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Clayton Sullivan of Tishomingo, a sophomore instrumental music education major at East Central University, is the winner of the ECU Music Department’s first Annual Concerto Competition.

The prize is a solo performance with the ECU Wind Ensemble on its spring concert which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday [APRIL 17] in the Ataloa Theatre in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. Sullivan will perform the first movement of Paul Creston’s “Concerto for Marimba.”

“This energetic piece will incorporate both piano and wind ensemble and will be interesting for anyone who has never had the opportunity to hear a marimba solo,” said competition coordinator Juliana Overmier, who teaches flute and conducts the ECU Flute Ensemble.

Sullivan, who was born and raised in Venezuela, plans to pursue both master’s and doctoral degrees in music, hoping that will allow him to travel and teach around the world. In the future he would like to return to his home country and introduce music to small Venezuelan communities.

He studies percussion at ECU with Dr. Benjamin Finley, associate professor of music and assistant band director.

The Concerto Competition was held March 5 and was open to any full-time ECU student enrolled in the spring semester. Judges were five ECU music faculty members.

Overmier said the Concerto Competition was a combined effort of the ECU music administration, faculty, and coordinator.

“Ever since I began teaching at ECU in 2004, I thought there was enough of a talent pool among the music students to support a concerto competition,” she said. “Competitions have been important to my career, and I found that the music faculty all supported the idea of starting one at ECU.

“Everyone chipped in to make the event successful, and after the judges heard all the applicants, their decision was unanimous. I look forward to continuing the tradition next year.

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