Overture Awards Finals Competition and Awards Ceremony | Sat., March 9 | Aronoff Center – Jarson-Kaplan Theater

CAA_Overture AwardsCINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is proud to present the 2019 Overture Awards Finals Competition. The Overture Awards provides $4,000 to six area high school students for education and training expenses, with eighteen finalists each winning $1,000. The program also provides a $2,500 Arts Educator Award for Excellence in Arts Instruction.

The Overture Awards Finals Competition and Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. Winners will be announced immediately following the competition.  The Visual Art finalists exhibition will be in Aronoff Center’s Center Stage Room (next to the Weston Art Gallery on Seventh Street) from Tuesday, March 5 – Saturday, March 9.

This year, 424 students were nominated by their schools or studios to compete in one of six artistic disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. The Overture Awards was developed to recognize, encourage, and reward excellence in the arts among Tri-state students in grades 9-12. It also provides students an opportunity to share their talents and interests among their peers in a supportive environment outside of their individual schools. There are three levels of competition: Regional, Semi-Final, and Final.

The Overture Awards Regional Competitions were held on January 26 at the Immanuel School of Music, Northern Kentucky University, and Mount Saint Joseph University. The top twenty percent of competitors in each discipline advanced to the Semi-Finals, which were held at the Aronoff Center on February 7-9. Twenty-four finalists (four in each discipline) will compete in the Finals Competition at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater on March 9.

Now in its twenty-third year, The Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation (now Duke Energy) and Leadership Cincinnati (a program of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber). The Overture Awards is funded and administered by the Cincinnati Arts Association, which operates and manages the Aronoff Center and Music Hall. The Overture Awards also relies on hundreds of volunteers from the community who help raise funds, adjudicate and manage the competitions, and nurture the program. 


Overture Awards Presenting Sponsors:  TriHealth; The Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.; Otto M. Budig Family Foundation; Summerfair Cincinnati

Scholarship Sponsors:  Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Doreen Beatrice, Douglas Beal, Bonita Brockert, Brandon Etheridge, Jozsef Parragh, Pebble Creek Group, Phoenix Rising Ballroom,  Summerfair Cincinnati, Josh Tilford, Western & Southern Financial Fund, The William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation

Competition Sponsors:  Immanuel School of Music, Northern Kentucky University, Mount Saint Joseph University

Printing Sponsor:  Graphic Village 



  • Sam Bowden – grade 11, Wyoming High School
  • Iris LeCates – grade 11, Walnut Hills High School
  • Maura O’Dea – grade 12, Ursuline Academy
  • Molly Tierney –  grade 12, Beechwood High School 


  • Krupa Hegde – grade 10, Larry A. Ryle High School  / Cultural Centre of India
  • Hanna Hopple – grade 12, Saint  Ursula Academy / McGing Irish Dancers
  • Ava Sine – grade 11, School for Creative & Performing Arts / Just Off Broadway
  • Jordan Slemons – grade 12, Anderson High School / Just Off Broadway


  • Simon Bakos – grade 11, William Mason High School / DCG Studio
  •  Liam Hedrick – grade 12, Homeschool / UC-CCM Preparatory
  • Kasey M. Shao – grade 10, Walnut Hills High School / CCM
  • Andrew Yang – grade 10, Seven Hills School / CCM 


  • Eleanor Donnelly  – grade 12, Wyoming High School / Bill Seale
  • Jake Jervis – grade 10, Sycamore High School / McCready Voice Studio
  • Maxwell Metsch  – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts / Lincoln Chapman Studio
  • Jonah Sorscher – grade 11, Indian Hill High School / Musical Arts Center 


  • Geneva Huffman – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts
  • Alyson Power – grade 12, Lakota West High School
  • Trey Small – grade 12, Lakota West High School
  • Grace Vanderwoude – grade 12, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy


  • Reed Gnepper – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts / UC-CCM Preparatory
  • Amy Helms – grade 12, Kings High School / Musical Arts Center
  • Sarah Koopman – grade 12, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy / Karl Resnik Studio
  • Lauren Maynus – grade 12, Ursuline Academy / Alison Acord

Arts Educator Award For Excellence in Arts Instruction

The Arts Educator Award promotes and rewards excellence in arts instruction throughout Greater Cincinnati. An educator who teaches any of the following arts disciplines may be nominated: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. They can be a high school arts specialist, a teaching artist working with high school students, or an arts professional or educator providing private lessons or instruction. Nominations for the award must come from students between the ages of 14-19 who are currently enrolled in high school. Nominations are made by submitting an on-line application with a three-minute video about why the nominee is an exemplary arts educator.

The winner of the 2019 award will receive $2,500, and two finalists will receive $500 each. The recipients of the Arts Educator Award may utilize the monetary award to strengthen their program or practice, e.g. an artist fee for a guest lecturer or master class, the purchase of equipment, or a professional learning opportunity such as tuition assistance for either the educator or for students to study with the recipient or another professional.

Arts Educator Award Finalists 

Lincoln Chapman, Private Teacher
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by: Maxwell Metsch 

Catherine Keen, The Keen Voice Studio
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by: Grace Caccavari

Benita Tse-Leung, Leung Studio
Discipline: Piano
Nominated by: Jenny Hu 

Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of two of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves upwards of 700,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies. Since the inception of its acclaimed arts education programs in 1995, CAA has reached more than 1.5 million students.

CAA is proud to be a member of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Arts Education, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, and Performing Arts Center Consortium.

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