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MU alum to participate in music competition

Jun. 18, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Yuri McCoy, a Huntington native and Marshall University graduate, has been invited to participate in the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition, which runs June 18 to 22.

The competition features Longwood's 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ, a panel of judges and live performances by young organists from countries such as South Korea, Bulgaria, France, Russia and New Zealand. The winner receives a prize of $40,000.

McCoy graduated magna cum laude from Marshall with a degree in music in 2008. While living in Huntington, he held several organ posts in and around the city, most recently at St. John's Episcopal Church, and played violin with both the Huntington Symphony and the Marshall University Orchestra. He received his master's degree in music in 2010 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and is now studying at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Texas.

While an undergraduate, he attended the Cortona Contemporary Music Festival in Italy. He studied with Thomas Rosenkranz and Nathanael May during the week-long festival. At Marshall, he was the winner of the Concert of Soloists Competition, the West Virginia Music Teachers Association's Mountain State Collegiate Piano Competition and the Belle and Lynum Jackson Competion. While pursuing his master's degree, he was the only pianist from the University of Hawaii selected to perform in a master class given by the legendary pianist Leon Fleisher in 2008.

McCoy's fifth-grade music teacher in Huntington, Harriet Tucker, said she is thrilled that he has been chosen for the Longwood Gardens competition.

"He is very, very talented," Tucker said. "I think Patricia Green taught him in third grade, and saw it even before me, that he was very talented. He worked with me through high school, and by the time he was a junior, he gave a recital by himself."

Further information on the competition is available online at www.longwoodgardens.org/OrganCompetition.html.

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