CSU Violin Student Receives National Award

Samuel Vargas, a violinist and student at Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music, was recently among eleven musicians nationwide to be named a winner of the 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition.

"It is a wonderful competition, not only because it gives you an award, but because it promotes you as an artist.," said Vargas. "It is this kind of international exchange with musicians that gives us exposure to be known and do what we love - which is make music for others."

As a 2019 YYPA winner, Vargas will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend in Indiana this June. There he will perform in front of thousands and participate in workshops designed to launch a professional music career.

Vargas, an international student from Venezuela, says that he would not have had this opportunity if it weren't for the Woodruff scholarship that he has received at CSU.

"Being in an environment where I can study, share with young musicians and having a wonderful teacher has helped me reach this point," said Vargas.

Prior to coming to CSU in 2017, Vargas earned a degree in neuro-linguistics in Venezuela and developed quite the international reputation for his music. In 2014, he was named Concertmaster Ambassador of the United Nations, and he has performed in 40 countries on international tours. Vargas chose to attend CSU due to the support he has received and his respect and admiration for CSU professor Sergiu Schwartz, The William B. and Sue Marie Turner Distinguished Chair in Violin.

YYPA winners were selected among a pool of applicants, who submitted an audio/video audition and support materials. An expert panel of performing artists and celebrity musicians evaluated the applicants on superior technical skills and artistry on brass, winds, strings, percussion instruments and piano.

Presented by the Band and Orchestral division of Yamaha Corporation of America, the competition recognizes outstanding young musicians studying in the United States who excel in jazz, classical and contemporary genres. Over the past 31 years, the program has recognized more than 300 exceptional musicians, many of whom established successful music careers as performers and educators.