June 2010 Winners: Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins
The June 2010 Young Artist Award recipients are Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins, both seniors at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. David Leach, Director of Bands at the Grammy Award-winning Pioneer High School nominated both students. Leach states, “These students are two of the finest musicians I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with in my 23-year career as a music educator.”
Dylan and Megumi are members of the symphony band, orchestra, and marching band, having shared in the responsibilities of the role of principal trumpet in each ensemble.
While Dylan hails from Ann Arbor and is also known for his dual enrollment and participation in Community High School’s Advanced Jazz Combo (frequently gigging around town), Megumi is originally from Otsu, Japan. Megumi came to the USA as a bright middle school student planning to attend school here for one year. After falling in love with American school music programs, she returned to Japan in ninth grade to attend the Osaka International School. Her love of music and American band traditions brought her back to Ann Arbor to finish high school for her final three years.
Both students have performed in the University of Michigan Youth Band and Orchestra throughout high school while also attending numerous summer programs. Dylan has been a member of the Interlochen All-State Orchestra from 2007 – 2009 and performed with the 2009 Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Orchestra. As an accomplished pianist, Dylan has completed all ten levels of the Michigan Music Teachers Association Piano Student Achievement Test, receiving the maximum five trophies. Dylan is an active soloist at his local church where he participates in numerous community service projects to help the homeless. Dylan plans to major in trumpet performance and is currently on the audition trail. He is the son of Carolyn Bybee and Charles Larkins, both professional trumpeters and teachers in Ann Arbor.
Upon completion of eighth grade in 2005, Megumi toured with the Blue Lake International Symphonic Band throughout Europe and in 2007 was selected to participate in the Asia Pacific Activities Conference Band Festival at Brent International School in Manila, Philippines. After attending the High School Trumpet Workshop at Interlochen’s National Music Camp in of June 2008, Miss Matsushita won first prize in the Junior Division of the Grand Valley State University International Trumpet Seminar Solo Competition that July. Both Dylan and Megumi were finalists in the 2009 Ann Arbor Concert Band’s Young Artists Scholarship Competition.
Megumi is a member of the National Honor Society, Pioneer Interact (which tutors Japanese students), and M.U.S.I.C. (Musicians United to Serve the Community) where she volunteers in nursing homes and hospices. Megumi is the daughter of artist/painter Uyen Tonnule and Keiichiro Matsushita, Economics Professor at Kansai University in Japan, and plans to major in chemistry and minor in music.
Megumi Matsushita and Dylan Larkins study trumpet privately with YAA Column Editor Jean Moorehead Libs. who states, “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Dylan and Megumi’s trumpet teacher and mentor for seven years. Bravo to you both!” Both June winners will receive one-year complimentary membership in ITG.