Music Students Win Award

Carissa McQuaid.

Kayla Cabrera, viola, and Carissa McQuaid, violin, were selected as Birch Creek’s 2014 Burton Concerto Award winners, with Matthew Reeder earning the runner-up position, after a competition that took place on July 8.

Cabrera is a 15-year-old from Crete, Ill., who started playing viola in 2011 and receives private lessons from Birch Creek faculty member Matt Mantell of Orland Park, Ill. She cites Shostakovich, Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Dvorak recordings as influential to her musical interests. She plays with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Kayla Cabrera.

This year marks 17-year-old McQuaid’s fourth at Birch Creek’s Symphony session. Lisa Chodorowski of Woodstock, Ill., is her private instructor. Carissa began playing violin at age three and also has three years of piano training. She is a member of Midwest Young (MYA) Artists Orchestral Program and MYA Symphony Orchestra, and she is MYA Concertmaster and Principal 2nd Violin of Concert Orchestra.

Runner-up Matthew Reeder, flute, is 15 years old and from Champaign, Ill., and has played three years. He attends University of Illinois Laboratory High School, where he studies music under Richard Murphy.

Matthew Reeder.

Birch Creek Student Awards are presented at the end of each two-week session and are based on musicianship and leadership. First-place winners are eligible for a partial tuition scholarship for the following season; in the event that a first-place winner cannot return, the runner-up is eligible for the scholarship. The two first-place winners of the Burton Concerto Award are eligible to perform one movement of a concerto on opening night of the following Symphony season; in the event that a first-place winner cannot perform, the runner-up is eligible for the honor. Paul and Frances Burton generously fund the Burton Concerto Award Scholarship.