Congratulations to the Winners of the 2019

LMSO Young Artist Competition !

1st Place & Grand Prize Winner

Eileen Chen

2nd Place & Grand Prize Winner

Alex Lofton

3rd Place Winner

Sadie Lofton

Eileen Chen, 14, a violinist, is a freshman at the Discovery Magnet program of Spring Valley High School. Eileen began playing violin at the age of

5 ½  with Dr. Rebecca Hunter at Suzuki Strings at the University of South Carolina (USC). Since 2015, she has been studying violin under the direction of Dr. William Terwilliger, Professor of Violin at USC.  At age 11, she made her orchestral debut and served as the Midlands Region Orchestra Concertmaster.  She won the South Carolina (SC) All-State Concertmaster at the age of 12.  Her other achievements include the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)’s SC state winner of the Junior String Soloist Competition in 2018 and Honorable Mention in 2017, and the winners of Club Scholarship in Intermediate Instrumental (2017) and Secondary Instrumental (2019) of Afternoon Music Club and Eau Claire Music Club Scholarship Fund.  Eileen has been awarded the concertmaster positions numerous times in both SC All-State (2017 and 2019) and Region orchestras (2015, 2016, and 2017).  This year she serves as concertmasters of her high school’s Chamber Orchestra and Richland 2 District Honors Orchestra, and is a member of the South Carolina Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.  From an early age, Eileen has been devoted to share her passion to music with her community by performing for patients and veterans at local hospitals and nursing homes.

Alex began playing saxophone in the 6th grade (11 years old).  He attends Blythewood High School where is assistant Drum Major for the Blue Legion Marching Band. He was a three time participant in the Tri-District Arts Consortium (Tri-Dac).  He was selected to both the South Carolina Governor's School of the Arts Academy and Discovery programs.  Alex began his studies at Kelly Mill Middle School under the direction of Leah Corde.  There he received awards for Most Outstanding 6th Grade Band Member, Most Outstanding 7th Grade Band Member, and in 2014-15 The Director's Award for Band.  Alex currently studies at Blythewood High School under the direction of Dr. Quintus Wrighten.  Alex has twice been distinguished with the award for Most Outstanding Woodwind.  Alex has participated in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 SCBDA All-Region Bands. In 2017, 2018, and  2019 Alex was selected to the SCBDA All-State Band.  He has received twice honorable mention at the SC MTNA high school soloist competition, is currently a regional finalist of the North American Saxophone Alliance saxophone competition, and was a finalist in the SCBDA Master Recital program.  Alex studies privately with Dr. Clifford Leaman, Professor of Saxophone at the School of Music of the University of South Carolina.  Alex is also a National Merit Finalist.  He intends to begin studying Music Performance and Pre-Med at the University of South Carolina this fall.

Sadie Lofton is a senior at Blythewood High School.  She is the daughter of Dr. Kiki and Mr. Trey Lofton of Columbia, SC. She began playing saxophone in the 7th grade and has been studying with Dr. Cliff Leaman for five years. She is Woodwind Captain of the Blythewood Blue Legion Marching Band and is a member of the Blythewood Wind Symphony. Sadie has been twice selected to the SCBDA All-State band.  She has also participated in the USC Band Clinic Honor Band, the South Carolina Youth Wind Symphony, SCBDA All-Region Bands, the SC Governor’s School for the Arts Discover program.  She is a Palmetto Fellows Scholar and is currently Salutatorian of her class.  She plans to begin studying Biomedical Engineering this fall.