We are excited to announce the 2019 Festival Scholar Students! Hear them LIVE on Kansas Public Radio, at 11am, on Thursday, August 1st.  Scholars also have a featured Festival performance on Friday, August 2, at 7:00 pm, in Yardley Hall, at Johnson County Community College's, Carlsen Center​.

Kai-Wei Chen - violin

Born in Taiwan, Kai-Wei received a Bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan Normal University and a Master’s degree from Bowling Green State University with a Graduate String Quartet Assistantship where she graduated with the J. Paul Kennedy Music Achievement Award, among others. 


Currently, she is a Doctoral candidate in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying under Stefan Milenkovich and also serves as a regular member of Civic Orchestra of Chicago.


Angela Cunningham - cello

A native of the Kansas City area, Angela has toured St. Petersburg, Moscow, and London with the National Youth Orchestra in its inaugural season under the direction of Valery Gergiev. 


Angela graduated with a degree in Cello Performance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music, Summa Cum Laude last May, and has been performing and teaching privately throughout Kansas City since.

Victor Diaz - violin

Born in Columbia, Victor has been a four-time winner of The Young Performers Competition from the Colombian Republic Bank. He has also been an active member of the Colombian Youth Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Americas, Cartagena International Music Festival, and Topeka Symphony. 


James Farquhar - cello

James provides lessons to young musicians in underserved areas and aspires  to have a career both as a performer and Community Engagement Director for a local classical music organization.  He is currently studying with Kurt Baldwin (of the Arianna String Quartet) at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. 

Samantha Hearn - violin

At the age of fourteen, Samantha began taking lessons from Haggai Shaham, and was accepted into the Jerusalem School of Music Chamber Program.  In 2015, Samantha traveled with the Beni Hakibutzim orchestra to Wesel, Germany as a soloist and became concertmaster of Bnei Hakibutzim in 2015 until her graduation. 


Samantha, 19, is currently pursuing her BM in Violin Performance, studying with Dr. Miroslav Hristov at the University of Tennessee. 


YeongJu Heo - viola

Originally from Seoul, Korea, YeongJu Heo is an active performer and chamber musician and is a passionate volunteer performer and teacher for children in underserved areas.  She is currently a scholarship student at the UMKC Conservatory of Music.


Chung-Wen Lee - viola

Born in Taiwan, she was a student at the Taipei National University of the Arts.  She is currently a senior studying at the UMKC Conservatory of Music, pursuing her BA degree as a student of Scott Lee. 

Yu-Ru Wu - violin

Born in Taiwan, Yu-Ru received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Taipei and has performed with numerous music festivals in the US and has performed with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra and the Des Moines Symphony.  She is currently pursuing her masters degree at the UMKC Conservatory of Music.