Interlochen students, alumnus named semifinalists in Sphinx Competition

  • Photo credit: Kevin Kennedy. First Place Laureate: Ifetayo Ali-Landing, cello. Second Place Laureate: Katia Tesarczyk Parraguez, violin. Third Place Laureate: Joshua McClendon, cello.

  • Left to right: Matthew Scott, Voncile Campbell, Joshua McClendon

  • Matthew Scott (left photo) and Joshua McClendon (right photo) were named semifinalists in the junior division of the 2017 Sphinx Competition. Interlochen alumnus Ruben Rengel (not pictured) is a semifinalist in the senior division.

Finalists and winners will be decided during competitions from Feb. 8-12 in Detroit.

Two current Interlochen Arts Academy students and an Interlochen Arts Camp alumnus have been selected as semifinalists in the 20th annual Sphinx Competition.

Interlochen Arts Academy students Joshua McClendon (IAC 10-15, IAA 15-), cello, and Matthew Scott (IAC 14-15, IAA 14-), bass, are semifinalists in the junior division of the competition; Interlochen Arts Camp alumnus and current Rice University student Ruben Rengel (IAC 09-10), violin, will compete in the senior division semifinals.

Finalists and winners will be selected during the live semifinal and final competitions on Feb. 8-12 at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. The event also features workshops and master classes for all semifinalists. The top-three musicians in each division will perform with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra in the finals concerts on Feb. 10 (junior division) and Feb. 12 (senior division). Winners also receive cash prizes and the opportunity to perform with several of the nation’s major orchestras.

The Sphinx Competition is open to all junior high, high school and college-age Black and Latino string players currently residing in the United States. Founded by Interlochen Arts Academy alumnus Aaron P. Dworkin (IAA 86-88), the Sphinx Organization and Competition seeks to encourage, develop and recognize talented classical musicians in Black and Latino communities.

Update: After the finals competition, Joshua McClendon received third prize in the junior division. As the third prize-winner, McClendon receives a $3,000 prize and a solo performance with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra.