Congratulations to Our 2016 Winners!

The Elkhart County Symphony held its 30th Annual Youth Concerto Competition on Sunday, January 10th a 3:00 pm, in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Elkhart. The Competition is underwritten by MSC Industrial Direct and the competition is open to students through Grade 12 who play string, woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments or piano. Entrants must be residents of Elkhart County, attend school OR participate in musical activities (such as Youth Honors Orchestra in Elkhart County) OR have a private music teacher who lives or works in Elkhart County. Entrants should be members of their appropriate school music ensemble.

There were cash prizes for the top three competitors: $200 for GOLD, $100 for Silver and $50 for Bronze medal winners. The student earning GOLD will also be featured as soloist with the orchestra.


Lauren Weirich accepting First Place

The Symphony is proud to announce this year’s results.

BRONZE: Bryce Styles, son of Rusty and Kathy Styles is a junior French Horn student at Concord HS. His private teacher is Deb Inglefield.

SILVER: Davis Bontrager, son of Jim and Linda Bontrager. Davis is a junior who is home schooled. His private teacher is Chara Liang.

GOLD: Winner is Lauren Weirich, daughter of Kyle and Tracey Weirich a senior violinist at Elkhart Central HS and also the South Bend Youth Symphony. She studies privately with Jessica Bennett.

For the competition, Lauren performed Zigernerweisen (Gypsy Airs) by Pablo de Sarasate and will be featured soloist with the Elkhart County Symphony on their upcoming concert, Sunday, February 21st at 4:00 PM at the Lerner Theater. The concert celebrates the 30th year that the Symphony has sponsored this opportunity for students to earn the honor of performing on stage with the orchestra.


2016 Concerto Competitors (left to right): Bryce Styles, Lauren Weirich, Davis Bontrager

This year’s theme is “CELEBRATE YOUTH: WHERE DREAMS ARE BORN!” This is a unique program which will reveal where many former winners are now and how this experience shaped their future. In addition this year’s GOLD winner, Lauren Weirich performing, we have invited a few former winners to be featured. Dr. Mary Jordan Norell, now head of the Goshen College Community Music School and piano instructor at Goshen College will perform Lizst’s Piano Concerto in Eb while two more recent winners of the competition, Maggie Yoder and Andrew Nowicki, currently juniors at Indiana University studying music will be featured performing the Bach Double Violin Concerto with the orchestra. The Symphony will delight audiences with Entrance of the Gladiators by Fucik and the ever popular William Tell Overture. Plan now to attend and support our very talented local soloists and community symphony now in its 68th Season.

Tickets are now available at the Lerner Box Office. Be sure to check the Symphony’s new Website at Find out about the Classic Symphony Roadster to be raffled off at the final concert in June. A fun way to support the Symphony.

Photos by Symphony Photographer, Dennis Guillaume of Foto Expressions.

Additional information available from Susan Ellington, Executive Director, Elkhart County Symphony 574-238-2939 or