Musically gifted and meticulously hand-picked students will perform a free recital July 15. The event will begin at 1 p.m. in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West, and will be followed by a reception on the Leni Fe Bland Plaza.
Students are part of the Music Academy’s MERIT Program, an intensive two-week program for 11- to 18-year-olds who apply to attend from all over the country. Jack Johnson initiated the MERIT (Music Education Reinforces Intellect and Talent) Program in 1998.
This year’s MERIT students include Anna Abondolo, cello (Santa Monica); Elisa Abondolo, violin (Santa Monica); Laura Baldwin, cello (Santa Barbara); Ian Bankhead, viola (Carpinteria); Andrew Boyle, piano (Glendale, AZ); Liam Burrows, viola (Solvang); Edaan Byle, violin (Ojai); Sean Capron, flute (Ojai); Sophie Collins, violin (Ojai); Jeremy Corren, piano (Beverly Hills); Ryan Dalforno, violin (Santa Barbara); Michael Dolin, trombone (Santa Barbara); James Gatchel, French horn (Camarillo); Zelda Grove, violin (Ojai); Alexander Lee, viola (Walnut Creek); Miranda Liu, violin (Bryn Mawr, PA); Kiri Pitts, cello (Houston, TX); Nina Pitts, cello (Houston, TX); Kassra Rafiee, bassoon (Ventura); True Randall, clarinet (Ventura); Hanna Rivera, oboe (Ventura); Maya Rodriguez, cello (Santa Barbara); Crystal Sterken, violin (Goleta); Stephanie Tang, piano (Upland, CA); Meredith Urschel, cello (Santa Barbara); Nicolas Valinsky, trumpet (Santa Barbara); and Cameron Wray, French horn (Ventura).