The Jury


2014 Senior String Division Jurors


Felicia Moye, violin

Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music

Jon Klibonoff, piano

Member, Trio Solisti; Faculty, Manhattan School of Music

Marcy Rosen, cello

Professor, Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College;                                       Artistic Director of Chesapeake Chamber Music

Michael Tree, viola

Founder, Guarneri String Quartet; Professor, Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and Bard College Conservatory of Music


2014 Senior Wind Division Jurors


Frank Kowalsky, clarinet

Professor of Clarinet, Florida State University (ret.)

Otis Murphy, saxophone

Professor of Saxophone, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music; Yamaha Performing Artist & Clinician

Marie Speziale, trumpet

Chair, Brass Department, The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University (ret.); Associate Principal Trumpet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (ret.)

Gail Williams, horn

Professor of Horn, Northwestern University; Principal Horn, Grand Teton Music Festival


2014 Junior Division Jurors


Becca Albers, viola

Assistant Principal Viola, Minnesota Orchestra; Distinguished Artist Viola Faculty, Mercer University's Robert McDuffie Center for Strings

Valerie Coleman, flute

Founder, Imani Winds; Co-Artistic Advisor, Chamber Music at Hartt School of Music; New Music Advisory Panel: National Flute Association

Catherine Kautsky, piano

Professor of Music and Chair of Keyboard Department, Lawrence University

Calvin Wiersma, violin

Professor of Violin and Chamber Music, Purchase Conservatory of Music; Manhattan String Quartet


Review an archive of past Fischoff Competition jurors (through 2013).

The Fischoff takes great pride in inviting the nation's finest musicians and music educators to serve as Competition jurors.  Each Competition Division – string, wind, and junior – is adjudicated by the finest professional specialists in each field.  Jurors come together to form a larger panel for the Final round.

Selecting the “best” ensemble from all of the competitors can be a Herculean task.  The jurors do have some formulas on which they can rely.  However, their decisions are guided primarily by their own musical integrity and experience as performers and instructors.  They listen for interpretation – tempi and dynamics; ensemble performance – balance within the ensemble, blend, and unity of the members; technical accuracy – rhythm and intonation; and overall performance – poise, artistic impression, and expression.

Jurors individually rank the ensembles in each division. These rankings are combined, then averaged for each ensemble to arrive at a group’s composite ranking.  Rankings are a good method for determining the prize winners, but the real value for these young musicians comes from the written comments of the jurors.  The juror evaluations are distributed to all performing ensembles at the completion of the Competition.  From the written comments, the musicians gain valuable and constructive feedback, which is intended to stimulate their growth as artists and ensembles.

Identifying conflict of interest issues is very important to the integrity of the Competition.  During all Competition rounds, ensembles perform anonymously, identified to the jury only by number.  Conflicts of interest between jurors and ensembles or any individuals within an ensemble are carefully addressed and handled appropriately.

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