Zoe Cheng -- 2015 Overture Awards winner, Creative Writing

Joseph Harrington -- 2015 Overture Awards winner, Dance

Matthew Repka -- 2015 Overture Awards winner, Instrumental Music

Kalie Kaimann -- 2015 Overture Awards winner, Theater

Phoenix Brown -- 2015 Overture Awards winner, Visual Art

James Rootring -- 2015 Overture Awards winner, Vocal Music

Overture Awards 2015 Winners

Congratulations to the following students who won a $4,000 award!

CREATIVE WRITING: Zoe Cheng - Walnut Hills High School, grade 12

HOMETOWN: Hyde Park, OH - Zoe is a senior at Walnut Hills High School, where she is editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and president of Film Production Club. Last June, her stage play Pillow Talk was produced by The Blank Theatre in Hollywood, and her poetry has been published in The Best Teen Writing of 2012 and 2014. Zoe believes that sharing stories can foster both empathy and hope, and aspires to work as either a screenwriter or international journalist.

DANCE: Joseph Harrington - Just Off Broadway/School for Creative & Performing Arts, grade 10

HOMETOWN: Eastgate/Clermont County, OH - Joseph has studied dance since age 3 and would tell you his greatest inspiration has been his big sister Allix. Outside of school Joseph trains at Just Off Broadway in Mt. Carmel. He attends class and workshops across the U.S. and has been the recipient of multiple dance awards most recently named “Breakout Artist” for NUVO. Joseph is also an accomplished actor and vocalist and has many Broadway, regional (and Off Broadway!) shows to his credit.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC: Matthew Repka - Conner High School, grade 12

HOMETOWN: Hebron, KY - Matthew Repka is a senior at Conner High School and has performed in percussion for 7 years. He has participated in the Kentucky All-State Bands, Northern Kentucky Select Bands, Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Fillmore Wind Band. He has been the Percussion Captain for the Conner High School Marching Band and has been recognized for his musical achievements by the Boone County Board of Education. Upon graduation, he plans on majoring in Music Education.

THEATER: Kalie Kaimann – Seton High School, grade 12

HOMETOWN: Delhi, OH - Kalie is proud to be participating in the Overture Awards Finals Competition again this year! She's a senior at Seton High School and a full-time vocal student with Karl Resnik at the Musical Arts Center. Kalie is a performer with We Duet All Entertainment and she can be seen onstage with Cincinnati Landmark Productions. Kalie plans to pursue Musical Theatre as a career after college and hopes this competition can help her on her journey!

VISUAL ART: Phoenix Brown – School for Creative & Performing Arts, grade 12

HOMETOWN: College Hill, OH - Phoenix Brown is a Visual Arts major at School for Creative & Performing Arts. My work has been exhibited many times in local galleries around Cincinnati. As an illustrator, I want my art to feel familiar to the thoughts and memories of the people who view it. Challenging the viewer to create a narrative of their own is the most powerful concept of my illustrations.

VOCAL MUSIC: James Rootring – Karl Resnik Studio / Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, grade 11

HOMETOWN: Mt. Lookout/Hyde Park, OH - James studies with Karl Resnik and participates in MAC's Young Artists Preparatory Program, directed by Lincoln Chapman. James performs in Encore choir, Electric Jazz Orchestra and Chapel band. James is honored to participate in the Overture finals again this year. James was recently named a 2015 National Young Arts Foundation Winner. James will make his professional debut in the chorus of Cincinnati Opera’s Turandot this summer. James plans a dual major in vocal performance and business.

The remaining finalists receive $1,000 each.


  • Katie Hibner—grade 12, William Mason High School
  • Meg Spencer—grade 12, Beechwood High School
  • Alexandra Sukin—grade 12, Cincinnati Country Day School


  • Jordan Betscher—grade 11, Just Off Broadway/Homeschool
  • Megan Kernan—grade 12, Just Off Broadway/Turpin High School
  • Mary Moore—grade 11, School for Creative and Performing Arts


  • Emma Burge—grade 11, Sycamore High School
  • Isabella Geis—grade 11, Walnut Hills High School
  • David Godar—grade 9, CCM Preparatory/Sycamore High School


  • Kennedy Carstens—grade 12, Ursuline Academy
  • Sam Johnson—grade 11, Boone County High School
  • Victoria Shields—grade 11, Bray Music Studio/Lakota East High School


  • Claire Bowman—grade 12, Walnut Hills High School
  • Clair Hopper—grade 12, Ursuline Academy
  • Jaye Johnson—grade 11, Wyoming High School


  • Mackenzie Jacquemin—grade 12, Wyoming High School
  • Jake Kolesar—grade 12, Walnut Hills High School
  • Logan Wagner—grade 11, Dixie Heights High School