Penny Turner Young Artist Award

First ever IWBC Penny Turner Young Artist Award selected!

Earlier this spring applications were accepted for the first annual Penny Turner Young Artist Award, a scholarship competition created by IWBC Board Member Ginger Turner in honor of her late mother, Penny Turner. Ginger says of her inspiration to create the award:

My Mom played the cornet growing up and was a band director for a few years. She never experienced anything like IWBC in her youth and she thought it was the coolest. We always tried to get her to a conference but her health and my schedule never made it happen. She was able to attend a number of the Baltimore Holiday Brass Concerts and really enjoyed the music and the community created through that experience. I thought a scholarship in her name would help keep her connected to the organization that she so loved.”

The competition is open to all female brass players between the ages of 12-18; their music teachers or private instructors may nominate competitors. After review of the applicants by a select committee, Brigit Johnson, a euphonium player from Santa Fe, New Mexico was selected as the winner.

Brigit Johnson began her musical career by studying piano at 6 years old, and then starting the euphonium at 11 years old. During her freshman year of high school she joined her school’s marching band, the Santa Fe High School Demon Pride Band, and went on to become drum major beginning in her sophomore year. During her time with the Demon Pride Band she participated in the District 4 Honor Band and Southwest Honor Band, in addition to being chosen for the New Mexico All-State Band three times, and the NAfME All-National Honor Band three times. Brigit has studied under Laura Eberhardt, William Waag, Robert Chrisman, and Kevin Wass. For the 2018 school year she will be a rising senior at Santa Fe High School, and hopes to major in music education in college.

The nomination letter from Brigit’s private instructor, Laura Eberhardt, details her dedication to music:

Brigit has consistently received superior and excellent ratings at the District Solo and Ensemble Festival, beginning her 6th grade year after playing for 6 months. The last two years she received the “Best in Room” plaque performing college level repertoire.

As well, Brigit has made numerous honor bands, including District 4 Honor Band, New Mexico All-State, Southwest Honor Band, the Fort Lewis College Select Band Clinic, and the NAfME National Honor Band. This year she placed first chair in the New Mexico All-State Symphonic Band.

Brigit is also a committed member of the community music scene. She plays trombone in the Santa Fe Youth Symphony, and euphonium in the Santa Fe Concert Band and High Desert Winds. The Concert Band and High Desert Winds are both primarily comprised of adults, and I am always impressed with Brigit’s poise and maturity when playing with adults. Even at a young age, she understands that music can blossom into a lifelong pursuit.

Brigit has received a $400 gift certificate from Dillon Music and a one-year membership to the International Women’s Brass Conference.

Congratulations Brigit – we wish you continued success and hope to see you at our 2019 conference in Arizona!