Solo Competition

The James W. Simmons Solo Competition
&
The Rev. Dr. Genevieve Murphy Scholarship
for Young Musicians

2018 Winner
Jason Dech
Jason Dech 2018 WinnerJason Dech has been playing trombone for about six years and is currently a sophomore at Fluvanna County High School, where he plays in the FCHS Wind Ensemble. Since 2012, he has been studying with Gary Elwell, as well as ascending through his middle school and high school bands. He also plays in the YOCVA Youth Symphony under the direction of Dr. Charles West.
Jason has been selected as first chair in District 13’s Honor Bands for the past three years, as well as the South-Central Senior Regional Orchestra for the past two. He placed 4th in the state as a high school freshman in 2017.

During marching band season, Jason plays marimba in the Front Ensemble of FCHS’ Marching Flucos. He has also played in the high school’s pit orchestra for their productions of “High School Musical” and “Shrek: The Musical,” as well as playing in the high school’s jazz band. He also likes to learn new instruments, so far including bass guitar, piano, percussion, tuba, and whatever he can get his hands on.

When he isn’t playing music, Jason is a high-level, competitive gymnast, a sport he began to learn 10 years ago. Although he hasn’t decided yet, he is leaning towards studying computer science and minoring in music in college.


The Charlottesville Municipal Band Spring Concert on April 22 will feature the 2018 winner of the James W. Simmons Solo Competition and Rev. Dr. Genevieve Murphy Scholarship for Young Musicians perform as a soloist.

The competition is named for the 6th director of the Charlottesville Municipal Band, Mr. James W. Simmons, who began playing in the band in 1946 and was appointed its Music Director in 1980. During his 26-year tenure, the band increased in both membership and musicianship, playing many concerts in Charlottesville and in surrounding communities and across the state, attracting overflow audiences everywhere it played. He retired on December 31, 2006, and conducted his final program on April 24, 2007.

The scholarship is named in honor of its benefactor and Municipal Band of Charlottesville supporter, the Reverend Dr. Genevieve Murphy, whose generous donation underwrites this annual tradition that showcases the finest young musicians and encourages them to pursue higher education in the arts.

Past Winners

Charlotte MacDonald 2017 Winner photo
2017 Winner
Charlotte MacDonald
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Maggie Archer 2016
2016 Winner
Maggie Archer
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Chris Hays 2015
2015 Winner
Chris Hays
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Geneva Knight 2014
2014 Winner
Geneva Knight
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Marie_Fernandez_2012
2012 Winner
Marie Fernandez
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Samantha Marshall
2011 Winner
Samantha Marshall
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Anthony Poehailos
2010 Winner
Anthony Poehailos
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