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Classical MPR's Minnesota Varsity Presents Special Showcase Event May 31


ST. PAUL, Minn., May 26, 2020 – Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Minnesota Varsity, a talent competition for young musicians, will move its 2020 Showcase to a virtual format. Traditionally held at University of Minnesota's Ted Mann Concert Hall, this Special Showcase Event will take place both online and via broadcast on Classical MPR on Sunday, May 31, at 3 p.m. Central Time.

Celebrating its 10th season, the annual talent showcase highlights top high school-age artists from across the region. The seven young artists involved in this year's showcase are finalists of the months-long competition that began with submission of a recorded performance or written composition in the fall of 2019.

Late this winter, the Showcase Artists were invited to make professional recordings in MPR's Maud Moon Weyerhauser Studio in St. Paul as part of the semifinalist round. Composers in this round also attended a workshop day to polish and practice presenting their compositions. This year's composer category, carried out in collaboration with the American Composers Forum and Minnesota-based composer Edie Hill, called for works from four voices. One of the Showcase composers set a poem of acclaimed Ojibwe writer Heid Erdrich, who offered the option.

The Classical MPR radio broadcast of the Special Showcase Event will feature performances by each of the artists. Additionally, audiences can watch the full concert, featuring interviews with the artists in a video available at

"It's a lot more high-profile than any other competition I've done in the past. I entered Minnesota Varsity because it was unique to other competitions," said Catherine Carson, a Northfield violinist who will go on to attend The Eastman School. "Its connection to MPR is amazing. And I listen to MPR every day on the way to school in the morning, so just the thought of being part of that was really exciting."

"Minnesota Varsity has just been an incredible, life-changing experience for me," said fellow Showcase Artist William Kim, who will attend Oberlin Conservatory this fall. "I mean, it has really helped me to further grow as a musician. And I feel like this is a really good wakeup call to get a sense of what it's really like out there in the professional world."

What: 2020 Minnesota Varsity Special Showcase Event

When: Sunday, May 31, 3 p.m. Central Time

Where: Listeners can experience the Special showcase Event by tuning in to your local Classical MPR station at 3 p.m. Central Time. A video of these performances and artist interviews will be available online at

Who: The 2020 Showcase Artists and Composers include:

• Catherine Carson, Northfield– Violin

• Leo Dworsky, Golden Valley – Voice (Audience Vote winner)

• William Kim, Little Canada – Marimba

• Aurora Wang, Shoreview – Piano

• Gabriel Welch, Winona – Tuba

• Ian Brown, Eden Prairie – Composition

• Josiah Parsons, Crystal – Composition


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