The Polaris Quartet includes, from left to right: Jenny Lee, Demi Fang, Billy Fang and Joshua Halpern.

Congratulations to the members of the Polaris String Quartet from CCM’s Starling Project, who were awarded the first prize in the junior division of the Fischoff Competition. The event was held at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana on May 15, 2011. The Gold Medal includes a $2,000 prize as well as an appearance on the nationally syndicated radio program “From The Top.”

The performers of the Polaris Quartet are Jenny Lee (violin), a high school junior from Bloomington, Indiana and a student of Dr. Won-Bin Yim; Billy Fang (violin), a Princeton-bound high school senior from Centerville, Ohio and student of Kurt Sassmannshaus; Demi Fang (viola), a high school sophomore, also from Centerville, Ohio and also a student of Kurt Sassmannshaus; and Josh Halpern (cello), a high school junior from Dayton and a student of Alan Rafferty.

Rafferty is the coach for The Polaris Quartet. He is also a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and a faculty member at The Starling Preparatory String Project.

About the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition
Founded in 1973 in South Bend, Indiana, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition has grown to become the largest chamber music competition in the world, and one of the most prestigious classical music prizes attainable today. Since its founding, more than 5,000 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.

This year the Fischoff junior division auditioned 70 ensembles from 16 countries. Designated for musicians aged eighteen and under, the junior division accepted 24 ensembles that attended the competition in South Bend, Indiana.

About the Starling Preparatory String Project
The Starling Preparatory String Project is a pre-college program for advanced string students at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The program is generously funded through a grant by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The superbly talented musicians perform as the Starling Chamber Orchestra and are selected by audition. Many students, including the members of The Polaris String Quartet, commute weekly to attend this internationally recognized program.


The Polaris String Quartet in concert.

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