The Winners

Young Artist Competition

Mesabi Symphony Orchestra conducts a young artist competition in the spring of every year. Music students of high school and college age through age 25 are eligible to apply if they are US residents living with 130 miles of Virginia, Minnesota. Vocal, instrumental, and piano students may apply.

The application process entails submission of a digital recording, followed by an in-person audition before a panel of judges. Only the most qualified applicants are chosen to participate in the live auditions.

The two winners then perform with the orchestra at its October concert.

The winners of the 2018 competition are Emily Holter, soprano, a student at University of Minnesota – Duluth, and Emily VerWay, piano, a student at University of Wisconsin – Superior.

Emily VerWay

Emily VerWay, Pianist

Emily VerWay, pianist, will perform Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major–1. Allegramente (Virginia only).

Ms. VerWay is originally from Inver Grove Heights, MN and is now a senior at University of Wisconsin—Superior pursuing degrees in Business Management and Music. She began to play at age 7 and is currently in the studio of Dr. Hector Landa. Previous teachers include Dr. Beth Gilbert and Christine Wolf. Emily especially enjoys playing repertoire off the beaten path and is always up for playing anything with a beautiful melody. She competed in MMTA competitions throughout high school, won the competition her senior year, and performed in the winner’s recital that same year. She also teaches children in the Superior area as well as accompanying at UWS and playing for worship at Faith Baptist Church in Hermantown and First Calvary Baptist Church in Inver Grove Heights. Emily also plays on the UWS volleyball team in the setter position. She is a 3-time captain for the team and has achieved various awards including UMAC Rookie of the Year and is a 3-time 1st team all-conference honor recipient. During her free time, you can usually find Emily grabbing some ice cream with her friends.

Emily Holter, Soprano

Emily Holter, soprano, will perform two songs.

  • “Giunse alfin il momento…Deh vieni, non tardar” from Le nozze di Figaro -W.A. Mozart
  • Il bacio -Luigi Arditi

Ms. Holter is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She has been quite involved in the UMD vocal ensembles, including Chamber Singers, University Singers, Opera Studio, Vocal Jazz, and Cabaret. She has tutored music theory, ear training, and piano. Emily has performed in productions of theatre and opera since the age of 12, appearing in roles such as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Tessie in Annie, Tootles in Peter Pan, Cinderella’s Mother, Rapunzel, and the Witch in Into the Woods, and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.

Emily was named a semi finalist in the 2017 Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) auditions. Most recently she was one of 18 singers to take part in the Foothills Opera Program in Oneonta, New York, where she performed in opera scenes and masterclasses.