Glenn Korff School of Music solo concerto winners announced

From top left (clockwise): Ashley Cypher, Leon Zajimovic, Jocelyn Meyer and Claudia Holm.
From top left (clockwise): Ashley Cypher, Leon Zajimovic, Jocelyn Meyer and Claudia Holm.

The Glenn Korff School of Music has announced the winners of its Solo Concerto Competition, which took place on Nov. 3-4 in Westbrook Recital Hall.

In the Graduate category, the winners were Ashley Cypher (clarinet) and Leon Zajimovic (marimba) with Brandy Trucke (oboe) as honorable mention. In the Undergraduate category, the winners were Claudia Holm (violin) and Jocelyn Meyer (cello) with honorable mention going to Ethan Millington (tuba) and Cameron Berta (piano).

Cypher is a first-year master's student pursuing an M.M. Woodwind Specialist degree. Originally from Palmyra, Pennsylvania, Cypher holds a B.M. in music education and a B.M. in clarinet performance from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Her teachers include Dr. Ibrook Tower, Dr. Cassandra Hibbard and currently with Dr. Diane Barger. Cypher has also previously won the Annual Concerto Competition at Liberty University and performed Aaron Copland's "Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra" in 2018. She was also featured as a soloist with the Liberty University Wind Ensemble performing the final movement of Frank Ticheli's "Concerto for Clarinet" in the spring of 2018. During her time in Lynchburg, Virginia, Cypher had opportunities to perform professionally with the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra as guest principal, Eb clarinet, and bass clarinetist and as a woodwind doubler in various musicals, operas and ballets. She performed "X Concerto" by Scott McAllister.

Zajimovic was born in Germany to his war-refugee parents, Haris and Valentina, who fled Yugoslavia upon the start of a civil war. They moved to America in 1998 and settled in Fort Worth, Texas. He encountered some difficulties while assimilating to a new life in a completely foreign area; however, he always found solace in music and rhythm, hitting pencils and forks against the table to Croatian music that constantly played in his home. Zajimovic explored his passion while he pursued an instrumental music education degree as a percussionist at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas under the instruction of Dr. ‪Brian West and Dr. Richard Gipson. In 2015, he had the privilege to perform at Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) with the TCU Percussion Ensemble. His summers were always dedicated to music, whether it be marching with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, attending the Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar to learn from world-renown musicians, or participating as a clinician, composer, and technician for multiple Dallas-Fort Worth high school marching bands. After graduating from TCU, Leon moved to Nebraska to pursue a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance under the guidance of Dr. Hall and with the award-winning percussion studio at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He’s excited to return to the PASIC stage with the UNL Percussion Studio and looks forward to what the future holds upon graduation. As he said, “as long as I’m playing music, all is well.” He performed “Djinn” by John Psathas.

Holm played the first movement of the Dvorak Violin Concerto, Op. 53. Holm, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she studies with David Neely. Holm began violin at the age of three, studying with Anne Nagosky, and has been involved in studio and community arts events since the age of four. She has been heavily involved in chamber music as a member of the Amore String Quartet and as violinist of the Soleil Piano Trio, regularly performing in the Lincoln community and for university events. Recently, the Amore String Quartet placed third at the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music-String Competition in Spokane, Washington. This spring, Holm was awarded the Presser Foundation’s 2019-2020 Presser Scholarship through the Glenn Korff School of Music for her achievements in music. She currently plays with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, and the UNL Philharmonia and Symphony Orchestras, where she has served as concertmaster.

Meyer is from Moscow, Idaho. She was homeschooled, and she studied and competed on both the piano and cello through high school. Currently, Meyer is a cello performance major in her junior year at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She studies with Dr. Karen Becker. During her freshman year, she studied with Gregory Beaver, former member of the Chiara String Quartet. She is also an avid chamber musician and is currently in the Cascada Piano Quartet preparing to compete in the MTNA competition. Meyer loves to teach and has been for the last couple of years. Starting last year, she has helped lead Large Ensemble (the beginning group class) for Lincoln Homeschool String Orchestras. Long term she would love to continue teaching cello, musical literacy in general to kids, and run a chamber music program for young musicians. She performed the fourth movement of the Elgar cello concerto in e minor.