KU's Wakarusa Trio wins a top prize in Chamber Music Competition


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From left to right: Clarinetist Puyin Bai, pianist Kai Yin Crystal Lam and violist Shokhrukh Sadikov make up Wakarusa Trio, who recently won a $4000 prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition.

The Wakarusa Trio, comprised of clarinetist Puyin Bai, violist Shokhrukh Sadikov and pianist Kai Yin Crystal Lam, recently won a $4,000 prize at the 68th annual Coleman Chamber Music Competition.

The Wakarusa trio won the Coleman-Barstow Prize for Strings, which is one of the three top awards from the competition. The Coleman Chamber Music Competition, held April 12, is the world’s oldest and one of its most prestigious chamber competitions, and the trio of Kansas University students was one of 11 finalist groups, drawn from top music schools in the country.

The Wakarusa Trio practices with their coach, Scott McBride Smith, the piano division director and professor of piano at Kansas University. He picked the three students (an unusual combination of instruments) for the trio in August two years ago as a chamber music group assigned for a class.

Last year, they won the Chamber Music Performance division at the Music Teachers National Association National Competition during the MTNA’s national conference in Anaheim, Calif.


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