Talented Musicians Win Chamber Music Society Contest


Yanny Liang

Ruby Hogue ’20, who plays the viola, participated in last year’s competition and was the principle coordinator of this year’s group.

“Play always as if in the presence of a master,” Robert Schumann, the great German composer, once said.  A talented group of five musicians: Emilee Kitmahawong ’20, Caroline Odia ’20, Ruby Hogue ’20, Judge Sanchez ’19 and Anna Zhang ’20 heeded his advice and went on to win the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center’s music contest. The competition, which is exceedingly difficult since students from all over the tri-state area compete, gives winners the once in a lifetime opportunity to work with renowned musicians and perform at Alice Tully Hall.

Ruby Hogue, the coordinator of the group this year, participated in the competition last year with a few other classmates and found it an extremely exciting experience. She recruited some of her current classmates and the talented musicians she knew to participate in the competition this year.

It’s super exciting to be part of a concert with some of the best student musicians in the city and beyond,” Hogue said.

Kitmahawong, Odia, Hogue, Sanchez, and Zhang performed Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet Eb Major 1st Movement for the competition, renting a studio in New Jersey to record the piece. Spending long hours in the studio, the talented team worked to perfect their piece. In addition to high quality playing, the group worked to add an interesting factor to their musicality in order to make their piece stand out in the competition.

It’s super exciting to be part of a concert with some of the best student musicians in the city and beyond,” Hogue said.

Kitmahawong, the violinist of the group, recalls, “I didn’t get home until late in the evening, but it wasn’t just winning that gave us satisfaction; it was the fact that my partners and I learned how to cooperate with one another, even when we were all very tired and completely drained of energy. This experience taught me a life lesson, and I’m sure it taught the others as well.”

The team was ecstatic and extremely proud when they found out about their win. They were honored the judges had seen their music as worthy of being on the big stage. It seems their hours of effort had paid off. The group is set to perform Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 44 (First Movement) at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

“I hope that our performance at Alice Tully Hall will remind me that hard work pays off. The group effort was what brought us here,” Kitmahawong said.

Yanny Liang
Emilee Kitmahawong ’20, who has played the violin since she was four, expressed gratitude about her group’s win in the competition and was so honored that the judges recognized the group’s hard work.