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YOUNG PIANIST WINS TOP HONORS IN COMPETITION

Ben Chen of Salt Lake City was named the Utah Symphony prize winner in last weekend's University of Utah SummerArts Piano Competition. The young Chinese-born pianist, who last soloed with the symphony on its annual "Salute to Youth" program, will perform with it in 1993. He also received a $300 cash award.

Other winners in this year's contest, held on the U. campus and at Snowbird, included:YOUNG ELEMENTARY: Gregory Brown (first, $50); Tiffany Back and Melodie Brown (tie, second, $40); Ryan Brown, John Grant and Jonathan Yau (tie, third, $30).

ELEMENTARY: Desiree Brown (first, $75); Deondra Brown, Melissa Haney, Kalotina Latu and Josephine Ou (tie, second, $60); Stephanie Alley, Jamison Livsey and Andrea Pack (tie, third, $30).

JUNIOR: Janae Codner (first, $100); Cassy Barlow, John-Paul Ownbey and Camille Williams (tie, second, $75)

SENIOR: Christine Anderson and Aubrey Kimball (tie, second, $150); Malinda Tall and Amy Warner (tie, third, $100).

YOUNG ARTIST: Zhang Qing and Mayde Taylor Robertson (tie, first, $750 each); Wei hui Mao (second, $500); Kirsten Wilson (third, $400); Colette Call (fourth, $300); Natalie Campbell (fifth, $250); Pin Buman and Jenny Watson (tie, sixth, $30).

In addition Lu Ning was awarded the Arne Oldberg Scholarship Prize of $300 for a performance of that composer's work.

More than 150 pianists took part in this year's competition. Judges for the finals were Jane Allen, Mona Golabeck and Alexander Peskanov.

Prizes were courtesy of Balwin Pianos and Daynes Music Co.

- N. GREGORY SOTER has been appointed president of the Ralph Woodward Chorale. A resident of Orem, he is president of Soter Associates and sings tenor in the chorale.

Included on the chorale's schedule this season are performances of Handel's "Messiah," Bach's B minor Mass and Robert Cundick's "The Redeemer," which the group plans to record.

- IN OTHER APPOINTMENTS, Thomas K. Foster has been named director of the Utah State University Youth Conservatory. Foster joins the USU piano faculty and assumes the directorship of the youth conservatory Sept. 28.

Foster was director of the State University of New York Maritime Men's Chorus and has worked with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He has also held teaching positions at Ball State University, Manchester College, Taylor University and the Indianapolis Performing Arts Academy.

- Four new members have been elected to the Utah Humanities Council's board of directors: Kitty Cesspooch of Myton, Carleen Jimeniz of Salt Lake City, Nancy S. Lyon of Bountiful and Linda K. Oda of Layton.

Currently working with the Ute tribe, Cesspooch works for the State Human Services Department and often serves as a discussion leader on Native American traditions and social-medical issues. Jimeniz is the producer of "Our Arts," broadcast weekly on KRCL Radio, and is president of the nonprofit arts organization Art Forms.

Lyon is a member of the Utah House of Representatives serving Davis County. Oda is an assistant professor of teacher education at Weber State University and lectures frequently on multicultural and gender issues.

The 22 volunteer board members attend four annual conferences and other meetings and review grant proposals.

- THE REPERTORY DANCE THEATRE will participate in the 1992 Western Alliance of Arts Administrators conference Sept. 8-12 in Albuquerque, N.M. The company will dance on Friday, Sept. 11, one of 12 dance companies selected to perform.

The WAAA conference is the largest Western regional booking conference.