Announcing the 2023 Instrumental Commencement Contest Winner

Maranatha’s Music Department has announced the winners of this year’s Instrumental Commencement Contest. Besides separate contests for pianists and vocalists, instrumentalists had their own contest to develop their presentation and performance skills. Mr. Jeremiah Willson adjudicated the contest.


In first place, Joel Montgomery won with his performance of La Reine d’Amour by John Philip Sousa. Montgomery is a Music Major with concentrations in Arranging and Trumpet Performance.

For winning first place, Montgomery will earn a $100 cash award. Along with the Piano and Voice Commencement Contest winners, he will perform at a showcase on Friday, April 14, at 5:30 p.m.


In second place, Charis Dwire won with her performance of Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Mvt. 1 by Henri Vieuxtemps. Dwire is a Music Major with concentrations in Arranging and String Pedagogy.

After the competition, Willson commented, “I am blown away by the musicality of MBU’s students. MBU’s students all worked hard and performed beautifully tonight! Congratulations to the winner and runner-up!”


Mr. Jeremiah Willson holds a master’s degree in Flute Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Performer’s Certificate in chamber music from the Leonard Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music. A professional musician, he has performed in numerous professional orchestras like the Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, he teaches at Calvary Baptist School and resides in Watertown, WI.