Austin, Round Rock Student News
LATEST STUDENT NEWS
CHILDBLOOM GUITAR PROGRAM CELEBRATES ITS 40TH BIRTHDAY THIS MAY!
AUSTIN HIGH-SCHOOLER WINS INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
Aytahn Benavi, a student of Kevin Taylor, recently participated in the Ex Aeque Artist International online competition. Over 145 entries of professional guitarists of all ages participated with video entries. There were 24 semi-finalists and eventually 12 finalists who performed a live set online. Aytahn made it to the finals – the youngest player involved – and then received 1st prize! Aytahn did not prepare for the competition, having sent in his entry 2 days after he had heard about it! This shows how important it is to keep one’s skills ready for performance! Aytahn is a senior in high school. He is the son of Hillel & Irit Benavi of Austin.
CHILDBLOOM “CHIARA STELLA” GUITAR ENSEMBLE TAKES 1ST PRIZE AT SOUTHWEST ENSEMBLE COMPETITION IN SAN ANTONIO!
The Chiara Stella Guitar Ensemble, directed by Adam Carney received 1st prize at the Southwest Guitar Symposium competition, March 14-17. The members are: Aaron Lester, Rishab Rao Pejaver, Nathan Bledsoe, Nate Sullivan, Matt Sullivan, Cooper Reid, Oslo Groce, Ander Hilyer, Karthik Jayakumar. Congratulations! Director is Adam Carney.
Zara Terrazas-Graham of Austin won 2nd place in high-school division at the very-difficult and prestigious, Texas Guitar Competition and Festival in early March. Congratulations to Zara!
3 CHILDBLOOM ALUMS QUALIFY FOR PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL COMPETITION!!!
3 Childbloom teens have reached the semi-finals in the prestigious Stroud Competition in Cleveland. There were 41 applicants and 15 were chosen. Aytahn Benavi (17) is from Austin, Tx.. He is a student of Kevin Taylor. Kassandra Hughes (15) is from St. Charles, Mo. Her teacher was Chris Peleshenko. Nate Hill (17) is from Spartanburg, SC. His teacher is Michael Miller. This is an outstanding achievement from these young players. We are proud that the Childbloom Program is represented so well by these young artists.
LOCAL STUDENT WINS TOP HONORS IN INTERNATIONAL GUITAR COMPETITION.
Aytahn Benavi, a 17 year old Austin student of Kevin Taylor, recently competed in The Guitar Foundation of America’s International Sr. solo Competition. Aytahn competed against 40 of the best young guitarist in the world. He was awarded 3rd prize, representing the only guitarist from the U.S. You can view the finals between the great young talent of Canada, Croatia, USA & China here.
CHILDBLOOM TEENAGE GROUP WINS 1ST PLACE IN HILL COUNTRY GUITAR ENSEMBLE FESTIVAL
Austin Bella Corda Guitar Ensemble competed in the recent Hill Country Guitar Ensemble Festival and earned first prize! They competed against high school groups from Austin and Houston. The group performed 4 pieces: a work by contemporary composer, James Chang, an Alemaign by Thomas Robinson, an original arrangement called Playing With Play With Fire by Kieth Richards and Mick Jagger and the Allegro Movement of the quartet for 4 violins by Telemann.
AUSTIN STUDENT WINS 1ST PRIZE IN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
We just found out that Aytahn Benavi, competed at the “Domain Forget” guitar festival in Quebec, Canada. Although only 16, Aytahn competed in the college division, playing “Caprice 1” by Mario Castlenuevo Tedesco, “Etude 12” by H. Villa Lobos and “Joyful Island” by Angelo Gilardino. He won 1st prize! This includes an honorarium, full tuition next year and a concert at the festival! Congratulations to Aytahn on his well-deserved awards! Aytahn began in the Childbloom Program at age 5 with Chris Stone. He is currently studying with Childbloom Founder, Kevin Taylor.
CHIARA STELLA GUITAR ENSEMBLE PERFORMS AT CHILDBLOOM OPEN HOUSE
The Chiara Stella Guitar ensemble, comprised of guitar students of the Childbloom Guitar Program, performed music outdoors at the Childbloom Porgram’s Open House on June 6. The group is Directed by Childbloom Instructor, Adam Carney.
