CAA Announces 2021 Overture Award Winners

CAA_Overture Awards$25,500 Awarded for Excellence in the Arts

CINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Arts Association is pleased to announce the winners of its Overture Awards Competition.  Due to the impact of the pandemic, all three rounds of the competition were held virtually, culminating in an online announcement and celebration ceremony on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 7:00 PM.  The competition awarded $2,000 for education and training to the winning students in six arts disciplines, and $750 to each of the eighteen runners-up.

The Overture Awards recognizes, encourages, and rewards excellence in the arts among Tri-state students in grades 9-12 and is the area’s largest solo arts competition. Students are nominated by their schools and/or private studios to compete in one of six disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. There are three levels of competition: Regional, Semi-Final, and Final.

Now in its twenty-fifth year, the Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation (now Duke Energy) and Class 19 of 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, Douglas Beal, Doreen Beatrice, Bonita Brockert, Brandon Etheridge, Maura Garuccio, Jozsef Parragh, Pebble Creek Group, Phoenix Rising Ballroom, Summerfair Cincinnati, Josh Tilford, Western & Southern Financial Fund, The William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation


CREATIVE WRITING: Savannah Gripshover, grade 11, Conner Senior High School
HOMETOWN: Hebron, KY – Savannah Gripshover’s earliest memories include making her own stories and characters to write about. Currently, she’s in the young writers’ group at her school and dabbles in several projects, primarily poetry and novels. She hopes to pursue a career in the arts and spend her life appreciating them.

DANCE: Braylan Enscoe, grade 11, Laurel Springs School / Just Off Broadway
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, OH – Braylan trains and teaches at Just Off Broadway, where she is a member of their nationally recognized performance team. She has won numerous regional and national dance awards, performed Clara in The Nutcracker, and was a cast member in the short film Moving Henry, which premiered at The Dance Film Festival. Braylan’s plans for the future include attending college in California or New York while majoring in dance.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC: Andrew Yang, grade 12, Seven Hills School / Won-Bim Yim
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, OH – Violinist Andrew Yang is a senior at the Seven Hills School. He has served as concertmaster of the Ohio All-State Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. Andrew is also a two-time National YoungArts Winner, an MTNA National Competition Finalist, and a competitor in the 9th International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists.

THEATER: Claire Northcut, grade 12, William Mason High School / Musical Arts Center
HOMETOWN: Mason, OH – Claire Northcut is a senior at William Mason High School and is very excited to be performing in the finals competition. She has been performing since she was six years old and is planning to major in musical theatre in college. She would like to thank her friends and family for their endless love and support!

VISUAL ART: Sydney Luebbe, grade 12, Lakota West High School
HOMETOWN: Liberty Township, OH – Sydney Luebbe was born and raised in Liberty Township, Ohio. She was introduced to art at a young age by her uncle, who’s an architect. Following in his footsteps, she developed a passion for science, mathematics, and art. Despite her challenging academic pursuits, she found comfort in expression through art.

VOCAL MUSIC: Mary Wilkens, grade 12, Ursuline Academy / Melody Wallace
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, OH – Mary began performing at a young age and participates in Ursuline and St. Xavier’s theater programs. When not on the stage, Mary bowls for Ursuline, sings in her church choir, and sews costumes. Mary is a National Honor Society member and hopes to be a Speech Pathologist for vocal performers.

Winners listed in bold.


  • Alexandra Frohn, grade 12, Seven Hills School
  • Savannah Gripshover, grade 11, Conner Senior High School
  • Jenny Hu, grade 11, Seven Hills School
  • Deeya Prakash, grade 11, Sycamore High School


  • Braylan Enscoe, grade 11, Laurel Springs School / Just Off Broadway
  • Gracie Harper, grade 12, Anderson High School / The Studio for Dance
  • Trista Mullenix, grade 10, School for Creative and Performing Arts / Just Off Broadway
  • Emi Tao, grade 12, William Mason High School / Bing Yang Chinese Performing Arts Center


  • Ashley Cai, grade 10, William Mason High School / Benita Tse Leung
  • Cole Kubesch, grade 12, Sycamore High School
  • Nicholas Wolfe, grade 12, Saint Xavier High School / Leung Studios
  • Andrew Yang, grade 12, Seven Hills School / Won-Bim Yim


  • Benjamin Crane, grade 11, Homeschool / Lincoln Chapman Studio
  • Claire Northcut, grade 12, William Mason High School / Musical Arts Center
  • Bella Randle, grade 11, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy / Musical Arts Center
  • Madeline Ritter, grade 12, School for Creative and Performing Arts / Cincinnati Conservatory MTI 


  • Sydney Luebbe, grade 12, Lakota West High School / Stephanie Gauer
  • Marialinda Roblero, grade 12, Lakota West High School / Stephanie Gauer
  • Nathan Tyler, grade 12, Sycamore High School
  • Tiya Yempati, grade 12, William Mason High School


  • Claire Hardek, grade 11, Indian Hill School / Dr. Kimberly Buczek, Cincinnati Academy of Performing Arts
  • Ella Vaughn, grade 10, Walnut Hills High School / Karl Resnik, Musical Arts Center
  • Mary Wilkens, grade 11, Ursuline Academy / Melody Wallace
  • Maria Zierolf, grade 12, Mount Notre Dame High School / Lincoln Chapman, Musical Arts Center

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 1.8 million students. 

CAA is proud to be a member of 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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