Stephen F. Austin State University

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Lubbock violinist wins first place in SFA's Schmidbauer Competition

February 27, 2015 - Robbie Goodrich
Top contestants and organizers of the 2015 Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition at Stephen F. Austin State University are, from left, Carolyn Andrews, Schmidbauer committee chairwoman; Derek Louie, second place winner; Dr. A.C. "Buddy" Himes, dean of the SFA College of Fine Arts; Fiona Shea, first place winner; Samantha Choo, third place winner; and Dr. Gene Moon, director of orchestral studies at SFA and director of the competition.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Fiona Shea, a 15-year-old violinist from Lubbock, took first place in the 2015 Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition at Stephen F. Austin State University.

As the top contestant in this year's piano and strings competition, Shea will perform the first movement of Khachaturian's Violin Concerto with SFA's premier ensemble, the Orchestra of the Pines, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

A valuable recruiting tool for SFA, the Schmidbauer Competition offers a unique performance opportunity for young musicians, offering prizes that include cash awards, scholarship incentives from the SFA School of Music and performance opportunities with orchestras.

Other winners this year were Derek Louie, 16, who is in his sixth year at the Juilliard School pre-college in New York, N.Y., earning second place, and Samantha Choo, 15, of Plano, who earned third place.

The Schmidbauer Young Artist Competition, an annual presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music, was established several years ago after George and Peggy Schmidbauer, California residents who founded Cal-Tex Lumber Company in Nacogdoches, made a donation to SFA specifically for fostering and promoting classical music.

The Schmidbauer Competition continues to serve as one of the highest benchmarks in the competition circuit and is a catalyst for launching successful careers. Past winners have continued their careers to perform with professional artists and orchestras all over the world.