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Sept. 26, 2012/For Immediate Release (High-res photo available)

Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – Violinist Maura Shawn Scanlin, a 12th-grade high school student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), won first prize in the open division of the 2012 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Competition in Edinboro, Pa., earlier this month.


“It’s always great when we hear about our students winning competitions because it affirms that we are realizing our mission to train tomorrow’s standard bearers in the music profession,” said UNCSA School of Music Dean Wade Weast. “In this case, it’s particularly noteworthy because as a high school senior, she was in competition with others who were much older.


“It’s also a testament to all of the music faculty but in particular, her teacher, Sarah Johnson,” Dean Weast continued. “Maura Shawn is a great student, both academically as well as in her music, and we will miss her when she graduates this coming May. She is truly a rising star and I recently joked with her that when she becomes famous I hoped she wouldn’t forget about us at UNCSA. She assured me that she would not.”


The competition is a two-part event with competitors from across the country first winning at the regional level before advancing to the national level. Scanlin won the regional competition at the Grandfather Mountain Scottish Games Competition. She has also won regionally in Charlotte and Winston-Salem in recent years.


This is the second time Scanlin has won the national competition in the open (or senior) division. She previously won the open division in 2010 and the junior division in 2008. In 2011, she took third place in the open division. The competition is part of the Edinboro Highland Games and Scottish Festival, which is an annual event hosted by the University of Edinboro in Pennsylvania. More information on the festival can be found at www.edinboro.edu/events/highlandgames.


A native of Watauga County in North Carolina, Maura Shawn Scanlin was a finalist in the N.C. Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Strings Competition, the Hilton Head Youth Concerto Competition and the N.C. Symphony Youth Concerto Competition in 2012. In 2011, she was the strings category winner in the senior division of the Charlotte, N.C., Young Artists Competition. Scanlin was the junior division first place winner of the same competition in 2010 and appeared as a soloist with the Charlotte Youth Symphony. She studies with UNCSA School of Music faculty artist Sarah Johnson.


Scanlin is part of the Celtic violin trio The Forget-Me-Nots, alongside Willa and Ledah Finck. For more about The Forget-Me-Nots, see: www.theforgetmenots.com.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. World-renowned conductor and educator John Mauceri became Chancellor of UNCSA in 2006. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.