ROUND ROCK STUDENTS SHOW “CAN-DO” ATTITUDE
The latest Round Rock students news is that students can and are contributing canned food for the Round Rock Food Bank every week. The Round Rock studio is now a drop off point for donations. So bring a can to your lesson! Lets see how quickly we can fill up that barrel!
AUSTIN BELLA CORDA GUITAR ENSEMBLE PERFORMS AT FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS IN GEORGETOWN
The Austin Bella Corda guitar ensemble performed before the Round Rock Symphony’s initial performance for this year’s Festival of the Arts. The theme of the Festival was music of Latin America. The group performed music by Astor Piazzola and a selection of arrangements from South American and Mexican folk traditions.
AUSTIN BELLA CORDA GUITAR ENSEMBLE PERFORMS AT FESTIVAL HILL IN ROUND TOP
The Childbloom performing group, Austin Bella Corda, played for a Mother’s Day Concert at Festival Hill in Round Top on May 15, 2018. They performed in the Edythe Bates Chapel.
AUSTIN BELLA CORDA TO PERFORM AT THE ROUND ROCK ARTS GALA ON MARCH 3
Round Rock Arts patrons will hear the award-winning Austin Bella Corda Guitar Ensemble perform at the 10th “Imagine” Arts show.
THE CHILDBLOOM CHRISTMAS GUITAR CHOIR TO PERFORM IN THE TEXAS STATE CAPITOL ROTUNDA
On Sunday, Dec. 17 from noon until 1 pm, the 30 piece Childbloom Christmas Guitar Choir will decorate the Texas Capitol with the sounds of Christmas. This is the 12th year students from The Childbloom Guitar Program have performed their holiday classics in this glorious rotunda. Everyone is welcome!
CHILDBLOOM CHRISTMAS GUITAR CHOIR AT ROUND ROCK LIBRARY
30 young guitarists will perform accompaniment to a reading of the traditional O’Henry Christmas story, “Gift of the Magi” on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2:30 in the Round Rock Library. This is the 10th year the Childbloom students have presented this Christmas classic. Introduce you family to this inspiring story by one of America’s greates storytellers. Free and open to the public.
AUSTIN BELLA CORDA PERFORMS IN ROUND ROCK AND GEORGETOWN
Childbloom’s premier performance group will play Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Barnes & Nobles “Bookfair” in Round Rock at La Frontera. This is the first performance of the season of the re-formed group. They will play at 7 p.m.
AUSTIN BELLA CORDA TO PERFORM FOR A MUSICAL BENEFIT FOR HARVEY VICTIMS
Austin Bella Corda will also perform Sunday at 1 pm at Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown for a benefit for the victims of hurricane Harvey.
Austin Bella Corda is an elite performing group of students who started guitar with the Childbloom Guitar Program. Even though all the players are teenagers, many of them started at age 5 and 6. In June they traveled to Fullerton California to compete in the Guitar Foundation of America‘s International Ensemble competition. They competed against conservatory groups from California and Arizona. We are happy to report that the group was awarded the top prize of 1st place! You can see and hear their competition performance here.
The performers are (l to R): Noah Kentros, Aaron Mink, Jakob Giles, Simon Krauskopf, Linden Meyer, Kevin Taylor (Director), Aytahn Benavi, Ben Parrish, Elle Smith and Kabeer Motwani.
They performed works by Astor Piazzola, Mozart and an original work by Director, Kevin Taylor. Participation in Austin Bella Corda is free but students must audition each year.
Dec. 9, 7 pm at Ken’z Guitars on the square in Georgetown, the premier guitar ensemble of the Childbloom Program, Austin Bella Corda, will give a free performance. Come on out and hear some great playing from these kids!
Dec. 17, noon, the Childbloom Christmas Guitar Choir will perform in the Rotunda of the State Capital building.
Dec. 18, 4 PM in the Round Rock Public Library the Childbloom Christmas Guitar Choir will accompany a reading of O’Henry’s “Gift off the Magi.” Introduce your family to this inspiring story of the season from one of America’s created storytellers.
