Friday, April 12, 2024

CoSA Students Showcase Talent at Rotary Youth Instrumental Competition

On Wednesday, January 31, Coronado student musicians competed in Coronado Rotary’s annual Youth Instrumental Competition. Josiah Kemp, Mirren Fallon, Colin Duncan, and Vinson Nguyen were selected to perform based on their video auditions. All of these students are in the CoSA Instrumental Music Conservatory and were accompanied by their music director, Dr. Kenneth Brown.

The competition took place at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club and was open to all high school age instrumentalists attending Coronado High or living in Coronado. Rotary provides an opportunity for these young musicians to perform in front of an audience, win a cash prize, and potentially move on to advanced competitions.

(left to right) Bob Rutherford, Coronado Rotary Club President, Helen Kupka, Chair Rotary Instrumental Music Competition, Colin Duncan, Vinson Nguyen, Mirren Fallon and Josiah Kemp (Photo: Coronado Rotary)

At the competition, the winners were determined by three experienced judges: Martin Green, Fred Lee and Dean Hickman.

Ultimately, senior Josiah Kemp won first place and freshman Mirren Fallon took second place. The pair will be advancing to the regional competition on March 9. The two finalists were Vinson Nguyen on piano and Colin Duncan on trumpet.

Kemp playing the piano. (Photo: Coronado Rotary)

Kemp has spent four years in CoSA Instrumental Music specializing in classical and jazz piano. He shared, “We play for each other in CoSA and that helps get rid of the nerves.”

In Kemp’s future college endeavors, he plans on majoring in music business and minoring in audio engineering. However, at this competition, he stuck to his training and played Nocturne in E flat major by Chopin.

I felt pretty confident going into the competition because I prepared for it and now I’m pretty proud of it because I was able to win,” says Kemp.

Fallon, at 14 years old, has only been in CoSA for one year and specializes in violin. She skillfully played Accolay’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor from memory.

Fallon playing the violin. (Photo: Coronado Rotary)

About the event, Fallon shared, “CoSA prepared me for the competition by teaching me to be versatile. I know there were places that I messed up, but I knew I had to keep going.”

“When looking back on the competition, it feels good. I loved seeing the competition in the first round when I was expecting anything, but I’m really happy because I put in a lot of work. I feel like my effort paid off and I’m really excited for regionals,” says Fallon. She plans on either majoring or minoring in music as it’s been a “big part of her life.”

As the pair advances to the regional competition, they have the chance to move on to the district competition and win the top prize of $2500. 

Kemp adds, “I’m pretty excited about regionals and to hear all the other people play and see how good they are and see how well I do compared to them.”

Coronado Rotary shared a congratulations to all of the students as well as thanks for participating. They look forward to hearing Fallon and Nguyen perform again next year.

A big congratulations is in order for all the young musicians who stepped up and showcased their talent. As for regionals for Fallon and Kemp: Break a leg!



Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna
Maria Laguna is student at Coronado High School and has lived in San Diego her whole life. She is an officer to numerous clubs on campus, including: Feminist Club, Creative Writing Club, and Activism Book Club. Maria is also very involved with community service. Her passions include fashion, reading, writing, and travel. She shows her love of literature by being a Coronado Public Library volunteer in her free time and working on her own novella. She has always loved doing activities that let her express herself creatively. Maria plans to study fashion and writing after graduating from Coronado High in 2024. Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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