Announcing the 2024 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. Reid LaDew adjudicated the contest.


Accompanied by Abigail Boorujy, Charis Dwire won first place with her performance of Violin Concerto Mvt. 1 by Conus. Dwire is a Music Major with concentrations in Arranging and String Pedagogy.

“Dwire’s performance of the Conus Violin Concerto was exceptional in its musicality and nuance,” LaDew noted.

Along with the Piano and Voice Commencement Contest winners, she will have the opportunity to record her piece for a professional video on Wednesday.


Accompanied by Allie Morken, Gabriella Moore won second place with her performance of Violin Concerto No. 2, Mvt. 3 by Wieniawski. Moore is a Music Major with concentrations in String Performance and String Pedagogy.

After the competition, LaDew commented, “What an exceptional evening of music making! All of the soloists did a wonderful job bringing such a variety of classical music to life.”


A graduate of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Reid LaDew earned his bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Education in 2006 and his master’s degree in education in 2018. In 2007, he joined the Watertown Music Staff. With this position, he directs the Wind Symphony, co-directs the Marching Band, leads the Pep Band, and acts as sound designer for annual musicals. He occasionally performs as a saxophonist with the Hartland Community Band, Watertown Area Chamber Orchestra, and the Watertown Municipal Band.