CHILDBLOOM STUDENT WINS MAJOR INTERNATIONAL AWARDS
In June of 2016, Aytahn Benavi, a 14 year old student of Kevin Taylor, recently was awarded 2nd place at the Guitar Foundation of America’s International youth guitar competition JR. Division. He competed agains dozens of the world’s finest young players. This is the toughest competition in the world and Aytahn showed that he is one of the best players in the USA. In October he was awarded 1st place in the Texas A&M Guitar Symposium high school competition and the Indiana University high school guitar competition. Congratulations to him for his outstanding work!
GUITAR DAY IN DOWNTOWN ROUND ROCK ON APRIL 30
On Saturday, April 30, the students and teachers of the Childbloom Guitar Program will be in downtown Round Rock for ”Childbloom Guitar Day.”
At 11 am pedestrians may walk by one of our volunteer ”Sound Oasis” teams, students playing near the Plaza and on the street to provide a bit of musical interest and beauty for pedestrians and passer-byes.
From noon to 1 pm, the teachers of the Childbloom Program will be out near the Plaza giving free mini-guitar lessons to interested kids. Come meet the extraordinary teachers of the Childbloom Program!
At 3 pm, Childbloom students of Round Rock and Austin will have an open mic at Star Coffee on Main Street.
At 7 PM in ArtSpace, the Austin Bella Corda Guitar Ensemble will perform a ”Sunset Concert.” This concert will also feature the award-winning soloists, Aaron Mink and Aytahn Benavi. This is free. Seating is limited. Come early
CHILDBLOOM STUDENT TAKES NATIONAL COMPETITION HONORS
A 14 year old student of Kevin Taylor, Aytahn Benavi, just was awarded 1st prize in two national youth competitions. He traveled to Columbus, Georgia and performed in the youth competition, at the Columbus Guitar Symposium. He also competed in the University of Dallas Sr. Youth competition and took 1st place. We congratulate Aytahn on his impressive achievements!
”GIFT OF THE MAGI”
A reading. Free and open to all ages. Introduce your family to this inspiration seasonal favorite, Saturday, December 12, 5 PM at the Round Rock Public Library. Music by the Childbloom Christmas Guitar Choir.
Austin Bella Corda Guitar Ensemble
Austin Bella Corda Guitar Ensemble is a premier guitar ensemble drawing students from the Childbloom Guitar Program. The 2015/16 performers are (from l to r) Ben Parrish, Aaron Mink, Simon Krauskopf, Jeneve Wider, Maxwell Dodge, Elle Smith, Elyce Garcia, Aytahn Benavi. Click here to listen to them playing an original tune.
Austin Bella Corda
Austin Bella Corda, the elite performing group of advanced Childbloom students, will be performing at Lakeway Activity Center ballroom on Sunday, April 19, 4 to 5 p.m. Their performance is free to the public. Players are (l-r) Aytahn Benavi, Avi Medina, Sam Forbes, Jeneve Wilder, Aaron Mink, Annalise Irby, SImon Krauskopf, Elle Smith, Ben Parrish.
Childbloom students at our Austin Open Mic
Austin/Round Rock Instructors, Adam Carney, Jody Moseley, Chris Stone and Katie Kerwin just put on an open mic for any students who wished to participate. And WOW! did they. Childbloomers packed the New World Cafe. Students from the most beginning to the most advances performed. What a great outpouring of young guitarists!
THE 12TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS IN ROUND ROCK
The Childbloom Christmas Guitar Choir will accompany a reading of O’Henry’s ”Gift of the Magi” on Dec. 13 in the Round Rock City Council chambers. This group is comprised of 24 Childbloom students. The performance is free!
CHILDBLOOM STUDENT TAKES FIRST PLACE AT TEXAS A & M YOUTH GUITAR COMPETITION!
Aytahn Benavi received 1st prize at the Texas A & M Jr. youth guitar competition in October. He competed against 14 other players from around the state. He performed two pieces. He started guitar lessons at age 5 with Childbloom Instructor Chris Stone and now studies with Kevin Taylor.
