Millikin University's School of Music is pleased to announce Chris Raymond (bassoon), senior instrumental music performance major from Bourbonnais, Ill., the winner of the 2015 Hollis Prize Competition Recital.
Held on March 21 in Kaeuper Hall, Perkinson Music Center, the Hollis Prize Recital featured performances from Millikin University's top three music performing students, including: Abigail Karnes (soprano), junior vocal performance major with a theatre minor from Kearney, Mo., and Chloe Raffe (soprano), junior vocal performance major from Des Plaines, Ill.
The Hollis Prize is the highest award that may be received by a student instrumentalist or vocalist within the Millikin School of Music. First awarded in spring 2003, Millikin is one of only a few schools in the country to offer this type of prestigious prize through a music competition.
"I am beyond words for how humbled and honored I am for receiving the Hollis Prize," said Raymond. "From the day I was selected as a finalist I already felt like a winner, and because Abagail Karnes and Chloe Raffe are spectacular musicians, it has made the past few weeks quite exciting."
The winner of the Hollis Prize was chosen by outside faculty judges and received a $2000 award; runners-up each received $500.
In recognition of this achievement, Raymond will perform a recital on Sunday, April 26, at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Ill., beginning at 2 p.m.
"The Hollis recital was a marvelous event with all three students giving excellent performances," said Dr. Stephen Widenhofer, director of Millikin University's School of Music. "Chris Raymond will represent the School of Music well as the Hollis Prize winner and at the Chicagoland concert in Elgin."
Raymond added, "Winning the Hollis Prize was a long-term goal of mine that I had set my eyes on since my freshman year at Millikin. From the moment I walked offstage at the Hollis finals until now, I have been reflecting on my past performance, appreciating the good things that happened and deciding what parts of my playing could have gone better. I am excited to perform again because I want to continue working and give an even better performance."
The Hollis Prize Recital is generously funded by Dr. C. Kimm Hollis, a 1972 Millikin graduate, and professor of music and artist in residence at Hanover College in Hanover, Ind.
Hollis Prize Performers
Abigail Karnes ' Soprano
Abigail Karnes has recently appeared as Galatea in Millikin Opera Theatre's production of "Acis and Galatea" and Millikin's main stage production of Puccini One Acts as Nella in "Gianni Schicchi." She also played French horn in the pit orchestra for Millikin's production of "Cinderella" in 2012 and was the assistant stage manager for Millikin's production of "Sacred/Secular: Cantatas" by J.S. Bach. Karnes is also a member of the Millikin University Choir.
Chloe Raffe ' Soprano
Chloe Raffe has performed with the Millikin Opera Theatre as the Nursing Sister in Puccini's "Suor Angelica" and as Serpina in Pergolesi's "La Serva Padrona." Her diverse experiences include performing in Rome, Italy with the Willows Academy Chamber Choir. She is a member of the award-winning Millikin University Choir under the direction of Dr. Brad Holmes, Millikin director of choral activities. After receiving her degree from Millikin, Raffe plans to continue studying opera performance in graduate school.
Chris Raymond ' Bassoon
Christopher Raymond regularly performs with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO), the Eidolan Woodwind Quintet, and Millikin's Symphonic Wind Ensemble, where he has held the Principal Bassoon chair for the past four years. A two-time winner of the Concerto/Aria competition, Raymond performed Weber's "Concerto in F Major" with the MDSO in 2013. Other featured appearances include performances with the Millikin Wind Ensemble and the Kankakee Valley Symphony.
Millikin's School of Music is committed to developing complete musicians artistically, technically and intellectually by emphasizing the integration of theory and practice with other disciplines across the University. For more information on Millikin's School of Music, visit the School of Music Page.