Sara Yamada age sixteen, is an 11th grader at the Agnes Irwin School and a violin student at the Manhattan School of Music pre-college division studying under Lucie Robert where she received the Kate Bamberger Memorial Scholarship for the 2017-2018, and 2020-2021 school year, the Carl Owen Memorial Scholarship for 2018-2019, and the CWKH Precollege Scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year. Sara started pursuing violin at age four learning through the Suzuki method. She performed Haydn’s Violin Concerto in G major with an orchestra when she was eight years old, and has played in numerous halls such as the Perlman Theater at the Kimmel Center, Weil Hall at Carnegie Hall twice, Blue Rose Hall at Suntory Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center and the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. In 2017, she appeared in a music video by NPR radio show’s From the Top and performed “Stressed Out” in collaboration with Project Trio. She also received third prize in the 92Y School of Music Concerto Competition and was given the opportunity to perform a solo concert at 92Y. In 2018, she received first place in the Manhattan School of Music concerto competition and played Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole with orchestra. In 2021, she won Delaware County Symphony's Young Artist Competition and will perform with them in the spring. Aside from music, Sara enjoys thrifting clothes and upcycling them by sewing them into new pieces.
Kellen Mikesell is a 15-year-old energetic young musician from Central Pennsylvania. Kellen began playing violin at the age of four. Kellen is honored to have performed with orchestra, first the Bach Double with his late teacher John Eaken and The Central Pennsylvania Symphony in the spring of 2013 and secondly with the Tidewater Intergenerational Orchestra, VA in June of 2017 playing the Bach A Minor Concerto. He has played numerous solo concertos, chamber works and sacred selections for recitals, services, and other occasions, in addition to performing in the musical pit orchestras at West Shore Christian Academy and Carlisle High School for productions of: Oliver, Guys and Dolls, The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, Cinderella, The Music Man, The Adams Family, Seussical, White Christmas, Chicago, and Beauty and the Beast.
Kellen studies with Kimberly Fisher, Principal Second Violinist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Co-Founder of the Philadelphia International Music Festival. Previously, Kellen studied with the late, John Eaken of the Grammy Award-nominated Eaken Piano Trio. Kellen is thankful to John for his invaluable mentorship and influence to help him pursue his dream of becoming a professional violinist. Kellen began his violin studies at age 4 with Alice Bish of the Harrisburg Symphony, and is grateful that she believed in his musical potential from such a young age.
Kellen is in his fourth season with Peabody Youth Orchestra at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Kellen was a member of the Peabody Young Artist's Orchestra and a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Junior Strings beginning at the age of 6. Kellen attended Curtis Summerfest in the summer of 2020. He attended the Philadelphia International Music Festival for seven summers, Peabody Chamber Camp for three years and spent one summer at Intermuse International Music Institute and Festival. He has also previously attended the Eastman Summer Chamber Music program for strings and the CSEHY Summer School of Music.
Kellen has successfully auditioned into numerous Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Band, Orchestra and Choral festivals where he has performed on violin, trumpet, and voice. Kellen was the 2020 Music Teacher National Association Alternate Senior String Competition winner. He was the 2017 Junior Division Philadelphia International Music Festival Concerto Competition Winner and the Philadelphia International Music Festival Young Musician of the Week in December of 2015.
Kellen is a piano student of Dr. Jennifer Blyth of Dickinson College. Kellen began his piano studies at age five with Mrs. Eileen Sones. He has also enjoyed playing the trumpet for the last seven years. He was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2016 & 2017 National Trumpet Competitions.
Kellen is also an accomplished singer participating in the Gettysburg Children’s Choir and Chamber Chorale since the age of 8. Kellen has performed in the 2016 ACDA Eastern Elementary Honor Choir in Boston, the 2017 ACDA National Children’s Honor Choir in Minneapolis, the 2019 ACDA National Jr. High Honor Choir in Kansas City, and the 2020 ACDA Eastern Jr. High Honor Choir in Rochester.
Kellen is a student at West Shore Christian Academy, and he enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as playing soccer and running track.