January 2014 Winner: Eli Ross
Eli Ross, seventeen, is a senior at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. Born into a family of musicians—his parents are principal and assistant principal cellists in the Minnesota Orchestra—he began studying piano at age five and trumpet at age seven with Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter, Robert Dorer.
Eli began attending Interlochen Arts Center at the age of eight and has returned every summer since, often receiving merit scholarships. At Interlochen, he studies with John Aley and Vincent DiMartino, has performed on numerous honor recitals, and, for the past two summers, has been a member of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra.
In Minneapolis, Eli has been a member of the Minnesota Youth Symphony and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony, serving as principal trumpet for both groups for the past six years. He will travel to Spain, performing principal trumpet on Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 and Copland's Appalachian Spring with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony in June of 2014. He has enjoyed additional private studies with Minnesota Orchestra principal trumpeter Manny Laureano and has formed a brass quintet with other principals of the Minnesota Youth Symphony.
At Southwest High School, Eli has played in the orchestra, wind ensemble, and big band, studies private voice, and is a member of the award winning Southwest Singers. He also performs regularly as a soloist at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
Upon his graduation from middle school, Eli received the outstanding musician award from Lake Harriet Community School; and that same year, he also won first prize in the Thursday Musical solo competition. Most recently, in June 2013, Eli won both an ITG Conference Scholarship and first prize in the ITG High School Solo Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eli has also attended ITG conferences held in Minneapolis in 2011 and New Jersey in 2006 when his late grandfather, trumpet master Leon Rapier, was given an ITG Award of Merit.
Outside of practicing trumpet, Eli has been a member of the basketball, baseball, and swim teams at Southwest High School and served as a volunteer for the Locked Out Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra during the 2012–13 season.
Eli plans on auditioning for music schools and conservatories this year, and he looks forward to teaching his first private student. As the January 2014 Young Artist Award recipient, Eli will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG.