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Young musicians to play Feb. 5 at honors recital

January 27, 2011

Photo of violin and musicSix talented young musicians will perform at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, during the annual Honors Recital.

They are the recipients of talent scholarships awarded by the NIU Community School of the Arts after a rigorous audition held in early January. The students each receive a prize of $250.

Ranging in age from 9 to 16, they are from DeKalb, Sycamore and Somonauk, and will perform works by Brahms, Bach, Haydn, Clementi and Vivaldi.

At the elementary level, an award was made to pianist Robert Carpenter, a third-grade student at Southeast Elementary School in Sycamore. He is the son of Philip and Madaline Carpenter and is taught by Marilyn Montzka. The second award was to Sophie Kennedy, a fourth-grade homeschooled student from Somonauk. She is the daughter of Scott and Anna Kennedy and studies violin with Ann Montzka-Smelser.

At the junior level, the winners were violinist Paul Cappaert, a seventh-grade student at Huntley Middle School in DeKalb, and cellist Baylie Petit, an eighth-grade student at Sycamore Middle School. Petit is the daughter of Tom and Megan Petit and studies cello with Linc Smelser. Cappaert is the son of Tom and Gail Cappaert and studies violin with Ann Montzka-Smelser.

At the senior level, the awards went to two Sycamore High School students, sophomore violinist Owen Ruff and junior cellist Aaron Brancato. Brancato is the son of Kathy and George Brancato and studies cello with Linc Smelser. Ruff is the son of Phil and Jenny Ruff and studies violin with Karen Weckerly.

The recital is free and open to the public. It is in the Recital Hall of the NIU Music Building. 

Money for these awards comes from the community school’s scholarship fund. Since 1993, more than 550 scholarships have been awarded to area students to pursue the arts. 

The NIU Community School of the Arts offers lessons, classes and ensembles in music, art and theatre. For more information, visit or call Renee Page at (815) 753-1450.