Keliang Yao Placed 2nd at the Seventh Annual Nancy F. Walker Memorial Scholarship Auditions


(Photo by Gayna Bassin): Keliang Yao

MASON, OH -- Matinée Musicale Cincinnati awarded pianist Keliang Yao, a student at The Seven Hills School, second place winner in the High School Instrumental category at the Seventh Annual Nancy F. Walker Memorial Scholarship Auditions. Sponsored by Matinée Musicale Cincinnati, this scholarship awards audition for classical instrumental and vocal students was held recently at Anderson Hills Church. The 2024 competition awarded a total of $53,500 in scholarships. To date, an impressive total of $268,200 has been awarded in the seven years of the event.

The competition was open to area high school and college juniors and seniors. In a great response, students studying under 38 teachers from three colleges and 14 public, private and home schools applied. In addition, six counties were represented. Student auditions were adjudicated by highly qualified, distinguished judges who also provided comments shared with the individual students.

Nancy Fuldner Walker, memorialized by these scholarships, was a musician, music teacher and strong advocate for all music and arts organizations. She provided able leadership to Matinée Musicale Cincinnati for more than four decades before her death in 2017. Matinée Musicale Cincinnati is honoring her legacy of support and encouragement of young musicians through these scholarships.

Instrumental Judges

  • J.R. Cassidy - Conductor, Music Director of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
  • May Phang - performing internationally; Professor of Piano at Depauw University; presents Master classes nationally and internationally; artist faculty at Interharmony International Music Festival in Italy and Germany; frequently adjudicates competitions
  • Dale Swisher – violinist and conductor; Anderson High School orchestra teacher for 20+ years; retired Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra conductor, past director of the XU Chamber orchestra and Blue Ash Youth Symphony Orchestra 

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