TWO AUSTIN CHILDBLOOM STUDENTS EARN HIGHEST AWARDS AT INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL COMPETITION
The University of Houston’s Classical Minds festival featured two youth competitions that included young players from around the United States and beyond. We are pleased to announce that two Austin/Round Rock students of Kevin Taylor received top awards at that festival. Aytahn Benavi (12) won 1st in the Jr. competition performing Giuliani’s Op.15 2nd mvmnt. and ”Tango de Lejos” in a perfect performance. Avi Medina (17) was awarded 2nd place for her spellbinding set of ”Lament” by Mark Cruz, ”Fantasie VII” by Dowland, ”Usher Waltz” by Nikita Koshkin and ”Maria” by Tarrega. All the players were at an extraordinary high level and we congratulate our young artists for their work and beautiful efforts.
AUSTIN BELLA CORDA TO PERFORM AT ST. MATTHEW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH MAY 31, AT 7:30 PM
Austin Bella Corda is a unique performing group of older Childbloom students. They play music from the Medieval to the Rolling Stones. Bella Corda™ Groups have performed in Washington, South Carolina, St. Louis, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. In 2010 a national Bella Corda group of Childbloom students won ”The Best Youth Ensemble” Award at the the Guitar Orchestra Festival and Competition in Bad Nauheim, Germany. This is a benefit concert for Heifer International.
CHILDBLOOM STUDENT WINS 1ST PRIZE AT PRESTIGIOUS GUITAR COMPETITION
12-year old Childbloom student, Aytahn Benavi was awarded 1st prize at the University of Dallas Youth guitar Competition on March 1. Aytahn competed in the under 14 category. There were dozens of competitors from around the state and beyond. Aytahn began his studies with Chris Stone at age 5 in the Childbloom Guitar Program. He currently studies with Kevin Taylor. Aytahn performed 2 pieces for the judges: Prelude from J.S. Bach’s 1st Cello suite (BWV 1007) and Tango de Lejos by Maximo Pujol.
Childbloom Student Awards since 2010
Austin/Round Rock Childbloom students have been winning guitar competition awards every year since the very first Childbloom students discovered them in 2007! We won’t list them all because the list might break the internet. These are some of the awards that Austin/Round Rock students have earned since 2010.
1st Prize Boston Guitar Fest Academy (University) division.
3rd Prize – Guitar Foundation of America’s International Sr. Solo competition in Miami, Fl.
1st Prize Hill Country Guitar Ensemble Competition (large group-high school division.)
3rd Prize Georgia Guitar Competition (professional division) – Columbus Georgia
1st Prize Florida State Guitar Festival Competition professional division.
1st Prize COLLEGE DIVISION (!) at the Domain Forget Guitar Festival competition, Quebec, Canada.
4th Prize Boston Guitar Competition (18-21 division).
Highest scores in Texas UIL competitions.
1st place at the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Youth Ensemble Competition.
1st Prize – Indiana University High School Guitar competition.
1st Prize – Texas A&M Guitar Symposium high school competition.
3rd prize – Classical Minds adult competition – Houston, TX.
2nd prize – Guitar Foundation of America International Jr. Youth Competition
1st Prize – Domain Forget Youth Competition – Quebec, Canada
1st Prize – Texas A & M Jr. Competition
1st Prize – U. of Dallas Jr. Youth competition
1st prize – U. of Houston’s “Classical Minds” Jr. Competition
2nd prize U. of Houston’s ”Classical Minds” Sr. Competitiom
3rd Prize Mid-America Jr. Youth competition
3rd Prize Mid-America Sr. Youth competition
2nd Prize Mid-America Jr. Sr. competition
1st Prize – Webster University Sr. Youth Competition
2nd prize – U. of Houston’s “Classical Minds” Sr. Competition
2nd Prize – U. of Dallas Jr. Youth competition
3rd Prize – U. of Dallas Sr. Youth competition
Amerian String Teachers” Association youth competition – Honorable mention
2nd prize – Mid-America Sr. Youth Competitiom
Appearance on the national NPR radio show “From The Top”
Winner of the “Jack Kent Cooke” $10,000 Young Artist Award
Yamaha Young Artist Recognition
1st prize – Mid-America Sr. & Jr. Youth Competition
2nd prize at U. of Houston’s “Classical Minds” Sr. Competition
4th prizeat U. of Houston’s “Classical Minds” Sr. Competition
1st prize Mid-America Sr. Youth competition