Ben Koenig, 1st Place, and Megan Atkinson, Alternate, Win Prestigious Statewide Music Competition.
Off the Hook Arts (OTHA) proudly announces that two of our own Chamber Music Academy students recently won the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Colorado statewide competition in the Senior Division for strings. Ben Koenig will now advance to the West Central Division Competition where he will represent Colorado against winners from other states on December 1, 2021. Should he succeed at that level, he will move on to the National Conference in Minneapolis March 26-30, 2022. If at any point Ben is unable to proceed, Megan Atkinson will step in to continue in his place.
Ben first showed musical talent at the age of 3 where his Waldorf preschool teacher noted his gift. When he started Kindergarten in Laurel Elementary School, he enrolled in the violin program and has been playing ever since. In 2018 he was concertmaster for the Western States Honor Orchestra, then in 2019 attended the Idyllwild Summer Program in California, and in 2020 played at the National Music for All Festival as well as the Colorado All State Orchestra. When not playing violin, Ben is an avid runner and downhill skier, guitar player, rock climber, and outdoorsman. About winning 1st place, Ben says, “I didn’t think I would win the competition, because I was up against some great players like Megan. The competition helped motivate my practice for my upcoming college auditions, and I am excited for what’s to come.”
Megan first learned to play violin from her grandmother at the age of 5, who also taught Megan’s dad. At age 13 she began private lessons with Michael Davis. She has performed with the Strings Quartet Program of Northern Colorado, OTHA’s Chamber Music Academy, the Credo Summer Music Festival at Oberlin, the Western States Honor Orchestra, and the National Honor Orchestra of America. She regularly works out at the gym, enjoys hiking, and snowboards in the winter. Megan says, “I was honored to be chosen as an alternate to my friend, Ben, who is an outstanding player and whom I have had the opportunity to play with over the last 6 years.”
Both Ben and Megan are violin students of Michael Davis, retired from 30 years as concertmaster of the Louisville Orchestra. Mr. Davis is orchestral conductor for the Chamber Music Academy, a branch of Off the Hook Arts, and he coaches small string ensembles. Recognizing Ben and Megan’s talents and qualifications, Mr. Davis encouraged them to enter this competition. He is a member of the Colorado State Music Teachers Association, the Fort Collins Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association which was founded in 1876 and has a distinguished history of promoting excellence in music.