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Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition

Each Fall, Symphony of the Mountains conducts our annual Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition named in honor of the founding president of the Women’s Symphony Committee, Elizabeth Harper Vaughn. Elizabeth founded the group in 1953. With this prestigious competition, Symphony of the Mountains’ Women’s Symphony Committee recognizes and rewards talented young musicians and vocalists

2024 Competition Details

Symphony of the Mountains will be conducting our annual Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition named in Honor of Elizabeth Harper Vaughn, who was the founding president of Women’s Symphony Committee in 1953. With this prestigious competition, Symphony of the Mountains’ Women’s Symphony Committee recognizes and rewards talented young musicians and vocalists.

Application Details:

  • Instruments:  Strings, Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp, Guitar, Piano and Vocals.
  • Age:  Applicants must be 25 or younger
  • Application Materials:
    • Letter of recommendation from the applicant’s instructor
    • Video link of the applicant performing the entire concerto or aria to be played at the final round of the competition with a piano accompaniment.
    • $30 non-refundable entrance fee.  
      Entrance fees can be sent to Symphony of the Mountains Attn: EHVCC to 1200 East Center Street, Suite 311,
      Kingsport, TN 37660, or you can pay by phone with credit card at 423-392-8423.
    • Deadline:  Complete Applications must be in our office by Friday, October 4, 2024, by 4:00pm EST.

Applications may be submitted by email with a video link of your performance at or by mail with a flash drive at 1200 East Center Street Suite 311, Kingsport, TN  37660 (Attn:  Elizabeth Harper Vaughn).

The Finalists

Finalists will be selected and notified by Monday October 14.

First Place Winner wins $1500 honorarium ($750 at final round and $750 when they return and play with Symphony of the Mountains in the following season).

Other Finalist receive a $500 honorarium after performing in the final round of the competition.

Final Round of the Competition will be held on Sunday, 11/03/24 in Kingsport, TN.  Finalists are responsible for transportation costs.  Housing will be provided by a host family in Kingsport.

For more information, please call the Symphony of the Mountains office at (423) 392-8423 or by email at

Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Competition Winners!

1st place winner – Joshua Kováč

2nd place – Eileen Moudou

3rd place – Sofi Rohlman

Joshua Kováč

Joshua Kováč, 16, from Johnson City, Tennessee, began playing the cello at the age of four as a Suzuki student of Jean Dexter. Since 2015, he has continued his studies with Daniel Veis, a renowned cellist and Professor of cello at Park University. Joshua won top prizes at numerous international competitions, including Grand Prize at Nashville Symphony Curb Concerto Competition, 2nd prize at Ronald Sachs International String Competition, 1st prize at Gustav Mahler International Cello Competition, 1st prize at Radda Rise International Competition, 1st prize at Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition, 2nd prize at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National String Competition, 1st prize at Rudolph Barshai International String Competition, 1st prize at Park-Na International Competition, and 1st prize at Bristol Music Club Scholarship Audition with the Paramount Chamber Players Award. Joshua performed as a soloist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Kinnor Philharmonic, ETSU Chamber Orchestra, and Scruffy City Orchestra. He also had the honor of performing several times with the Paramount Chamber Players throughout this region. In February, 2020 Joshua performed live on NPR’s radio show From The Top in Boston, Massachusetts and received the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Every summer, Joshua attends music festivals, including Music@Menlo Chamber Music Institute, Chamber Music Northwest’s Young Artist Institute, Moulin d’Ande Cello Festival in France, Heartland and ETSU Chamber Music Festivals. In the fall of 2022, Joshua was accepted as an active participant into the prestigious Kronberg Cello Masterclasses in Germany. Joshua has had the honor to play in a masterclass for Zlatomir Fung, Matt Haimovitz, Steven Doane, Keith Robinson, Dmitri Atapine, Tom Landschoot, Jérôme Pernoo, Peter Stumpf, Johannes Moser, and the members of Harlem and Parker String Quartets. Among other interests, Joshua enjoys competitive swimming, skiing, chess, and spending time with his family and friends.

Joshua is honored and very excited to be performing the Dvorak’s cello concerto with the Symphony of the Mountains.

Eileen Moudou

Eileen Moudou began her studies on the violin at age eight with Lya Stern. As a young soloist, Eileen performed with orchestras such as the Londontowne Symphony and Frederick Symphony, and was a semifinalist in the junior division of the Sphinx Competition, where she won the Achievement Award in 2016. She was an alumna of the National Youth Orchestra of the US, under the baton of Charles Dutoit, and the Aspen Music Festival and School, where she studied with Paul Kantor and Sylvia Rosenberg. She has additionally studied and collaborated with a variety of esteemed artists, including Stefan Jackiw, Jonathan Carney, and Jung-Min Shin. She was recently awarded first place in the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2022. Eileen obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts in chemistry from Columbia University in 2021, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in chemistry at the University of Chicago.

Sofi Rohlman

Sofi Rohlman is a senior at Appalachian State University double majoring in Vocal Performance and Music Industry Studies with a concentration in Marketing and Promotion. In previous years Sofi has been in Appalachian Opera Theatre’s production of Myths and Hymns, performed as Mrs. Jenks in The Tenderland by Aaron Copeland, sang as Saeva in the premiere of Firelight by Hayley Turner, and performed the role of Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. This past fall, Sofi won the Hayes School of Music Concerto Aria Competition at Appalachian State University and performed alongside the Appalachian Symphony orchestra. This summer, Sofi participated in an Opera Scenes program singing scenes as Zerlina from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Alcina from Handel’s Alcina, and Nannetta from Verdi’s Falstaff, and performed the role of Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica with Opera Seme in Arezzo, Italy. She is currently singing with The Hayes School of Music’s University Singers and Chamber Singers and is a Prism Scholar through these ensembles. She also performs and assists with the Appalachian Chorale through the Community Music School at Appalachian State. Sofi is incredibly grateful to have been one of the winners of the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition last year and she is thrilled and honored to be singing alongside the Symphony of the Mountains.

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