centers. He is taking dual-credit classes at UNM and has been in the gifted program since fifth grade. Ken has taken piano lessons for 12 years and played in numerous competitions. He has played in the Federation of Music Clubs, the All-Star Recital for the Music Clubs, and the Student Honor Piano Recital. His hobbies include drawing, reading, swimming, and basketball. He received honorable mention for the Chinese American Museum and Chinese American Citizens Alliance in the 2011 National Art Competition. He also studies Chinese at the New Mexico Chinese School of Arts and Language. After graduation, Ken plans to attend medical school and continue studying piano.