Texas Cultural Trust To Present 2016 Class At Zach Theatre, April 25, 2016

 Featuring Special performances by Tosca String Quartet, The Peterson Brothers, Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy Chorus

Featuring presentations by honorary chair First Lady Cecilia Abbott & Special Guest Holland Taylor

 YM Red logo small

 The Texas Cultural Trust (TCT) and the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) are proud to announce that 15 of the state’s most gifted rising stars, representing a diverse array of artistic talent have been chosen for the 2016 Class of Texas Young Masters.  This list includes high school students in creative disciplines from Indian classical dance to mixed media visual arts, from Plano to Lubbock to Sugarland.  The Texas Young Masters is a joint initiative between the Trust and TCA that awards 8th through 11th grade students scholarship grants of $5,000 a year for two years.  The program recognizes excellence in students across all artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts/film, music, theater, musical theater, literary and visual arts.  Since its inception in 2002, the TCT and TCA have given 278 grants to 139 Young Masters, awarding $857,500 to aspiring artists from across the state. 

The star-studded event will take place on Monday, April 25, 2016, at ZACH Theatre in Austin, Texas, with an Opening Reception at 6:00 pm, a private VIP reception sponsored by Texas Monthly at 6:00 pm, and show at 7:00 pm.  Tickets may be purchased by calling the ZACH Theatre Box Office at 512.476.0541 or by visiting the Texas Cultural Trust website at www.txculturaltrust.org.

Todd Baker, 11th Grade, Carrollton, Dance
Samantha Choo, 11th Grade, Plano, Music/Violin
Emma Colwell, 11th Grade, Grand Prairie, Musical Theatre
Margaret Errickson, 9th Grade, Houston, Visual Arts/Mixed Media
Quinlan Facey, 11th Grade, Plano, Music/Piano
Niell Gorman, 11th Grade, Houston, Visual Arts
Shadden Hashem, 11th Grade, Colleyville, Dance
Mia Heckler, 11th Grade, Bellaire, Theatre
Bhargavi Sarangapani, 9th Grade, Coppell, Dance/Indian Classical
Fiona Shea, 11th Grade, Lubbock, Music/Violin
Emma Sutherland, 9th Grade, Dallas, Dance
Zane Unger, 11th Grade, Dallas, Dance
Olivia Vanderslice, 11th Grade, Garland, Dance
Johnathan Wu, 11th Grade, Plano, Violin
Anton Zhou, 11th Grade, Sugarland, Visual Arts 

“The Trust wants to congratulate the 2016 Class of Texas Young Masters,” said Jennifer Ransom Rice, Executive Director of TCT.  “Those chosen represent not just amazing talent, but a deep commitment to their chosen artistic field as well.  We are honored to be able to support these exceptional rising stars as they develop into the Texas legends of tomorrow.”

“The Texas Commission on the Arts is pleased to have consistently contributed to the advancement of young Texas artists at such a pivotal point in their artistic development,” said Gary Gibbs, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Texas Commission on the Arts. “The Texas Young Masters program identifies and nurtures students who have a wealth of talent and possibility, and we take great pride in that.”

Multi-GRAMMY award winner and Trust board member Ray Benson will emcee the Young Masters ceremony, along with Majic 95.5 afternoon drive personality Juliet Brandon.  The show includes performances by the Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy chorus, as well as local favorites Tosca String Quartet and The Peterson Brothers Band.  The evening will also feature performances by previous Young Masters, including: Jared Brown, 2014 Young Master in Dance; Morgan Starr, 2010 Young Master in Musical Theatre; Jay Appaji, 2014 Young Master in Music; and violinist, Charles Yang, Class of 2004.  Honorary Chair, First Lady Cecilia Abbott will present the medals to the 2016 Class of Texas Young Masters.  Holland Taylor, EMMY winning actress, will also be a part of the show.  Taylor is currently starring in Ann, a one-woman portrait of the legendary governor of Texas, for which she has been nominated for a Tony Award.  Ann is currently running at ZACH Theatre.

Sponsorships are still available.  For more information, please call 512.478.5289.

