Crescendo Music Awards Finals Set for April 1

MUSIC AWARDS CONCERT: The final round of competition for collegiate performers competing in the Crescendo Music Awards will be held in a public concert format at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 1 at the Van Trease Performing Arts Center for Education, Tulsa Community College, Southeast Campus. Approximately $27,000 in cash awards will be presented that evening in the disciplines of piano, voice and orchestral instruments. Tickets for the concert are $25 and available through “”: or by calling the Rotary Club of Tulsa at 918-584-7642. Sponsorships are also still available.

The finals competition for the Eighth Annual Crescendo Music Awards will be held in a public concert format at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at the VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education, Tulsa Community College, Southeast Campus. The competition, held for high school and college students, will take place over three days, beginning with first-round auditions on March 30 and 31.

The event is sponsored and was created by the Rotary Club of Tulsa.

This year’s competition is open in three divisions: Orchestral Instruments, Piano, and Voice. Cash totaling $27,000 will be awarded for the Collegiate and School Divisions.

The Crescendo Music Awards was started In 1998 when Rotarian Joseph Bias shared his vision for a classical music competition with fellow Rotarian Linda Bradshaw. They brought the idea for a music competiton to then-president of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, Doug Collins. Little did they know of Collins’ passion for music of all kinds. He embraced the vision and asked the two to prepare a five-year plan for what was then referred to as the Music Scholarship Program.

The plan was presented to various Rotarians, and a meeting followed with distinguished personalities from the field of music at a Summit Club luncheon. The personalities were asked for their direction, ideas and support. Included were representatives from the Tulsa Opera, the Tulsa Philharmonic, the Tulsa Youth Symphony, The University of Tulsa School of Music and the Oral Roberts University School of Fine Arts.

From that meeting came the concept to switch the word “scholarships” to “awards.” The competitors would be competing for cash awards that they could use in any way they saw fit to further their musical training.

Application packets for the inaugural Rotary Club of Tulsa Music Awards Competition were prepared and sent out to a list of music teachers statewide. Eleven applications were received and the first competitors were auditioned for the $1,500 that had been budgeted and approved for cash awards. The quality of the talent was overwhelming, leading the committee to add additional funds from their own pockets to raise to $2,100.

A donation of $50,000 from Rotarian Bob Johnson helped to grow the competition.

The name Crescendo was later added, as was a logo and a Web site, The Web site informs potential participants about the competition, eliminates the need to mail out competition packets, allows participants to apply for the competition online, provides for online payment of application fees, purchase of tickets, and donations to the Crescendo Endowment.

The quality of the competition itself has continued to improve as well. Not only is the talent outstanding, an incredible group of judges has embraced the competition, including notable musicians from such places as the Eastman School of Music, the University of Miami, Arizona State University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University.

Last year, Dr. Esther Jane Hardenbergh of the University of Miami School of Music sponsored a scholarship for the vocal competition winner to the University of Miami’s summer program for vocalists and pianists in Salzburg, Austria.

This year’s Crescendo Steering Committee includes Co-Chairmen Joseph Bias and Cory Nickerson and members Linda Bradshaw, Rod Copeland, Linda Wilson and Jerry Muratore.

Additional Crescendo Committee members include Rotarians Janelle Beard, Richard R. Gibbs, Mary Ninde, George Hamilton, Connie Otis, Roger D. Hartman, Dixie Reppe, Charles N. Chittom, Wanda L. Hartman, Kent Shacklett, James M. Chittom, Gerhard Hill Jr., Betty Bryant Shaull, Douglas F. Collins, Lawrence A. Johnson, Wesley Sherrick Jr., Greg Kach, Jack Tubb, John D. Dellavedova,Burl S. Watson, Jerry L. Emmons, Terence L. McDonald, Lester L. Wildman, Scott H. Filstrup and Harvey Gaspar.

Updated 03-20-2006

Back to Top


Back to Top

Contact GTR News