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Scruffy City Orchestra 2018 Concerto Competition winners

KNOXVILLE — Scruffy City Orchestra is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual Concerto Competition.

Both solo vocalists and instrumentalists who are school-age child or adults up to the age of 25 from East Tennessee were invited to enter the juried competition. Judging was by Scruffy City Orchestra conductor Matt WilkInson and SCO musicians and board members M. Janice Mitchell (president) and Ahsia Spencer.

Outstanding musicians from ages 10 to 25 came from all over East Tennessee to compete during the weekend of March 3 and 4 at Maryville High School. Three winners were selected: Natalie Gregg, flute; Nick Caux, double bass; and Joshua Kováč, cello. As featured soloists, they will perform their winning selections in concert with the Scruffy City Orchestra on Friday, May 4, 7:30 at the First Baptist Church in downtown Knoxville and Sunday, May 6, 3:00 pm at Austin-East Performing Arts Magnet Academy in Knoxville.

Competition Winners:

scruffy city orchestraNatalie Gregg is a junior double-majoring in Flute Performance and Musicology and minoring in Music Business, Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is a member of the UT Chancellor’s Honors Program and is also a Student Ambassador for the University of Tennessee School of Music. Natalie has performed in multiple masterclasses for many artists and was a finalist in UT’s 2017 and 2018 Concerto Competitions. She is currently the Principal Flute in the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra and plays piccolo in the University of Tennessee Wind Ensemble. She is also a founding member of the student-led UT Woodwind Quintet.

nick cauxNick Caux is a junior at Maryville High School. In addition to participating in their orchestral and symphonic program, he is the principal bassist in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has placed in the ETSBOA All-East and TMEA All-State Orchestras every year in high school. Nick attended Bowdoin International Music Festival and plans to attend Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute bass workshop this summer. He recently earned his Eagle Scout Rank from Troop 81 and participates in high school’s track and field as well as enjoying camping, photography, athletics and being with friends and family.

joshua kovacJoshua Kováč, 10, from Jonesborough, TN, began his formal cello studies at the age of four. At the age of 7, Joshua won 1st place and received the Laureate title at the ProBohemia International Competition in Ostrava, Czech Republic and 2nd place at the Heran International Cello Competition in Ústí nad Orlicí, Czech Republic. During the year of 2016 Joshua won several competitions with performances at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Recital Hall in New York City. He received a 1st prize at the American Protégé competition, 1st prize at the International Grande Music Competition and 2nd place at the International Virtuoso Competition. Joshua performed as a soloist with the Kinnor Philharmonic and ETSU Chamber Orchestra and has had multiple masterclasses with various artists. Joshua has participated in several summer music festivals and in 2015 also had the honor of performing for both the Czech and Slovak Ambassadors to the United States. He is currently a member of ETSU pre-college Chamber Music Program and ETSU Chamber Orchestra. Among other interests, Joshua enjoys science, composing, playing chess, solving Rubik’s cube, reading and skiing.

Currently led by conductors Ace Edewards and Matt Wilkinson, Scruffy City Orchestra is Knoxville’s “other orchestra”, a community orchestra composed of volunteer musicians from around the area. Founded in 2016, the Orchestra meets for two sessions each year at First Baptist Church in downtown Knoxville and performs concerts at the end of each session as well as other specialty concerts throughout the year. SCO plans to open the 2019 Concerto Competition later this fall. For more information about the orchestra, contact or visit

Published May 2, 2018

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