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Home > Col. George S. Howard Young Artist Competition

Photo of Col. George S. Howard
Colonel George S. Howard served as commander and conductor of The United States Air Force Band between 1944 and 1963. He was a student of Patrick Conway at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music and played clarinet in Conway's professional band. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and taught at the Ohio Wesleyan University, and later at Penn State University. In 1942, Howard was commissioned into the Army Specialist Corps, and in 1947 his reputation as a conductor led to a commission as leader of the newly formed Air Force Band. Howard was elected president of the American Bandmasters Association in 1956, and became an honorary life Member in 1984. He served as honorary life president from 1986 until his death in 1995.

Colonel George S. Howard Young Artist Competition

The United States Air Force Band's Young Artist Competition is open to high school woodwind, brass and percussion instrumentalists in grades 9 through 12 who are citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. Applicants from all over the country submit audiotapes of themselves playing a specified selection for their instrument. Finalists are then invited to a live audition in Washington, D.C. The winner performs as a soloist with The United States Air Force Concert Band. The current competition is open to woodwind instrumentalists. Click on the flyer below for more information.

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Photo of Young Artist Winner Leah Bandman2013 Winner
Leah Bandman
Burke, Va.

The United States Air Force Band is proud to announce that the winner of its 2013 Colonel George S. Howard Young Artist Competition is flutist Leah Bandman of Burke, Va.

Bandman is a senior at Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Va. She sits first chair flute in the highly acclaimed symphonic band, while having played under the direction of Roy Holder and Michael Luley. Bandman has participated in All-District Band throughout high school. She is also a part of a newly formed group, Northern Virginia Youth Winds, under the direction of Denny Stokes, and sits as the principal flute player. In addition, she plays in the school's symphony orchestra. Bandman has also served as piccolo section leader, and this past year was drum major for the Lake Braddock Marching Bruins.

The Colonel George S. Howard Young Artist Competition is an annual competition that began in 1994 and is named for the second commander and conductor of The Air Force Band to honor his many contributions to young musicians. The competition is open to all high school band instrumentalists in grades 9 through 12 who are United States citizens or legal permanent residents. Originally a competition for winds and percussion, it now alternates yearly between brass/percussion and woodwinds.

For the preliminary round, a panel of members of The United States Air Force Band chooses finalists from taped auditions. These selected finalists perform in the final round of competition that takes place at Joint Base Bolling-Anacostia in Washington, D.C. The winner then appears with The United States Air Force Concert Band at a concert in the nation's capital.  

Previous Winners

2012 - Evan Zegiel, tuba
Boca Raton, Fla.

2011 - Jordan Lulloff, saxophone
Okemos, Mich.

2010 - Alison Emily Miserendino, euphonium
Burke, Va.

2009 - Katherine Kohler, clarinet
Naperville, Ill.

2008 - Philip McPeek, marimba
Lafayette, La.

2007 - Beatriz Macias, flute
Houston, Texas

2006 - Gabriel Sears, tuba
Albuquerque, N.M.

2005 - Kristen Vanderschaaf, flute
Round Rock, Texas

2004 - Tihda S. Vongkoth, xylophone
Seminole, Fla.

2003 - Lisa Diane Snyder, clarinet
Mesa, Ariz.

2002 - Eric Arthur Roberts, percussion
Burke, Va.

2001 - David Ross, flute
North Mankato, Minn.

2000 - Nathan Lassell, percussion
Arlington, Va.

1999 - Mark J. Dubac, clarinet
Columbia, Md.

1998 - Timothy Dearmin, saxophone
San Antonio, Texas

1997 - Anna Wessler, flute
Yorktown, Va.

1996 - Ashu Kejariwal, saxophone
The Woodlands, Texas

1995 - Claire Chase, flute
San Diego, Calif.

1994 - Jessica Salt, flute
Vienna, Va.

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