Rock Springs’ Mikayla Peterson Wins Dorothy Jacoby Concerto Competition at UW

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Mikayla Peterson was selected the winner of the annual Dorothy Jacoby Concerto Competition Thursday, March 7, for her performance of Henri Tomasi’s concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra with the UW Symphony Orchestra.

LARAMIE– University of Wyoming senior Mikayla Peterson, a saxophonist from Rock Springs, was selected the winner of the annual Dorothy Jacoby Concerto Competition Thursday, March 7, in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts.

Her performance of Henri Tomasi’s concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra with the UW Symphony Orchestra was selected by the judges as the best among six soloists and earned her the $4,000 Jacoby prize.

The six finalists were selected from a pool of nearly 40 UW music students who auditioned earlier in the first round of the competition.

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Lilian Schmidt, a graduate student flutist from Houston, Texas, received the $2,000 second prize in the Dorothy Jacoby Concerto Competition. She performed the “Carmen Fantasy” by François Borne.

The other finalists were Sophia Helmkamp, a violinist from Denver; Kathryn Jones, a soprano from Laramie; Ross McIntosh, a violist from Laramie; and Yi-Chen Sung, a pianist from Taiwan.

UW Professor Michael Griffith conducted the performance.

About the Dorothy Jacoby Concerto Competition

The concert is named after Dorothy Jacoby, a founding member of the UW Symphony Association and a longtime supporter of classical music in Laramie. Her sons, Peter and Michael, made a generous donation in honor of their late mother.

That gift, along with contributions from many of Dorothy Jacoby’s friends, created the endowment for the prize awarded at the performance.

Peterson’s Experience as a Musician

Peterson, originally from Reliance, is a student of UW saxophone Professor Scott Turpen, head of the Department of Music. Peterson is pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education degree and is a member of the UW Wind Symphony, the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble and the UW Saxophone Quartet.

She traveled to Baltimore, Md., and competed in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition in 2017. Since then, she has performed in master classes for saxophonists Claude Delangle, from the Paris Conservatory; Dan Goble, from Colorado State University (CSU); and Erik Steighner, from Pacific Lutheran University.

As a member of the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble, Peterson has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City; the Jazz Education Network Conference in Reno, Nev.; and at Dazzle in Denver. She can be heard on the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble’s first commercially recorded album, titled “Winds of the Snowys.”

Peterson is the second saxophonist in her family to perform with the UW Symphony Orchestra as a finalist in the Dorothy Jacoby Concerto Competition.

To read more about Peterson, check out the story SweetwaterNOW wrote about her for our #WHYoming series.

About the Judges

The competition’s judges were Silas Huff, former commander at the U.S. Army School of Music, conductor of the University of Colorado campus orchestra and the Boulder concert band; Barbara Thiem, CSU professor of cello and cellist in the Mendelssohn Trio; and Andrew Todd, president and CEO of the Grand Teton Music Festival.