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Five Eastern Kentucky University music students earned first-place awards in recent competition sponsored by the Kentucky Music Teachers Association.

Top finishers in the National Division were Ciarra Kist, Williamstown, brass; and Jordan Durham, Lexington, voice. Kist is a student of Joseph Van Fleet and Durham a student of Zach Marshall. In addition, Yuhan Lu, China, a student of Bernardo Scarambone, received honorable mention in piano.

First-place winners in the Bluegrass State Division were Tim Montgomery, Lexington, cello; Jeffrey Doll, Lexington, brass; and Adam Kern, Lexington, voice. Montgomery is a student of Nathan Jasinksi, Doll a student of Van Fleet and Kern a student of Marshall.

EKU sent 12 students to the KMTA conference, its biggest contingent ever, according to Rob James, chair of the University’s Department of Music. “In the past, we won first-place prizes and honorable mentions in piano. This is the first time we won in other categories (voice, brass and strings).”

The performance “shows the commitment of our department, faculty and students to excellence,” James added. “This is the first time the trumpet studio has participated in at least 10 years, and EKU trumpet students won both brass divisions.”

The National Division winners go on to the regional level and will compete against students from Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina and Florida. One winner will advance to the national finals. The Bluegrass Division ends at the state level.