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George Ramirez Young Artist Festival


The George Ramirez Young Artist Festival seeks to promote up and coming musicians between the ages of 4 and 18. It was Mr. Ramirez’ vision to see the Arts flourish in our community, specifically through early childhood music education. Our mission is to encourage students to pursue extracurricular music education and fortify the communal culture of our overall social network.


George Ramirez was a visionary philanthropist who continuously sought to further the Arts in his beloved community of Brownsville, TX. He pioneered many projects including the creation of the Brownville Society for the Performing Arts, the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival, KXIQ FM Radio Station, the Brownsville International Flamenco Festival and Ancient Cultures Festival, and most recently The George Ramirez Performing Arts Academy.

Through his extraordinary example, he passed on his love of community, his determination to make music education available to everyone, and his unwavering belief that the Arts can be the start of cultural and social change. We are honored and proud to continue George’s vision.


Students will be evaluated as Outstanding, Superior, and Excellent.

Excellent will be given to students who showed accomplishment with some commendable attributes; additional work needed in a few areas but still show some dominance over their selection.

Superior will be given to students who give a promising, strong performance with minor discrepancies. They show technical dominance over their selection.

Outstanding will be given to students who give a complete and outstanding performance of their selection paying attention to detail and showing complete technical and musical dominance over their selection.

Included Instruments: Piano, Voice, Violin, Cello, Guitar, Clarinet, and others. Please ask us if additional instruments can be included.

*All students must own the original copy of their music to be presented to the judge/s.


Primary: Students ages 4-6 that are within their first few years of learning with a bright future ahead.

Elementary: Students that have been playing for 2+ years that are already familiar with their instrument and becoming more and more successful every lesson.


Intermediate: Students that already show technical dominance over their pieces well into their musical journey.

Advanced: Students that have been playing for 5+ years and understand musical and technical concepts which allow them to play more difficult repertoire.

*We ask each teacher to use their discretion to place each student and be honest in their evaluation.

*Three winners in each level will be selected.


For 2021, we will have one category.


Category A: Students will perform one selection of their choice. Original copies of music must be provided. $10 fee.


Registration is done through each teacher. They are responsible for filling out the Registration Form as well as each students' information on the Rating Sheet. Payment can be done through PayPal (PayPal.Me/BPianoStudio), Venmo (@BrownsvillePiano-Studio or 956-545-8742), or Zelle ( once the Registration Form is complete.

Registration Form - Deadline is Saturday, November 27th

Rating Sheet - This is the sheet our judge will receive for each participant. 

Additional guidelines

Students are required to perform for memory.

Clean copies, with numbered measures, must be available for the judge.

Selections must be entire pieces, not arrangements, written specifically for each instrument.

Duets are not allowed at this time.

Ilana Joyce Cady
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Ilana graduated with a Master’s of Music in piano performance at Longy School of Music of

Bard College; May 2017, under the direction of Leslie Amper. During her time at Longy she has

performed at Pickman Hall, Sanders Theater at Harvard University, and the Dante Allegheri

Society in Cambridge. She has collaborated with Longy's Side by Side El Sistema program and

the Boston Cello quartet. Being involved with Longy’s chamber program, Ilana has had

the privilege to work extensively with Robert Merfeld.

She has performed solo and chamber works for the master classes of Peter Serkin, Frank Levy,

Denis Kozhukhin, Wayman Chin, Randall Hodgkinson, Roland and Almita Vamos, Ming Feng

Hsin and Wen Qian, Jennifer Koh, and Dylana Jenson.


Ilana embarked on a collaborative journey by founding, Table for Two | A Piano Duo, with

fellow pianist Linda Chavez. The duo debuted in Graz, Austria at the Styriarte festival as

winners of the Lunchkonzerte competition. They have also toured in Texas, Vermont and

Massachusetts. They were invited to participate in a Teaching Artist workshop at the Lincoln

Center in NYC, summer 2017.


Ilana graduated Summa Cum Laude, from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI, May 2015

with her BMUS in Piano Performance. She spent time during the summer of 2014 at Brevard

Music Institute and was invited to participate in the Seaside Piano Intensive in January 2018

where in both places she studied with Jihye Chang.


She graduated with distinction, as a JN Andrews Scholar from the Andrews University Honors

program and in 2014 she completed her undergraduate honors thesis, “A Composition Project:

An Original 12-tone Fugue Modeled after J.S. Bach’s BWV 847” and was awarded a research

scholarship from the Earhart Foundation Emerging Scholars Program. She presented the project

at multiple conferences in the Michigan area. Ilana was a winner of the 2012 and 2014 Young

Artist Competition at Andrews University, and performed MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2

Larghetto Calmato and Brahms’ Concerto No. 1 Maestoso respectively, with the Andrews

University Symphony Orchestra.


Recently Ilana has joined flutist Maria Gabriela Alvarado, in presenting “Of Water and Clouds” a

concert designed to highlight women composers and bring awareness to Ehlers-Danlos

Syndrome. They have performed this concert in the New England area, and have been invited to

perform in the Civic Morning Musical concert series in Syracuse, NY, as well as a conference at

the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi.


Ilana has been a faculty member of the Joy of Music Program in Worcester since 2017 and is

also a dance division pianist at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Boston Ballet School. She

also works as the collaborative pianist of the Worcester Children’s Chorus and South Lancaster

Academy’s Il Voce, select traveling choir and the SLA concert choir, with whom she will be

going on tour to Portugal in the spring and working with John Rutter as a rehearsal accompanist.

2020 gryaf judge

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