Hiroki Kato – Winner of the Betty F. Brown Award for Instrumental Excellence
Winner of the 2012 Betty F. Brown Award for Instrumental Excellence, Hiroki Kato started playing saxophone when he was living in Japan. He writes, “My dad was listening to saxophone music, and I was playing trumpet, but when I heard the saxophone music, I thought it would be nice to play saxophone.” Hiroki moved to America when he was in eighth grade, and attended Columbus North High School for four years.
While in high school, Hiroki participated in the Columbus North Wind Ensemble, the 25th Street Jazz Band, and The Sound of North Marching Band. He also studied saxophone with Scotty Stepp and Zach Shemon as well as studying piano and music theory with. John Matthews. He received a Gold rating at ISSMA District and ISSMA State all four years during high school, and won a position in All State Band in his sophomore, junior, and senior years. Also, he was chosen for the Jazz All State Band during his senior year. Hiroki won the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, a prestigious national recognition of a senior at his school who has “outstanding musical achievement and an incredible dedication to his high school jazz program.”
Hiroki is now attending Bowling Green State University in Ohio majoring in music performance.
Steven Greathouse – Winner of the Anna Newell Brown Award for Vocal Excellence
Winner of the 2012 Anna Newell Brown Award for Vocal Excellence, Steven Greathouse is currently an undergraduate music student studying Vocal Performance at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. He enjoys singing in a variety of musical styles, including classical, jazz, and musical theatre. Steven discovered his passion for singing his freshman year at Columbus North High School, when he decided to join the Festival Choir under the direction of Janie Gordon. From there, he started taking private voice lessons with local voice instructor Sarah Kittle, and began to branch out into show choir, vocal jazz, and opera. During high school, he was a part of the Columbus North Debuteens and Music Men, a show choir that placed Grand Champion for the small mixed division at the 2011 Hoosier Show Choir Classic Invitational at Franklin Central High School.
Steven has attended camps and festivals for singing at many different college campuses including Butler University, DePauw University, Indiana-Purdue University in Ft. Wayne, and Heidelberg University. At these universities, he has studied with many different vocal professors. He has also received perfect score ratings in the State Solo/Ensemble Contests through ISSMA. Steven has worked with well-known arrangers such as Paris Rutherford, Kirby Shaw, and Greg Jasperse. As he is pursuing his musical career, Steven is keeping a focus on opera and classical repertoire, and is planning on attending graduate school immediately following Millikin for his Masters Degree in Music for Vocal Performance.