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2021 Winner – Mary Lane Memorial Violin Competition

Women in Music-Columbus is pleased to award the following Mary Lane Memorial Prizes in Violin, made possible by a donation from Dr. Tom Lesher.

First Place ($5000): Kristine Clair Galano, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Second Place ($2000): Ju-Eun Lee, Cleveland Institute of Music

WMC thanks all the participants for their hard work and dedication. The judges for this online competition were Liz Fisher, Heidemarie Traylor Williams, and Alexandra Vargo.

Kristine Clair “KayCee” Uchi Galano KayCee Galanohas established herself as one of the leading young violinists of her generation. She has performed concertos with orchestras in Europe, China, North America, and in her native Philippines. She was a prizewinner of the 2020 KF Wieniawski Violin Competition, and she recently made her Carnegie Hall debut in October 2019, performing all 6 Bach solo sonatas.

In 2018, she participated at the 1st International Viktor Tretyakov Violin Competition, and later that year she was invited to perform the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2017 she performed with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, playing Mozart’s A Major Violin Concerto and other works. In that same year, while attending the Weimar Masterclasses in Germany, she was one of the few students selected to play with the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Markus Franck.

KayCee won First Prize at the Malaysian Youth Music Festival and at the Great Wall Violin Concerto Competition in Beijing, performing the Brahms Violin Concerto. She was featured on National Public Radio’s “From The Top” with Christopher O’Riley at age 12. At age 14, she toured the USA with pianist Rohan DeSilva and China with the Starling Chamber Orchestra. She has participated in the Queenstown Violin Summer School in New Zealand and performed repeatedly at the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing. She also took part at the Innsbrook Institute of Music and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Ms. Galano studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Kurt Sassmannshaus.


Ju-Eun Lee is a twenty-one-year-old violinist from Seoul, South Korea. Lee made her soloist debut at the age of 13 when she Ju-Eun Leeperformed the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Paju Symphony Orchestra. Since this performance, she has won numerous competitions in South Korea, including 3rd place in the Brahms Competition, 1st place in the Seoul National University of Education Competition, and 3rd place in the Ceramic Palace Hall Competition. In 2017, her string quartet won the Bronze Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Competition. More recently, she won second prize at the Tuesday Musical Scholarship Competition in Akron, Ohio. Her current string quartet, the Elless Quartet, won the Grand Prize and First Prize at the Coltman Chamber Competition in 2020.

Ju-Eun has attended various summer music festivals, such as the Heifetz International Music Institute, and the Sarasota Music Festival, where she played in masterclasses for Pamela Frank, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Franck Almond, and performed with Alexander Kerr. She has also had coachings with Martin Beaver, Peter Salaff, Keith Robinson, Sharon Robinson, Todd Phillips, Phil Setzer, Stephen Rose, and the Borromeo Quartet.

Lee is currently an undergraduate student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she is studying with Jaime Laredo and Jan Sloman. Previously, she studied with Margaret Batjer at the Colburn Music Academy.


Liz Fisher is a violinist and multi-instrumentalist based in Columbus, OH. She began playing violin at age three and has studied with Korine Fujiwara, Leonid Polonsky, and Dr. Kia-Hui Tan. In 2014, Liz received her bachelor’s degree in Orchestral Performance from The Ohio State University, after which she began working regularly as a recording and performing musician as well as a private violin instructor.

Liz is passionate about ensemble work as it is presented in classical music and particularly in alternative genres. In addition to being a songwriter and front person for her alternative rock band, The Cordial Sins, she also sings, plays guitar, and regularly composes string arrangements for her original songs as well. She has written, recorded and performed with several groups over the years and, as of 2019, has been playing violin with alternative folk group, Caamp.


Heidemarie Traylor Williams received her BMus in music education from Ohio Wesleyan University, studying string pedagogy and performance with Korine Fujiwara (Carpe Diem String Quartet) and Deborah Price (Artistic Director of The Chamber Music Connection, Inc.). She also studied with members of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, The Duvall Ensemble, The High Street Four, and attended Interlochen International Arts Camp where she had the opportunity to learn from Gerard Schwarz, Jung-Ho Pak, Timothy Russell, David Lockington, Lynn Harrell, and James Galway. She also studied in Murnau, Germany. Heidemarie taught middle school orchestra and also served as the administrative coordinator for the former Atlanta chapter of The Chamber Music Connection, Inc., working with local professional musicians to improve string education in local schools and community music programs. She maintains a busy private studio for violin, viola, and piano students in Central Ohio and serves as a frequent guest teacher in the Dublin Schools.


Alexandra “Xan” Vargo is a Columbus local and violinist for the Early Interval. She specializes in historically informed performance practice on period instrumentation. Along with Baroque violin, she also specializes in Renaissance Rebec, Psaltery, and Viol da Gamba. She earned a music performance degree from Otterbein University, after which she opened a music lessons company in Circleville, Ohio. Throughout her career, she has participated in performance tours of Italy, China, Estonia and Canada.

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