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Undergraduate Student Spotlight 

by Miles Canaday

hamillJosiah Hamill, a double major in violin and organ performance at the Lamont School of Music, was recently a finalist and winner in competitions on both instruments. Hamill, a rising junior, was one of six finalists invited to perform in Syracuse, NY, at the international Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition in Organ Playing. Just two weeks prior, he performed Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto with the Arapahoe Philharmonic in suburban Denver as the winner of their Collegiate Concerto Competition.

Due to the time constraints required for practicing, a double major is quite rare at Lamont, especially on such unrelated instruments as violin and organ. Yet Hamill also won Honorable Mention in the Lamont Solo Honors Competition with the same violin concerto this February.

Despite stiff competition in the Arapahoe Philharmonic’s contest, “I wasn’t nervous,” Hamill said. “Playing the whole concerto through for the audition was the most fun I’ve ever had, except when I played the concerto again with the orchestra,” he added. Hamill admitted that the other competitors had more experience, but he knew that “musicality is my strength, and the Tchaikovsky is the opportunity to demonstrate that.”

While practicing and performing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, Hamill also recorded a 30-minute program on the William K. Coors Organ in Lamont’s Hamilton Hall, which he submitted to the Poister Competition in Organ Playing. He was later invited as one of six finalists to perform this same program at the international contest in Syracuse, New York. Here, Hamill was competing with doctoral students in organ performance at major music institutions.

Although he did not place, he is determined to apply again next year to the Poister and other international organ competitions. Hamill is also the accompanist at Reformation Church in Elizabeth, CO. “He’s a terrific academic student as well,” wrote Dr. Antonia Banducci, Chair of the Musicology Department at Lamont.

(Photo by Daniel Swanson) 

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Our archives go back to May 2010. If you'd like to see a story that's not listed here, please contact us.