The Young Masters program is made possible through the generous support of the contributors listed below:

Program Founders:  AT&T Foundation, Anheuser Busch Foundation, Applied Materials, BNSF Railway, The Honorable David Dewhurst, Emerson Electric, Mrs. Gene Jones, Mr. George Mitchell, Mrs. W.D. Noel, Plum Foundation, Ray C. Fish Foundation, Raytheon

Scholarship Underwriters:  Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Butler, Texas Women for the Arts, ExxonMobil, Neiman Marcus, The Scurlock Foundation, Lee Bailey, Friends of Jesùs Moroles, Dian Graves Owen Foundation, Guillermo Nicolas, and Judy Robison.


Learn more about the Young Masters program by watching the video below.

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Or view the video by clicking here.











Photo Gallery




Texas Young Masters on CBS News!

We wanted to share this amazing story that recently aired on CBS News about how Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in Dallas is sending a record five students to The Julliard School in NYC, one of the world’s greatest institutions for the performing arts. Three of those five are Young Masters.  

The Young Masters who will be starting Julliard in the fall are: My’Kal Stromile and Mason Manning, Young Master 2012, Dance; and Alysia Johnson, Young Master 2010, Ballet.  

The two remaining Booker T. Washington students who will start Julliard in the fall, but were not part of the Young Masters program, are Madison Hicks and Alicia Crowder.  We congratulate them as well!

Success Stories!

Christopher Vo
Class of 2002, Dance

Christopher Vo had never traveled outside of the Dallas Metroplex until he received a Young Master’s scholarship award. As a result of his Young Masters training during summers at the Juliard School dance program in New York, Chris was accepted as a freshman on full scholarship.


The Young Masters,a joint program of the Texas Cultural Trust and the Texas Commission on the Arts, helps children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to expand their unique talents in music, theatre, dance, visual arts, and the literary arts.  The program is available to outstanding students in grades 8 through 11, and creates a mentoring relationship between the student and the instructor.  Scholarships of $2500 per year are provided to successful applicants for a period of two years.  The Young Masters program nurtures our rising stars to become the legends of tomorrow.

Katie Pipkin
Class of 2008, Visual Arts

“There is a point between adolescence and adulthood where one retains the creativity and delight of the first, without having to feel the full weight of the obligations and worries of the latter. For me, this period coincided with my first realization of the power of the arts; that they, unlike any other practice or profession, have an ability to move a great number of people simply on their own being.”

Caitlin Tully
Class of 2004, Music

Violinist Caitlin Tully of Austin, Texas, made her debut with the Vancouver Symphony at young age of ten, displaying a musical maturity and inspiration far beyond her years. Upon hearing her Yehudi Menuhin said, “She plays with more integrity than any young violinist I have ever heard.” Now at the age of seventeen, Ms. Tully performs with orchestras and in recitals across Canada and the United States.

Charles Yang
Class of 2004, Music

Sixteen year-old Charles Yang, a sophomore at Westlake High School in Austin, began studying the violin with his mother. “Violin is like caffeine to me,” says young Charles Yang. “I’m addicted to it!” You might say Charles was born to play violin. His mom — a violinist with the Austin Symphony — was onstage playing in a concert only hours before giving birth to him. Shortly after he came into the world, Charles instinctively took to the violin.

Click here for a complete list of Young Master’s recipients.



Announcing the 2014 Young Masters

Sophie Anthony, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dallas, Visual Arts/Two-dimensional
Jay Appaji, Plano Senior High School, Plano, Music/Carnatic Percussion
Nizhoni Begay, Incarnate Word High School, San Antonio, Voice/Mariachi
Jared Brown, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dallas, Dance/Modern
William Chiang, Plano Senior High School, Plano, Music/Piano
Ann Cho, Westlake High School, Austin, Music/Violin
Montana Dalton, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Frisco, Dance/Contemporary
Christin Engelberth, James Madison High School, San Antonio, Visual Arts/Two-dimensional
Claudia Isabel Heymach, The High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Pearland, Literary Arts/Fiction
Esther Liao, Bellaire High School, Houston, Music/Piano
Hannah McEvilly, McCallum Fine Arts Academy, Austin, Musical Theater
Meg Mickelsen, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dallas, Visual Arts/Two-dimensional
Nina Pitts, The High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Houston, Music/Cello
Kian Raissian, Awty International School, Houston, Music/Cello
Juanito Riveros, Garland High School, Rowlett, Music/Harp
Sydney Shreve, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dallas, Visual Arts/Three-dimensional
Catherine Thomas, Texas High School, Texarkana, Theater
Anastasia Tillman, Home School, Fort Worth, Dance/Ballet
Luke Westerman, Home School, Houston, Dance/Ballet
Katja Yanko, The Woodlands College Park High School, The Woodlands, Musical Theater

