Sandpoint students win regional music competition

By Katherine Greenland
Reader Contributor

Five local students from the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint brought home distinguished medals from MusicFest Northwest on May 17. Jacinta Howard earned a gold medal in the violin category. Hannah Andring also brought home a gold medal for violin. Zoe Miller was a silver medalist for vocal performance. Nina Ford won a silver for the piano. Levi Hill also won a silver for piano. All five are Honors Program students at the Conservatory. 

Cody Moore, left, and Levi Hill, right, at their Mother’s Day Fundraiser concert at the Heartwood Center. Courtesy photo.

MusicFest Northwest is the largest classical music festival in the region. Sponsored by Spokane Symphony, Steinway Piano Gallery and Spokane Public Radio, MusicFest Northwest has a mission to encourage, develop and improve the performance of young musicians and dancers through professional adjudication. 

MCS students completed adjudication involving a rigorous process of application and performance followed by evaluation from accomplished professionals in their field. MCS encourages students to participate in adjudication each year as part of their commitment to high quality arts education. Students use their adjudication rankings when applying for nationally competitive programs and college admissions. 

This comes on the heels of Conservatory students Levi Hill and Cody Moore’s recent acceptance to the esteemed Interlochen Center for the Arts. Both boys were Summer Arts Camp Scholarship recipients, helping to offset the $6,000 per student tuition to attend the prestigious arts camp in Michigan. Moore and Hill played a Mother’s Day concert at the Heartwood Center to fundraise the balance of their tuition. 

Both boys leave Sandpoint this Saturday for Interlochen, where they will join over 2,500 students from all over the world to study music, visual arts, theatre, film, dance and creative writing. During their three-week long camp which runs from June 22 to July 13, Cody and Levi will have a chance to play piano in the famous 3,900-seat Kresge Auditorium, the 950-seat Corson Auditorium and the new, open air Upton-Morley Pavilion, among others. 

Cody’s mother Heidi Moore said, “Levi is looking forward to the grand adventure of leaving home and going east, as well as the entire musical experience, especially learning from top-notch instructors. Cody is extremely excited to go to such a prestigious art school and learn from instructors who will challenge him to improve his musical abilities. He is also looking forward to meeting other musicians his age who share his passion for classical music.” Both Cody and Levi aspire to be professional musicians when they grow up.

Other notable Conservatory student award winners include Chloe Issa and Lucina Meshburg, who received the Tom Rodda Honorary Scholarship at the MCS All Stars Concert on May 28th at the Panida. Chloe studies piano and Lucinda studies theatre. The Tom Rodda Honorary Scholarships were delivered with a special message from Lynn Rhodda on behalf of her late husband and his life long love for music. Tom Rhodda volunteered with the Conservatory until his passing earlier this year. 

MCS appreciates the volunteers, businesses and community partners that make Sandpoint a vibrant place for the arts to thrive. Last month Ethan Rodgers received the Ting Merit Scholarship for theatre. Ethan’s award marks the third scholarship this year that Ting has presented to MCS students who demonstrate promise in the arts and commitment to their studies. MCS Executive Director Karin Wedemeyer shared her appreciation for Ting, describing the effort as an ongoing commitment to community partnerships that foster innovation and collaboration.

Wedemeyer and MCS staff congratulate all the hard work and tireless practice hours these talented young artists have devoted themselves to. The arts community is eager to see what new heights students will reach in the future. MusicFest Northwest as well as robust scholarship programming and peer-to-peer mentorship are all part of the MCS vision to make music accessible for everyone and inspire excellence in the arts. 

For more information about any of the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint’s classes, visit or call 208-265-4444.

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