January 2021 Winner: Fiona Shonik
This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Fiona Shonik, a 18-year-old trumpeter who recently graduated from North Shore High School in Long Island, New York and will begin her undergraduate degrees in music education and trumpet performance at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music in Fall 2020. Fiona was principal trumpet in several groups including the Long Island Youth Orchestra, Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts Wind Symphony and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra’s Nassau Principal Orchestra. Fiona was also selected to play in numerous state-wide and national groups for the past eight years. Highlights include performing co-principal in the New York All State Symphonic Band in 2018, performing in the All-Eastern Music Festival Concert band and playing principal in the NAfME All-National Concert Band in 2019. She was selected to play first trumpet in the 2020 NY State Band Directors Association High School Honor Concert band and principal trumpet in the 2019 and 2020 NMEA All-County Music Festival Orchestras as well.
An active member in her high school’s music program, Fiona performed in the North Shore H.S. wind symphony, jazz ensemble, pep band, pit orchestra, brass ensemble, and chamber orchestra. During her senior year she served as the President of Band and Vice President of the Tri-M Music Honors Society. During the past three summers, Fiona took part in the School of Orchestral Studies program as part of the New York State Summer Schools for the Arts where she worked closely with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, including trumpeter Robert Earley. Both a serious musician and student, Fiona thrived in a rigorous academic environment, taking advantage of her school’s International Baccalaureate program.
Some of her favorite trumpeters include Chris Martin, Wynton Marsalis, Tine Thing Helseth, Alison Balsom and Mary Bowden. In terms of career goals, she has many different interests within the classical music field such as performing and arts administration. She would like to help contribute to greater diversity and equality for minorities in the classical music world. This desire is linked to her experience as one of the only women trumpeters in her ensembles and as one of the only women during her thirteen years of playing competitive ice hockey and roller hockey. As she puts it: “I think it is important to encourage people to follow their passions even if it is considered to be outside the norm.” Fiona’s primary trumpet teacher for the past five years is Michael Blutman who she credits with helping her grow tremendously as both a musician and a person. Congratulations Fiona!