Music students achieve competition wins, scholarship awards, festival acceptances

four strings players with their instruments
Turquoise Quartet. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

MACON — Mercer University‘s Townsend School of Music is announcing several prominent student achievements from the spring 2023 semester. Throughout the year, music students participate in extracurricular ensembles, attend festivals, and perform both locally and around the globe.

Turquoise Quartet wins silver medal

The Turquoise Quartet, featuring students from the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, was awarded a silver medal at the 2023 Saint Paul String Quartet Competition, held in St. Paul, Minnesota. Of more than 50 quartets that entered the competition, the Turquoise Quartet was one of only four groups invited to the finals.

Senior violinist Hayoung Choi, sophomore violinist Katrina Stroud, junior violist Carlos Walker, and senior cellist Juliana Moroz were coached by McDuffie Center faculty Annie Fullard, first violinist with the Cavani String Quartet, and Lawrence Dutton, violist with the Emerson String Quartet.

The quartet also traveled to South Bend, Indiana, in mid-May to compete in the 50th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the largest chamber music competition in the world. 

This is the first year a McDuffie Center student group has entered either competition.

Vocalist receives scholarship from The Opera Guild for Atlanta

Tanushka Sisodiya. Photo by Jessica Whitley

Sophomore vocalist Tanushka Sisodiya was named the undergraduate recipient of The Opera Guild for Atlanta’s 2023 scholarship and will take taking home a check for $1,000. 

Sisodiya competed against four other undergraduate vocal musicians who are residents from across the state of Georgia, representing universities from across the country. The competition was judged by soprano Talise Trevigne and tenor Jay Hunter Morris.

Oboist chosen for 2023 National Intercollegiate Band

Cailey Martinez. Photo by Leah Yetter

Freshman Cailey Martinez has been selected to play oboe in the 2023 National Intercollegiate Band in Orlando, Florida, this summer.

The National Intercollegiate Band is an ensemble of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma that began nearly 70 years ago. Collegiate musicians from across the country audition for the opportunity to perform with some of the most dynamically stimulating composers and respected conductors in America.

Flutist accepted to international music festival

Lucas Meinberg. Photo courtesy Lucas Meinberg

Freshman Lucas Meinberg, flute, was accepted into the Clazz International Music Festival for summer study with concert flutist Nancy Stagnitta.

Clazz is a music festival founded in 2015 that takes place in the Tuscany region of Italy.

About Townsend School of Music

Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music, the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. Townsend is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities. The McDuffie Center, a special institute within Townsend School of Music, is a highly selective program that prepares string students for success in the real world. Students study with some of America’s most renowned string musicians, receiving music instruction of conservatory quality, while earning an academically well-rounded education from a comprehensive, nationally recognized university. For more information and a complete listing of this season’s concerts, visit or call (478) 301-2748.