We are honored to announce the winners of the 2022 Rachel Duncan Memorial Scholarship: Alisa Crüger-Cain and Yuval Tessman-Bar-On. This biannual award is given in honor of the memory of Rachel Duncan to provide support to an undergraduate brass musician to attend the International Women’s Brass Conference.
This award was established in the fall of 2018 in memory of trumpeter Rachel (Serber) Duncan, to be presented to an outstanding female undergraduate music student. This award was created to acknowledge and honor the traits Rachel embodied throughout her career: teamwork, positivity, mentorship, and the internal desire to bring joy to others through her music making.
Learn more about the winners: Alisa Crüger-Cain
Alisa Crüger-Cain is a sophomore studying trumpet performance under the tutelage of Michael Sachs and Michael Miller at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Previous instructors include Vincent Monaco at Phillips Academy Andover and Wolfgang Basch in Frankfurt, Germany. At CIM she is a member of the Symphony Orchestra, as well as multiple chamber groups. In high school she was principal trumpet of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and the NEC Preparatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. She has attended chamber music festivals such as the Apple Hill Summer Workshop (2019) as well as the Atlantic Brass Quintet Seminar (2018-2021). In 2014 and 2015 she won 1st and 3rd prizes in the German solo competition for youth: “Jugend Musiziert”. She won the Phillips Academy Andover concerto competition in 2019 and had the opportunity to perform the Marcello Oboe Concerto with the Phillips Academy Chamber Orchestra. Most recently in 2020 she was awarded honorable mention in the BSO’s concerto competition.
Learn more about the winners: Yuval Tessman-Bar-On
Yuval (she/her) is in her fourth year of undergraduate studies at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, pursuing a double major in trumpet performance and music history. She enjoys performing in symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, and contemporary ensembles, and in the past has also played jazz ensembles and a marching band. Yuval has recently performed as a substitute trumpet player in Symphoria (formerly known as Syracuse Symphony Orchestra).
Yuval is passionate about connecting issues of social justice and education to her musical endeavors. She is the founder and director of the Future in Music Program (@futureinmusic), a mentorship program that is focused on promoting access to high quality music education to brass players who are marginalized on the basis of gender. Yuval also volunteers with IWBC, doing historical research for the “Mentor Monday” series. She is looking forward to presenting her work on gender and brass instruments at the 2022 IWBC conference. Yuval is also a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Undergraduate Music Research. In her musicological research, Yuval is primarily focused on themes of social justice in music, both in popular music and in brass and orchestral music. Yuval has earned various awards at McGill University, including the Grace Evelyn Tuttle Scholarship (2019, 2021) the Wirth Brass Scholarship (2019), and the Helmut Blume Scholarship (2020, 2021). Aside from music, Yuval loves to rock climb, read, hike, run, weight-lift, travel, ride horses, and volunteer with political campaigns.
We would also like to congratulate the honorable mention recipients for this scholarship:
Learn more about Rachel Duncan:
Trumpeter Rachel Duncan, a native of Plymouth, Minnesota served on the faculty at the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia as Assistant Professor of Trumpet where she also served as the Principal Trumpet of the Charlottesville Symphony. Born into a musical family of prominent music educators, Rachel began playing trumpet at age 8. In pursuit of a career in music, Rachel was awarded a full tuition scholarship to study at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music under the tutelage of David Bilger. After studying at Curtis, Rachel moved to Chicago to study under Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer and Christopher Martin at Northwestern University where she earned a master’s degree in music. After earning her degree at Northwestern Rachel was awarded a position with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2011-2013.
Rachel had an extensive orchestral career. In 2012 Rachel performed and toured Scotland as guest principal trumpet with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and recorded two commercially released recordings for the Dutton Epoch Records label. She performed as guest principal trumpet of the Charleston Symphony, the Peoria Symphony and the Dubuque Symphony and performed with the trumpet sections of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Symphony in C, and The New World Symphony.
Devoted to chamber music as well, Rachel was a founding member of the brass ensemble New Chicago Brass. She also had the privilege of performing alongside Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s chamber music concert series.
Rachel served on the faculty at the “National Take a Stand Festival,” Supporting Social Change Through Music, affiliated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Rachel also performed at numerous prestigious music festivals including The Pacific Music Festival in Japan, The Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, The Aspen Music Festival and The National Repertory Orchestra. In addition to ensemble playing, she was recognized for her solo performances, receiving first prize at the Schubert Club Scholarship competition and the National Trumpet Competition.