Judge Bios for 4rth Annual Violettes by Becky Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition for 2016/17

August 17, 2016, 4:27 PM · Click here to read about the competition
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Senior Division Composition Judges, Student ages 15 thru 18
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Andrew Sigler

Andrew Sigler’s concert music includes works for chamber ensembles, orchestra, dance, theater, and film and has been performed by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the New World Symphony. Winner of the 2014 Suzanne and Lee Ettelson award, he has twice been a prizewinner in The Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers as well as a finalist for the American Prize and the Earplay Donald Aird Composers Competition. Sigler has been a composer fellow at the Wellesley Composers Conference and the Seasons Festival, and has received commissions from both organizations. His music has also been featured at both NACUSA and SCI National Festivals, the Oregon Bach Festival, the TUTTI Festival, and Fast>>Forward>>Austin, and has been performed by groups such as Fireworks Ensemble, Simple Measures, and Convergence Vocal Ensemble. Andrew has written for Opera News and he was for three years a regional editor for NewMusicBox, the online presence for New Music USA. His music is published by Editions Musica-Ferrum and he is a board member of the National Association of Composers, USA.

His background in the commercial field includes studio work as a guitarist and vocalist as well as composition and sound design for video games, advertising, and animation for a number of clients including Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Broke Down Outside El Paso won the 2006 East West Quantum Leap composition award for best use of their “Colossus” software. His string arrangements were featured in the award-winning Barbara Smith Conrad documentary When I Rise.
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Andrew Duncan
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Andrew Duncan is the Director of Choral Ministries at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. His responsibilities there include adult and youth vocal choirs; writing and arranging for the worship band and instruments; and worship planning with the music staff and pastors. Andrew is also editor of Ring-Press, an online handbell music publishing company.
Andrew received his Masters degrees in Choral Conducting and Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is an active arranger and composer and has orchestrated many anthems and carols for orchestra, choir, and handbells, as well as several handbell pieces published by AGEHR and GIA. He has served as clinician for the Epiphany Ring, TVA Handbell Festival, and Knoxville Area Handbell Festival. He sings tenor with the Knoxville Choral Society and Chamber Chorale, serves as accompanist for the Chamber Chorale, plays violin in a local string ensemble, and is (much to his wife’s chagrin) an aspiring accordionist.


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Junior Division Composition Judges, Student ages 10 thru 14
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Pam Robertson
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Pam Robertson is a published composer of hymn arrangements and choral anthems. She enjoys writing her own arrangements to be used in worship services. Pam has won several composing awards at the Pine Lakes Music Symposium in Atlanta Georgia.

Pam holds a private studio where she teaches piano, violin, viola, and banjo. She also accompanies for several violin studios.

She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the Saint Louis Conservatory with degrees in piano performance. And is currently the pianist for the Central Baptist Church of Bearden and for Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, both in Knoxville, TN.
Her hobbies include quilting, biking, and running.

Elise Arancio
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Elise Arancio is a junior at Lakeside High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been studying composition with Dr. Richard Prior at Emory University for five years. She is a violist and actively participates in Emory University pre-college programs such as the youth orchestra and chamber program. Elise also plays the piano, and hopes to establish a career in musical composition and viola.

In 2014, Elise was a national semifinalist for the PTA Reflections competition with her string quartet piece “Mechanics”.
In 2016 her piece “Nyctophobia” won first place in the senior division of the Violettes 3rd Annual Youth Composition Competition. Her piece for wind ensemble entitled “Sprites and Spirits” earned a merit scholarship to Interlochen Arts Camp, which she attended in the summer of 2015. This summer, she attended the Curtis Young Artist Program at Curtis Summerfest for composition. Her recent commissions include a piece for the Emory Junior Chamber Orchestra, as well as a flute duet piece.


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Songwriter Judges, Student ages 10 thru 18
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Donna Ray
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Singer/Songwriter, Donna Ray, performs Classic Country Music. She is gifted with the name “Sweetheart of the Louisiana Hayride”. She loves taking a story and making a song out of it. Songs she has written, heard on numerous radio stations, include Carrying Memories, Memories of Mamo, Going To Carolina, The Gooduns and Getting Better. Donna’s favorite is Broken Dreams Produced by Ed Gowens and Tim Hicks. The song is about her own life experience of love at one time, a failed marriage and how she went back to relive her experience in her mind and found herself forgetting the past. She is signed with Echota Records in Calhoun, Georgia and Stardust Records in Nashville.
“That Old Martin Guitar”, written by Ed Gowens with Echota Records has been on numerous Independent Charts for many years hitting the # 1 spot on many Radio Stations .
Some of her awards:
• Echota Records # 1 Song of the year 2016 That Old Martin Guitar
• CMG Radio International DJ Pick Of The Year Most Artist Played in 2014
• CMG Radio #1 International Chart Artist March 14, 2013
• Independent Country Music Hall of Fame April 28, 2013
• Artist of The Year 2010, 2011 and 2012, Echota Records
• Awarded Female Vocalist of the Year 2009, Texas Country Music Association
• Female Artist of the Year 2009, Echota Records
• Song of the Year ( This Winters Day ) 2008, Artist of the Year 2008, Echota Records
• Artist of the year 2007, Echota Records


Dolly Dunn
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Singer/ Songwriter/ Recording Artist
Dolly Dunn was born (Christina Donahue) on May 9th 1965 in a small town called Boyds Cove Newfoundland Canada. Her parents were Patrick Donahue of Boyds Cove and Bernadette Lynch of Island Harbour Fogo. Both parents were Irish so that makes her all Irish, and she is the youngest girl of 11 siblings. Her love of country music started when she was 7, singing in church and school functions and to anyone who would listen. She received her first guitar at age 12 as a gift from her mother. She taught herself how to play and country was all she wanted to do. She moved to Alberta in her early twenties with dreams of still singing for anyone who gave her the time. She has one son Rex LeDrew Jr. age 24. Now 50 and divorced, Dolly Dunn is taking steps to make a go of her music career. She loves to write and sing country music the old fashioned way. She is a very simple and humble person who would give away her happiness for someone else to smile. Signed with Echota Records, producer Ed Gowens and Technicion Tim Hicks, Dolly has begun her journey . Dolly’s music is being played all around the world in many countries. Dolly writes her own songs, some of which have been recorded and performed in many shows. Recently she met Donna Ray and Bruce Blake, both with Echota Records, and has teamed up to do some fantastic duets with them. Dolly has had 3 number one singles and a number one album internationally.
Nomanated for 4 awards at the Josie Music Awards in September in Nashville Tenn.
I’m Sorry Lord written by Dolly Dunn
Somebody’s Angel, vocals by Dolly Dunn

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