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The James W. Simmons Solo Competition & the Rev. Dr. Genevieve Murphy Scholarship for Young Musicians

Established in 2010, the competition is named for the 6th director of the Charlottesville Municipal Band, Mr. James W. Simmons, who began playing in the band in 1946 and was appointed its Music Director in 1980. During his 26-year tenure, the band increased in both membership and musicianship, playing many concerts in Charlottesville and in surrounding communities and across the state, attracting overflow audiences everywhere it played. He retired on December 31, 2006, and conducted his final program on April 24, 2007. The scholarship is named in honor of its benefactor and Municipal Band of Charlottesville supporter, the Reverend Dr. Genevieve Murphy, whose generous donation underwrites this annual tradition that showcases the area's finest young musicians and encourages them to pursue higher education in the arts.

The next James W. Simmons Solo Competition and Rev. Dr. Genevieve Murphy Scholarship will occur in the spring of 2015. Information and application materials for this event will be posted in advance of that time.

For questions or more information call 434-295-9850 or E-mail

Previous winners of the Competition and Scholarship are listed below.



Geneva Knight

Geneva KnightGeneva Knight is a junior at Charlottesville High School. She has been studying flute with Christine Willard since she entered 5th grade in 2007. While at Walker Upper Elementary School, she played with the concert band and earned a musicianship award at the end of her upper elementary school years. When she moved to 7th grade at Buford Middle School, she joined the YOCA Evans Orchestra as second chair flute. Before moving on to high school, Geneva earned the Gilmore Award from Joseph Tornello, director of bands at Buford. She has been selected for District 13 Honor Bands for five consecutive years. Currently, Ms. Knight plays with the CHS Wind Ensemble, Woodwind Quintet, and has participated in a school flute ensemble in the past. She serves as a Drum Major for the Marching Knights. In her sophomore year, Geneva auditioned for the All-Virginia Band and placed 11th chair in the state. She made the All-State Concert band again this year, after being seated principal flautist at both the District 13 All-District Band, and the South Central Senior Regional Orchestra. This spring she will play in the pit orchestra for the TheatreCHS production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Geneva hopes to continue studying music performance in her college career.



No Competition Was Held in This Year



Marie Fernandez

Marie FernandezMarie Fernandez is a senior at Monticello High School. She began studying flute with Karen Pearce when she was 8 years old. In 2010 she began studying under Angela Kelly, her current teacher. In 2007 Marie joined the Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia's flute choirs and has been an active member ever since. She played in YOCV's Rita M. Evans Orchestra from 2008-2011. She is currently principal flutist of the YOCV Youth Symphony. In addition Marie has been active in Monticello's Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Chamber Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Flute Ensemble. She has been selected for both All-District Band and Albemarle County Honor Band for four consecutive years. Marie was honored to win the wind/brass division of the Wednesday Music Club High School Competition this past February. Other musical endeavors include singing with the Virginia Consort Youth Chorale, ringing with Trinity Presbyterian Church's handbell choir, and playing with her sisters, Sharon and Caroline, in a flute, cello, and harp trio. This spring she will play flute in the pit band for Monticello's musical performance and also stage manage the production. Outside of music Marie is playing varsity volleyball for Monticello, directing the student-run Shakespeare production, and pursuing photography. Marie plans to study graphic design, computer science, and/or mathematics in college. She wants to continue pursuing music in the future through school ensembles as well as community groups.



Samantha Marshall

Samantha MarshallSamantha Marshall, a senior at Monticello High School, has been studying classical flute with Angela Kelly since 2001 and has recently been exploring jazz with John D’earth, international folk music with Art Wheeler, and working on her college audition preparation with Kelly Sulick. Samantha is currently principal flute in the Youth Symphony of The Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia and also performs with the Charlottesville University Symphony Orchestra.  She has been a member of the Monticello Marching Mustangs, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Pit Band, Wind Ensemble, Honors Bands and District Bands. She received the 2011 “Semper Fidelis” Award for musical excellence, the 2010 John Phillip Sousa Award, a Piedmont Council for the Arts “Rising Star” Award in 2010 and she won the Martha Dugan Concerto Competition in 2009.  Samantha has played for the Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society’s annual  “Spirit Walk” for the last 7 years and has performed for showers, weddings and benefit events as well as for retirement communities in both Charlottesville and Chicago. Her non-musical interests include baking, photography, cross-country running, and chillin’ with friends. Here is a video of Ms. Marshall performing Cecile Chaminade's Concertino for Flute in concert with the Band.


Anthony Poehailos

Clarinetist Anthony Poehailos, Winner of the 2010 Solo CompetitionAnthony Poehailos is a senior at Monticello High School.  He has been studying clarinet since 5th grade, beginning under Peggy Haluska at Walton Middle School, where he received the Band Award at graduation.  For the past five years he has been a student in the studio of James Tobin.  Anthony has also studied piano for five years. He has been a member of Monticello High’s Stage Band, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and Marching Band, and has played in the Pit Band for the past three spring musicals.  His awards at MHS include the John Philip Sousa Award, the Louis Armstrong Award, and the U.S. Marines Semper Fidelis band award.  Anthony has been selected for Albemarle County Honors band for six consecutive years, All District Band for five years, and All Virginia Band for two years.   In addition, he attended the 2010 Governor’s School Summer Residential Program for Visual and Performing Arts at Radford University. Outside of MHS, he was principal clarinet in the Evans Orchestra for two years, and currently is in his second year as principal clarinet in the Youth Orchestra of Charlottesville-Albemarle. Anthony is an Eagle Scout and an active member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church.  He is doing an internship at Walton Middle School this year teaching clarinet and saxophone. His long term professional goal is to teach at a high school or college, and to perform as much as possible. Here is the concluding audio portion of Anthony's concert performance of Carl Maria von Weber's Concertino for Clarinet, as well as video of the complete performance.





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The Municipal Band of Charlottesville, Inc.
1119 Fifth Street SW - Suite B
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902-6480
Telephone 434-295-9850
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© 2013 – Board of Directors, The Municipal Band of Charlottesville, Virginia, Inc.
Page last modified March 14, 2014