Concerto Competition


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Lee Strebel Memorial Youth Concerto Competition

The CCO Concerto Competition is underwritten by:

The CCO’s Lee Strebel Memorial Youth Concerto Competition provides young area musicians the chance to compete, at the highest level, for performance opportunities and an honorarium to assist with their musical studies.  The competition takes place every two years with a rotating panel of judges.  In addition to competing for a chance to perform with the orchestra, students that compete are eligible for youth performance initiatives and masterclasses, and will receive valuable comments from the audition panel.

* The concerto competition takes place in alternate years.  The next competition will be held in 2022.*

For the 2020-2021 competition, we are pleased to announce two co-winners were selected in the Senior Division.  Daniel Zawel (trombone student of Ryan Zawel) and Joshua Jang (cello student of Zachary Sweet) will both be featured soloists with the CCO during our December 12, 2021 Holiday Concert.  Congratulations to both our winners, and to all the talented young musicians who participated this year.


Students who have not yet graduated from high school may participate in one of two age divisions:

Junior: Not older than 14 on the competition date, or attending Middle School
Senior: Not older than 18 on the competition date, or attending High School.

We invite applicants on piano, strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass, and guitar), woodwinds and brass (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, and tuba), timpani, percussion, harp, and voice.

Application materials from 2020 can be downloaded here (to be used as a reference only):
CCO Youth Concerto Competition Guidelines 2020
CCO Youth Concerto Competition application 2020

Please direct any questions to

How the Lee Strebel Memorial Youth Concerto Competition was created…

A fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, the Strebel Fund for Community Enrichment was created in the memory and spirit of Lee Strebel’s love of the performing arts. To carry on his artistic vision and legacy, this fund supports talented high school students, individually or through organizations, who desire to develop to their full potential through continued studies, with special emphasis in the performing arts. Additionally, this fund supports various organizations, including arts education in the Ithaca City School District, local thespian events, and other related community programs.  Lee lived his life fully, intensely and passionately. He aspired to be a stand-up comic, and enjoyed his art by making people laugh. Lee loved classic rock and roll and Broadway show tunes, particularly the Phantom of the Opera, which he introduced to many friends and family.

As part of a continued dedication to Lee Strebel’s love of the performing arts, various grants, awards, and programs will be supported and made possible through The Strebel Fund for Community Enrichment.  A portion of The Strebel Planning Groups revenue will be bestowed to this fund annually.

The Cayuga Chamber Orchestra is honored to carry out this very special legacy.


2020-21 Season

  • Senior Division Co-Winner: Joshua Jang, cello (Vestal, NY), student of Zachary Sweet
  • Senior Division Co-Winner: Daniel Zawel, trombone (Ithaca, NY), student of Ryan Zawel
  • Senior Division Honorable Mention: Wendy Allen, violin (Ithaca, NY), student of Madeline Schatz-Harris
  • Junior Division Honorable Mention: Joni Woods, cello (Ithaca, NY), student of Zachary Sweet
  • Junior Division Honorable Mention: Ethan Lin, cello (Ithaca, NY), student of Elizabeth Simkin


2018-19 Season

  • Junior Division: Crosby Woods, violin (Ithaca, NY), student of Kirsten Marshall
  • Junior Division Honorable Mention: Amy Feng, piano (Pittsford, NY), student of Elier Suárez
  • Senior Division: Sophia Werner, violin (Apalachin, NY), student of Linda Case


  • Junior Division: Daniel Wang, viola (South Windsor, CT), student of Melinda Daetsch
  • Senior Division: Gioia Gedicks, violin (West Hartford, CT), student of Teri Einfeldt
  • Junior Division Honorable Mention:  Prairwaa Madden, violin (Glastonbury, CT), student of Elizabeth Fay



  • Junior Division: Raymond Feng, piano (Pittsford, NY), student of Elier Suárez
  • Junior Division: Sophia Werner, violin (Apalachin, NY), student of Linda Case
  • Junior Division: Benjamin Doane, cello (Rochester, NY), student of Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott
  • Senior Division: Honorable Mention: Miranda Werner, violin (Apalachin, NY), student of Linda Case


  • Senior Division: Helen Wong, violin
  • Junior Division:  Finian Burns, violin
  • Honorable Mention:  Miranda Werner, violin


  • Senior Division:  no winner designated this year
  • Honorable Mention, Senior Division: Lizhou Sha, violin
  • Junior Division:  Sofia Tong, violin


  • Co-winner, Senior Division: Samuel Shuhan, bass
  • Co-winner, Senior Division: Marza Wilks, cello
  • Honorable Mention, Senior Division:  Louisa Womach, bass
  • Honorable Mention, Junior Division:  Helen Wong, violin


  • First Place, Senior Division: Emerson Millar, violin
  • Second Place, Senior Division: Peter Stammer, trumpet

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