Gabriella Cariddo (age 17) is a harpsichordist and composer from New York City interested in exploring historical performance practice and composing tonal music in the twenty-first century. She is in 11th grade at Special Music School High School, where she majors in composition under Dr. Whitney George, and studies harpsichord at Manhattan School of Music Precollege under Jocelyn Stewart. As a composer, Gabriella’s aim is to use her knowledge of Partimento improvisation in combination with her original works. When not practicing and composing, she can be located at the nearest bubble tea shop.
Alicia Erlandson (age 17) is an emerging composer and rising senior from Detroit, Michigan. She has played the flute for seven years, studying under Stacey Jamison since 2019, and has been a member of the Ferndale High School Marching Band for five seasons. Alicia started composing in March 2020 and recently attended the Young Women Composers Camp, where she studied with Flannery Cunningham and premiered Bloom for cello and voice. She participated in the Great Plains Composers Workshop this September, writing a clarinet solo for Rachelle Goter from the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. She currently studies composition with Michael Maiorana.
Elisa Johnson (age 17) is a pianist, singer/songwriter, and composer from Seattle, Washington. She studies classical and jazz piano and has also studied the Chinese instrument, erhu (二胡). Her pieces explore elements of social justice and identity through classical, choral, musical theatre, and pop music. Her music has been performed by Seattle Symphony musicians, the Northwest Girlchoir, and the New England Music Camp Chamber Choir. She has been honored to receive awards and honorable mentions from The American Prize, Seattle Music Teachers’ Association, and The Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York. She has studied with Spencer Arias and Angelique Poteat.
Devon Lee (age 14) is a double bassist and composer who lives in New York City. She’s been composing for four years, and loves trying new things and improving her skills. He moved to New York from South Korea, and is proud of being a blend of cultures. They like writing, drawing, and learning about all types of music.
Rachel Mugemancuro (age 17) is a violinist and composer from Los Angeles, California. She has played the violin for 12 years and has been honored to solo with the Spokane Symphony and the Glendale Youth Orchestra, as well as participate in the 2020 season of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. Rachel has been a fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Nancy and Barry Sanders Young Composer Fellowship since 2020, and has enjoyed writing for various ensembles through that program. Her favorite composers are Jennifer Higdon, Ludwig Göransson, and Ramin Djawadi. Outside of music, Rachel enjoys learning about foreign affairs.
Cecelia Olszewski (age 17) is a composer, violinist, and pianist from Wallingford, Pennsylvania. She has been composing for about 4 years, studying with David Trum (Philadelphia, PA). She is an alumna of the Young Women Composers Camp and her work has been played on WRTI 90.1 fm radio. In addition to composing, Cecelia loves to make experimental projects with her friends to accompany her pieces such as short films, photoshoots, and zines. Her most recent compositions include a five-movement piece for symphony orchestra and a song cycle based on the fragmented text of Sappho.
2021-22 LUNA COMPOSITION LAB HONORABLE MENTIONS
Ilaria Loisa Hawley (age 12) is a composer and flutist from New York City. Ilaria received the 2020 Composers Now “First Commissions” Prize as well as a 2019 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Ilaria is enrolled in the New York Youth Symphony’s Composition Program and studies composition with Mathew Fuerst. Their music has been performed by the New York Philharmonic and Face the Music. The inaugural recipient of Claire Chase’s Pnea Foundation Young Flutist Award and winner of a NY Flute Club Young Musician Contest, Ilaria spends summers playing flute at Greenwood Music Camp. In their free time Ilaria enjoys drawing, reading, and rock climbing.
Adah Kaplan (age 15) is a composer and violinist from Dresher, Pennsylvania. She is in tenth grade and currently attends Germantown Academy. She studies violin with Kimberly Fisher and plays in Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Philadelphia Sinfonia, Philadelphia Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, and the Auger Ensemble of Settlement Music School. Adah studies composition with Melissa Dunphy; her piece “Beware of Road Hazards” was selected for Thomas Kraines’ ACF Call for Scores and “Inspiration for Prayer” won her a spot as finalist for “New Music on the Bluff.” Recently, Adah’s piece “On Autopilot” was selected to be workshopped by the JACK Quartet in 2022.
Sophia Luong (age 16) is a percussionist and composer from Des Plaines, Illinois. She is a fellow of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, a program that works to diversify the classical music industry. She is also a member of the Merit Wind Symphony and the Chicago Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.
Grace Ma (age 17) is a violinist and composer from Potomac, Maryland. Grace started playing violin when she was 6 years old and has been a member of the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras (MCYO) since 2012. She is also a three-time member of the Maryland All-State Orchestras. Grace began composing less than two years ago and studies with Yiming Wu. She received an Honorable Mention at the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York (MYO) 2020-2021 Emerging Composers Competition and was a finalist at the 2021 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition.
ELAINA RAE STUPPLER
Elaina Rae Stuppler (age 13) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Lake Oswego, Oregon. She relocated to Oregon after attending Crossroads School for the Arts in California. She played trombone in the Jazz Ensemble at Colburn, was selected for the All-State Honors Band, and studied violin through the Royal Conservatory. Elaina performed in Annie at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic and sang the National Anthem at the Grand Prix. She is in the Oregon Symphony’s Young Composers Project where her composition “Rae of Light” was debuted. This year, the Metropolitan Youth Symphony will play the world premiere of her piece, “Subwoofer Lullaby.”
Jenny Wei (age 17) is a composer and cellist from Allen, Texas. She has been composing for two years, and she currently studies composition with Yiming Wu. Jenny’s works have been awarded in the Dmitri Shostakovich Composers Competition, Amigdala International Music Competition, Franz Schubert Conservatory International Composer Competition, Texas Music Teachers Association Original Composition Contest, and the Texas Parent Teacher Association Reflections Arts Competition. Jenny’s past composition teachers include Anny Hong. In addition to composition, Jenny has studied cello for six years and is a cellist in her school’s chamber and symphony orchestras, as well as her state’s region and area orchestras.