Stefanie AdamsViolinist Stefanie Adams claimed this year’s Ron W. Ianni Memorial Scholarship in Performance.

Violinist earns scholarship in performance

The 16th edition of the Ron W. Ianni Memorial Scholarship in Performance competition is in the books. For the first time, the annual showcase of students’ musical skill was held on Zoom and all performances had been previously recorded and loaded to YouTube.

After deliberation, the adjudicators — professors Bruce Kotowich, Nicholas Papador, and Jennifer Swanson — announced that this year’s Ianni scholarship recipient is violinist Stefanie Adams, a second-year music student and Outstanding Scholar.

“I am very grateful to have the opportunity to perform alongside such talented musicians at SoCA,” Adams said following her win. “I would like to thank my instructor, Lillian Schierich, for her incredible mentorship and encouragement this semester, and the Ianni family for this scholarship!”

Adams has studied violin with Scheirich, concertmaster of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, for six years.

“Stefanie has natural musicality, but needed to catch up and focus on her technique,” said Scheirich. “She has taken every opportunity offered to her and done the extra work. Stefanie is the poster child for being prepared. I can’t say enough good things about her.”

This past fall, Adams worked with Dr. Kotowich in her role as an Outstanding Scholar, researching British choral composer and arranger John Rutter.

“Stefanie is very curious and detail-oriented,” Kotowich said. “She found British recordings of interviews with John Rutter, which provided insight into his compositional style.”

The eight students competing for the scholarship were chosen based on their fall jury scores, drawn this year from recorded performances.

For students, there are benefits of having to record and submit their performances on video.

“Once students get past the emotional response of seeing and hearing themselves, they see that they are hunching their shoulders or something else they don’t like, and fix it,” said Dr. Swanson, SoCA’s performance co-ordinator and voice instructor. “Students are seeing and hearing things they don’t like and fixing it on their own, rather than waiting for their lesson.”

She said this allows student and teacher to focus on more impactful instruction.

Watch Adams’ winning performance of Chanson de Matin by Edward Elgar.

—Susan McKee