Young Texas Artists Wows Guests During Spectacular Kick-Off Party

Classics At The Glade provides captivating preview of 2020 gala and concert

Guests got to experience the high caliber of talent that Young Texas Artists Music Competition (YTA) draws each year during YTA’s 2019-20 kick-off party, Classics At The Glade, a fabulous evening of food, art and performances by several of YTA’s brightest stars.

The Oct. 25 celebration, held at The Woodlands’ gorgeous Glade Cultural Center, featured stunning classical music performances by vocalist Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessica E. Jones, a 2012 YTA contestant; pianist Artem Kuznetsov, the 2019 YTA Grand Prize Winner and Gold Medalist in Piano; and clarinetist Zhi-Yuan Luo, the 2019 YTA Audience Choice Award Winner and a Silver Medalist.

“We were delighted to be able to give guests a preview of the fun and festivities that will take place at our 2020 benefit gala—Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue—along with the amazing talent that appears during our exciting Finalists’ Concert and Awards,” YTA President/CEO Susie Pokorski said. “We encourage community members to reserve their spots now for our 36th annual gala and concert.”

Pokorski also expressed appreciation for those who made the celebration possible.

“Thanks to our volunteers and community supporters, the evening was a tremendous success. We’re especially grateful to our major event sponsors, Dr. Douglas and Carol Aycock and Planet Lincoln.”

Young Texas Artists Music Competition, an Official Music Competition of the State of Texas, provides performance, growth and career development opportunities for exceptionally talented artists from around the world. The competition is open to classical artists ages 18-32 (ages 20-32 for Voice) who are Texas residents or affiliated with a Texas music school.

Participants compete in four divisions: Voice; Piano; Strings; and Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar. Professional performance opportunities and a total of $20,000 in monetary prizes are awarded.

Classics At The Glade kicks off the 2019-20 competition season, which will culminate in the Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue gala and YTA’s Finalists’ Concert and Awards on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

At the celebration, Pokorski introduced guests to Event Chairman Mimi Sadler, along with Terry Husbands Giles and Allyson Ayton who are serving as co-chairmen of Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue for the second consecutive year.

Serving as the event emcee was Jade Simmons, classical concert pianist, one-of-a-kind personality and emerging artist mentor. Simmons presented a Dynamic Branding and Creative Career Development Workshop for emerging artists the following day in partnership with YTA and Lone Star College-Montgomery.

During the celebration’s concert program, Luo performed “Untitled Work for Clarinet and Electronics,” a powerful new piece by a young composer, S. Greene.

Kuznetsov presented “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged for piano by Ferruccio Busoni, a perfect piece for the Halloween season. As YTA’s 2019 Grand Prize Winner, Kuznetsov has gained important performance opportunities. He is scheduled to perform with the Texas Medical Center Orchestra on May 9, 2020.

Jones enchanted audience members with her performances of “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady by Frederick Loewe.

To give guests a feel for the onstage interviews she conducts during YTA Finalists’ Concert and Awards, Simmons brought the evening’s three performers back before the audience to answer a few questions. Jones was asked how she makes her performances memorable for audiences. “I know if someone has come to the theatre, they want something outside of the day-to-day,” Jones replied. “I think of myself as a vessel of emotions. It’s very important to me to find that connection with the audience.”

After the interviews, YTA showed a video of 2019 Finalists’ Concert and Awards highlights.

YTA is now accepting reservations for the 36th annual Bach, Beethoven & Barbecue gala and the Finalists’ Concert and Awards, to be held Saturday, March 14. For details, visit

For more information about Young Texas Artists, Inc., and sponsorship and volunteer opportunities contact Susie Pokorski at or 936-756-7017.

About the Young Texas Artists Music Competition

An official music competition of the State of Texas, Young Texas Artists has, since its founding in 1983, encouraged excellence in young musicians, inspired their audiences and helped further the careers of thousands of classical musicians. It is one of the few competitions in the country that features four divisions: Voice; Piano; Strings; and Winds, Brass, Percussion, Harp and Guitar. This Texas competition for Texas artists has helped produce many distinguished professionals who have gone on to join orchestras, opera companies, universities and music schools around the world. The Young Texas Artists Music Competition is a member of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce, the Texas Cultural Trust and Texans for the Arts.



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