The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Student to attend prestigious music school

SMU junior Tihda Vongkoth is the 2007 winner of the prestigious Charles Owen Award presented at the Aspen Music Festival and School for her achievement in the musical field of percussion.

“I play all different types of percussion instruments. Just about anything you would think of as a drum, I play it,” she stated, “Although, my favorite is the kettle drums.”

Vongkoth’s love for percussion was fostered beginning as early as sixth grade. She continued her studies in high school at Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI. She then received a full Meadows Artistic Scholarship and has furthered her music career at SMU. She is an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Percussion Performance program.

Vongkoth has received several honors and accolades. In 2003 she was the grand prize winner of The Florida Ochestra Young Artists Competition, and in 2004 won the Colonel George S. Howard Young Artist Competition and the Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competition.

She has also appeared as a soloist with The Florida Orchestra, United States Air Force Band and Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. Vongkoth has performed as a member of many orchestras including the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Florimezzo Opera and Festival Orchestra, Winter Sun Music Festival Orchestra, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra and Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Young Artists Orchestra.

Her most recent honor, The Charles Owen Award provides a scholarship for the summer to attend the Aspen Music Festival and School. The school offers numerous fellowships to nine-week students who have achieved an exceptional level of performance in music.

Vongkoth expressed her honor in receiving this highly coveted award. “It has been one of my goals since middle school to get the Charlie Owen Award and to go to Aspen. I am especially honored because a lot of older students win it, and I am only a third year undergraduate.”

Vongkoth credits much of her foundation and background in percussion to her SMU professor Douglas Brown, who recently won the Sabian Lifetime Achievment Award at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.

“Professor Howard has helped me learn how to play percussion. Before you can go off and do your own thing, it is imperative you have a solid foundation. He really helped me establish a firm foundation, and I thank him for that,” Vongkoth said.

Highlights of Vongkoth’s 2006-07 musical season include her solo appearances with the Meadows Percussion Ensemble and her debut with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra performing Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto this Friday and Sunday.

In the future Vongkoth hopes to play with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

“I love to play the kettle drums. The pimpani, that’s my favorite and what I hope to play in the DSO.”

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