Don’t miss the 2014 Texas Young Masters Ceremony on Monday, April 7 @ 7 pm, at Stateside at the Paramount Theatre in Austin.  For tickets & information, click here.

Presenting the 2014 Class of Texas Young Masters!

Thank You to Our Fund-a-Young Master Supporters

Jenny & Brandon Aghamalian Grace Kelly
Julie & Tom Ahn Kathleen & Patrick Kennedy, Jr.
Leslie Archambault Lauren & Ben Krech
Annie & John Armbrust Steve & Linda LaMantia
Melissa Aufieri Laurie Lindemulder
Lee Bailey Helena & Joe Lipscomb
Linda Ball & Forrest Preece Christa Lockwood
Jill Bell LookThinkMake
Jon Bice Ellen & Steve Mason
Leslie Blanton Laura & Richard Matz, Jr.
Marvin Blum Lynn Metzler
Claire Bond Debbie & John Montford
Sabrina Brown Anina Moore
Patty & Robert W. Bryant Nancy Moorman
Bonnie Buckley Sara Morgan
Mark Bueter Claire Moyers
Cora & Clayton Bullock Julie Moyers
Sara Burleson Kim Ngo
Kim Chambers Guillermo Nicolas
Jim Cockrum Ashley Ohls
Scott Daigle Marita Parrish
Douglas Dempster Jennifer & Mark Phelan
Mindy Ellmer Lauren Phillips
Howard Falkenberg Natalie Phillips
Brenda & Ted Feldman Shelly Power
Pam & Bill Fielding Meg & Jay Propes
Caroline Forgason Jacqueline Rangel
Miller Gaffney Margaret Ransom
Cami Goff Connie Rees
Jennifer Gonzalez Jennifer Ransom Rice
Ann S. Graham Linda Schroeder
Kay & Bobby Gregory Gabriel Sepulveda
Robyn Hadley Billye Proctor Shaw
Anna & John Hammond Shirley Sloan
Caroline Hammond Sunny Smith
Deborah & Bill Hammond Grant Stanis
Linda Hatchel Yuniedth Steen
Linda & John Hatchel Laura Street
Iwalani Hayden David Thomas
Carol Haynes Janet Ward
Susan Horton Dr. George Weinberger
Kate Hull Aaron Weiss
Donald Humphreys Sherri & Travis West
Kathy Hutto Laura & Tobin Wiegand
Jonette & Travis James Pamela Willeford
Jennifer Jorns Sally & Bill Wittliff
Todd K

The final total for Fund-a-Young Master was $17,468 in donations.  We thank you for your generous support in helping us to exceed our goal of $15,000 or three scholarship grants to three very deserving Texas Young Masters.  

Special thanks to Ray Benson, Bob Schneider, and our sponsors for their generous support of the Young Masters Scholarship Program

Karen & Charles Matthews
Susie & John Adams

Anita & Truman Arnold
Cathey and Don Humphreys
Patricia & The Honorable David Dewhurst
Dawn & Harry Leatherwood

 Frost Bank
Sandra & Bill Gilliland
Guillermo Nicolas
The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University
Judy & Kirk Robison
Dian & Harlan Stai
Suann & AJ Waight
Sherrill & Roger Winter
Janice & Spencer Youngblood

Olivia & George Bramblett
Diane Creel
Bruce Busby
John Hever
James Muncey

Program Founders:
Applied Materials
Anheuser Busch
BNSF Railway
The Honorable David Dewhurst
Ray C. Fish Foundation
Mrs. Gene Jones
Mr. George Mitchell
Mrs. W.D. Noel
Debbie and John Montford of the Plum Foundation

Media Sponsor: