Dora Khayatt Music Prizes Awarded to Four Upper School Musicians
Dora Khayatt Music Prizes Awarded to Four Upper School Musicians

Four Upper School musicians have been awarded prizes in the annual Dora Khayatt Prize in Music competition.

The year's competition included 28 participants. "Although they had to pick only four winners, the judges were so impressed with the depth, talent, and dedication of all of the musicians who competed," said Music Department Chair Jim Erwin.

This year's winners include: Michael Zhou '21 (piano), Jack Franklin '19 (voice and guitar), Caitlin Jorgensen (piano), and Alex Oliva (voice and original song).

Michael Zhou played Chopin's Nocturne Op. 48 No. 1 and Etude Op. 10 No. 4. on the piano. "I'm honored that I was chosen as a winner, especially it being my first year at EA. The other winners were incredible! I look forward to next year's competition and my next three years at Episcopal," said Michael.

Jack impressed the judges with a beautiful solo and intricate guitar accompaniment of James Taylor's Fire and Rain. He then showed his versatility with a powerful anthem from the musical Newsies. "Being selected from such a fantastic and talented group of musicians at EA was a true honor," shared Jack. "It is a testament to all of the amazing progress I've made under the direction of Mr. Erwin and EA's incredible arts program over the years."

Caitlin played a composition written to express the horrors of war by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin titled Basso Ostinato. "I was excited to have the opportunity to share this unique piece depicting the horrors of war with the school," said Caitlin. "It was a challenge to learn but a lot of fun to play!"

Alex sang two contrasting songs- starting with Stevie Wonder's I Wish and then sang an emotional original piece he wrote and composed called Stuck in the Loop. "When I found out I won, I was very honored and happy that all of my hard work paid off," said Alex.

The winners shared their talents with fellow students during Lower, Middle, and Upper School Chapels. "Performing for the Lower School was especially meaningful to me, as I can remember watching Dora Khayatt performers when I was in Lower School," said Jack. "I hope that I was able to encourage some of the younger students to stick with their instruments and musical ambitions by showing them what's possible as they continue to grow as musicians."

The annual Dora Khayatt Prize in Music competition took place on March 12 in the Class of 1944 Chapel.

Four judges outside of the EA community selected the winners.

The Dora Khayatt awards in music and fine arts were established in 1990 in memory of Dora Khayatt. She was an artist and the wife of the late John Plant, former Chairman of The Episcopal Academy Classics Department.