Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists

The festival proudly presents the 11th annual Rosen-Schaffel Concerto Competition for Young & Emerging Artists, known for the pivotal role it has played in launching the careers of some of our region’s most promising young artists. This year the competition, in partnership with the Hayes School of Music, expands its eligibility to undergraduate collegiate musicians to 10 states across the southeast: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida! In the final live round of the competition, presented during An Appalachian Summer Festival on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, a panel of distinguished conductors will choose a First, Second, and Third Place winner from a group of finalists selected via a blind adjudication process by esteemed musicians and collegiate educators during the spring. The competition’s audience will also select an Audience Choice Award winner.

IN-PERSON: Rosen Concert Hall, Broyhill Music Center, 813 Rivers St., Boone
LIVESTREAM: Available on the App Summer YouTube channel

DATE/TIME: Sunday, July 24 at 2pm

Event is FREE

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Box Office at or 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046.

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.


First Place: $2,500*
Second Place: $2,000
Third Place: $1,500
Audience Choice: $1,000

*In addition to a cash prize, the First Place Winner will also receive an invitation to perform during An Appalachian Summer Festival’s 2023 season.



Sydney Dayyani is a Taiwanese-Iranian student at Virginia Tech studying both Music Education and Professional Flute Performance under Professor Elizabeth Lantz. She received her bachelor’s degree this spring semester, and plans to pursue a master’s degree in education, as well as a masters and doctorate in performance with a focus on early music. Sydney has been a performing musician since the age of six, when she started private piano lessons with the acclaimed Thai pianist Anita Yuthasastrkosol. Her fascination with baroque music also began around that time. She started playing the flute at age 10, although she did not receive any private instruction until her entrance into Professor Lantz’s studio in the fall of 2018. Since then, she has come to occupy the position of principal flutist in both the Virginia Tech Wind Ensemble as well as the VT Philharmonic, and performed in the world premiere of Dr. Dwight Bigler’s 14-movement large scale orchestral work, Mosaic for Earth. Today she will perform selected movements from Telemann’s Ouverture-Suite in a minor, demonstrating both her love for the baroque period and for virtuosic, soloistic performance. 


Ashley May DePaola, 21, is a third-year undergraduate student studying piano under Dr. Dmitri Vorobiev at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She was brought up in a military family and raised primarily in Fayetteville, NC. During her time in Fayetteville, she became a member of the Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra, where she was both the principal pianist and principal flutist. She also participated in the Fayetteville Symphonic Band and played piano for many churches in the area. Throughout her college years, Ashley May has been given many learning and performing opportunities, including her most recent performance being UNCSA’s 2021 production of The Nutcracker. She has participated in master classes by several world-renowned pianists such as Alexander Braginsky, Arthur Greene, Alexander Kobrin, Marina Lomazov, Pavel Nersessian, and Joseph Rackers. Outside of piano, Ashley May enjoys playing flute, doing CrossFit, and most importantly spending time with her family. As Ashley May continues to grow as a pianist, she hopes to continue benefiting from the opportunity and privilege to work with and learn from other musicians who have mastered their craft.


Winfred Felton is a fourth-year undergraduate music major at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is currently in the studio of Saxton Rose, studying bassoon performance. His love for music came from growing up surrounded by church music and being fascinated by the many colors that can be found within music. Winfred’s principal engagements include performances with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, UNCSA Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, as well as the Winston Salem Symphony. He has attended and been admitted to music festivals such as Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Miami Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival. He is also a former student of the multiple Grammy Award-nominated bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann, with whom he studied at the Lamont School of Music. Next year, Winfred will be attending the Yale School of Music in order to complete his master’s degree in music performance. In his free time, Winfred is a voracious reader, poet, and consumer of all musical genres. 


Luca Kevorkian grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he began his music studies in 2004 through the social project “Bem Me Quer Paquetá.” After hearing a string quartet performance at the age of seven, he was quickly drawn to the violin and started taking lessons from violinist Carla Rincón. As a part of this music education project, he premiered works by Brazilian composers such as Edino Krieger and Edmundo Villani-Côrtes. He has performed as the concertmaster of Paquetá Youth Orchestra in several concert halls in Brazil and Germany, where, in 2014, they completed their first international tour. Luca has been awarded first prize in the 15th Paulo Bosísio National String Competition, Euterpe Music Club Competition, and the Chamber Music Competition of the 52nd Villa-Lobos Festival with cellist Miguel Braga. As a first prize winner of the 2019 North Carolina Symphony’s Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Youth Concerto Competition, he will have the chance to perform as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Luca has performed in masterclasses given by artists such as Leon Spierer, Ole Bohn, Koh Gabriel Kameda, Matt Haimovitz, Paul Neubauer, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Pinchas Zukerman. As a dedicated chamber music lover, he has attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival several times. There he had the opportunity to meet Professor Kevin Lawrence, with whom he is pursuing his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Luca is extremely grateful to all his professors and artistic influences who shaped him to become the musician he is today. Through chamber music, he hopes to be able to change other children’s lives as a community social project once changed his. 


Elisabeth Thomashoff started piano at the age of four. She has given concerts in the USA, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, and Estonia. Recently, she performed Shostakovich Concerto No. 2 with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and the Grieg Concerto with the PBA Symphony Orchestra. Her competitions include 1st Prize Ocala Young Artist Competition; Prize at Medici International Music Competition; Honorable Mention at FSMTA Concerto Competition; 1st Prize PBA Concerto Competition; 1st Prize at Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Salzburg, Austria; prizes at International Competitions “Citta Barletta” and “Euterpe” in Italy; finalist at Alhambra Concerto Competition; and Honorable Mention at FSMTA Concerto Competition. Elisabeth’s past teachers include Dr. Joseph Kingma, Kristina Miller, Professor Stanislaw Tichonow, Professor Vladimir Genin, and Professor Johannes Kropfitsch. She currently studies with Dr. Roberta Rust at Lynn Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Fla. 


Already a seasoned performer at age 20, Rebekah Willard, of Jackson, Tenn., most recently performed as a soloist with the Georgia Philharmonic in Atlanta, Ga. in February of 2022. Other performances and awards include winner of the Concerto Competition at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. (2021), the Gulf Coast Steinway Society Orchestra in Mobile, Ala. (2019), the Alpharetta Symphony Orchestra (2018), Alpharetta, Ga., MTNA for the state of Ga. (2017), the GMTA Concerto Competition (2017), and performer at the GMTA Conference (2017). Her debut as a soloist was as a winner of the Samuel Fordis Young Artist Concerto Competition in Atlanta, Ga., presented by the Georgia Philharmonic in 2013. In 2017, Rebekah was selected to attend the National Youth Orchestra (NY02) summer program hosted by the Carnegie Foundation in New York, where she performed in master classes for Pamela Frank, Daniel Han, and Paul Arnold. She has also had the privilege of performing in master classes for Stephen Clapp, former Dean of The Juilliard School, and Timothy Lees, University of Cincinnati faculty member. In 2015 Rebekah performed as a soloist at the Grand Ole Opry Stage and the Bluegrass Underground in Tennessee. She regularly appears in recitals, civic, church, and community events in Atlanta, Birmingham, and surrounding communities. In 2010, Rebekah began studying with Sonja Foster, a Juilliard School and Curtis Institute alumna. Currently, Rebekah is a junior, studying with Jeff Z. Flaniken, a Cincinnati-College Conservatory and Philadelphia College of Performing Arts alumna, at Samford University. Besides her passion for the violin, she is involved in ministry and has a photography business. She has been a recipient of the James Barnette Music Foundation Scholarship since 2010.