In Awards and Achievements, School of Music, Students

Music students Kyle Hotvedt, John Burton and Brooke Ballard showcase their gifts on a global and national scale

BYU’s School of Music is known for producing exceptionally talented students and rising artists. 

This year, three of its students were able to show off their incredible musical skills in both auditions and competitions. From the shining round keys of a clarinet to the ivory keys of a piano, students Kyle Hotvedt, John Burton and Brooke Ballard were given opportunities to shine their talented lights in musical realms both national and global. 

When Kyle Hotvedt first auditioned for a spot in BYU’s graduate music program in the Clarinet Studio, he said that his musical goal was “to be in an excellent military band.” Now, Hotvedt’s goal is realized, as he recently auditioned for, and won, a position to play in the 399th Army Band. He will take up his post at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in May, after he finishes basic training. Jaren Hinckley, a music professor who specializes in clarinet performance, said that he is happy that his former student has been able to reach his goal.

But Hotvedt is not the only BYU student whose clarinet performance has received accolades. 

Clarinet performance major John Burton participated in the 2020 Silverstein Global Clarinet Contest. His soulful performance of his chosen piece, “Gryphon” by Theresa Martin, earned him third place in the Junior Division of the competition. Hailing from Gilbert, Arizona, Burton was the only participant in the Junior Division from the United States. You can view Burton’s clarinet performance at

In this year’s statewide collegiate concerto competition, sponsored by the Utah Music Teachers Association, Brooke Ballard took first place with her thrilling performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25. The competition featured participants from all the major universities across Utah. Ballard, a Riverton, Utah native, said of her performance, “This is one of my favorite pieces to perform and I’m honored to be awarded for it.” 

You can view Ballard’s piano performance here.

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