~ 6 WPMA Students Win Prizes At 1st Giovanni International Violin Competition! ~ 11.2.2020

William Pu Music Academy congratulates the six violin students who received prizes at the inaugural Giovanni International Violin Competition. The Competition received video entries from almost 200 young musicians representing countries such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, Norway, and the United States of America. Receiving prizes were:

Group A (11 years old and under):

Charlotte Jeong (10 yr. old) – 3rd Prize

Olivia Kim (9 yr. old) – 6th Prize

Group B2 (11 to 15 years old, non-conservatory):

Yining Zhang (11 yr. old) – 2nd Prize

Angelina Lu (12 yr. old) – 3rd Prize

Group C2 (16 years old and up, non-conservatory):

Jeremiah Jung (16 yr. old) – 2nd Prize

Brandon Lee (16 yr. old) – 3rd Prize

Bravo, Tutti!

~ 8 WPMA Students Win Prizes at Inaugural Atlanta Festival Academy Competition ~

We offer a big “Congratulations!” to seven William Pu Music Academy students who placed first, second, or third in their divisions of the very first Atlanta Festival Academy Competition. As with the first AFA last summer, this Competition was an immediate international success and drew 89 competitors from seven countries! So with such a large competitive field we are incredibly proud of our winners: Jason Seo, Yining Zhang, Charlotte Jeong, Olivia Kim, Angelina Lu, Jeremiah Jung, Brandon Lee, and John Cho. We want to highlight Jason’s success especially, since he was selected the First Place winner in the Strings – Senior division. As such he will receive both a cash prize as well as a full scholarship to the 2021 Atlanta Festival Academy, a nearly $1,650 value! Finally we applaud the effort of all the young musicians who entered this competition, 33 of whom study at WPMA – way to go, everyone!

~ A huge congratulations to the following WPMA students for winning awards in the 2020 GMTA (Georgia Music Teachers Association) State Auditions! Bravo to all the winners and their teachers – Amy Chang​, William Pu​ & Raffi Besalyan! ~ 5.9.2020

~ Strings/Classical Guitar Audition ~
Outstanding Performer Conference Recitalists (1st prize winners):
Olivia Kim (violin) Grade 2-3 level
Jason Seo (viola) Grade 8-9 level

Senior Cash Award:
John Cho (viola) Grade 12 level

Outstanding Performer Alternate 1:
Kaci Xie (viola) Grade 12 level

Award of Excellence:
Charlotte Jeong (violin) Grade 4-5 level
Yining Zhang (violin) Grade 4-5 level
Angelina Lu (violin) Grade 6-7 level
Jeremiah Jung (violin) Grade 10-11 level

~ Piano Division ~
Honorable Mention:
Jae Ren Yee (piano) Grade 6 level

~ Instrumental Concerto ~
Jason Seo (viola) won ‘Award of Excellence’
Jeremiah Jung (violin) won ‘Honorable Mention’

Outstanding Performers Conference Recitalists (1st prize winners) are invited to perform at the 2020 GMTA State Conference In November. This is Jason Seo’s 2nd consecutive year winning the title of OPCR in the Strings/Classical Guitar Division audition. We are looking forward to Jason Seo and Olivia Kim’s solo performances at this special event. ????

~ Congratulations to WPMA students who are 2020 Georgia’s Governor Honors Program Finalist ~ 4.28.2020 

William Pu Music Academy proudly recognizes Emma Surbrook (cello), Nicholas Chang (viola), and Cal Walrath (cello), all of whom were accepted to Georgia Governor’s Honors Program for 2020! Although GHP has sadly been canceled this summer due to COVID-19, this wonderful accomplishment will never be taken from Emma, Nicholas, and Cal. Congratulations to all three of them! Also thanks to their WPMA teachers, Martin Gueorguiev, Amy Chang, and Justin Dougherty for teaching and helping them to prepare the repertoires through out the GHP process!

~ 4 WPMA students who won 2019 GMTA State Competition and performed at GMTA State Conference in Columbus State University ~ 11.9.2019

Big congratulations and bravo to four WPMA students, Charlotte Jeong (violin, 2nd/3rd grades division), Angelina Lu (violin, 4th/5th grades), Jason Seo (viola, 8th/9th grades) and Grace Peng (piano, 9th grade) for winning the Conference Recitalist (1st prize) on their own grade division of the GMTA auditions and performed at the 2019 Georgia Music Teachers Association State Conference! We are so proud of their achievements! Also thanks to their teachers, Amy Chang, William Pu & Raffi Besalyan’s excellent teachings!


~ WPMA & AFA Co-Founder William Pu Honored by Georgia Secretary of State ~ 7.22.2019

Congratulations to William Pu Music Academy & Atlanta Festival Academy co-founder William Pu, who was honored during the 2019 AFA opening ceremony as an Outstanding Citizen of Georgia. Mr. Pu received this Award from the Secretary of State, Mr. Brad Raffensperger, and it was presented by the secretary’s special ambassador, Mr. Roger Wise, Jr. This award is a recognition of the effort and commitment put in by everyone associated with the Atlanta Festival Academy in order to create a classical music festival unrivaled by any other in the Southeast.



 ~ Big congratulations to the following 18 WPMA students for winning 25 awards in the 2019 GMTA (Georgia Music Teachers Association) State Auditions ~

Bravo to all the winners and their teachers – William Pu, Amy Chang, Martin Greorguiev, Justin Dougherty & Virginia Sloan’s outstanding teaching! 4.6.2019

~ String / Guitar Auditions ~
Outstanding Performer – Conference Recitalists

Charlotte Jeong (violin) 2/3 grade level
Angelina Lu (violin) 4/5 grade level
Jason Seo (viola) 8/9 grade level

Outstanding Performer Alternate 1
Kelly Jeong (violin) 8/9 grade level

Outstanding Performer Alternate 2
Abigail Stone (violin) 6/7 grade level
Nathaniel Stone (cello) 8/9 grade level
Evan Nicholson (cello) 10/11 grade level

Award of Excellence
Ellie Kim (violin) 2/3 grade level
Mahalia Mason (cello) 4/5 grade level
William Wei (violin) 4/5 grade level
Matthew Kim (cello) 8/9 grade level
Jone Cho (viola) 10/11 grade level

Honorable Mention
Nicholas Chang(viola) 8/9 grads level
Kai Lee (cello) 8/9 grade level
Kaci Xie (viola) 10/11 grade level
Kevin Chen (violin) 10/11 grade level
William Kim (cello) 12 grade level

~ Instrumental Concerto Audition ~
Outstanding Performer / Conference Recitalist

Evan Nicholson (cello)

Outstanding Performer
John Cho (viola)

Award of Excellence
Jason Seo(viola)
Kaci Xie (viola)
Kevin Chen (violin)

Honorable Mention
Kelly Jeong (violin)
Nathaniel Stone (cello)

Piano Audition
Outstanding Performer – Conference Recitalists
Grace Peng

Outstanding Performer” is the highest award for the GMTA competition and only one from each grade level in each division will be selected by the judge as a “Conference Recitalist” and will perform at the fall GMTA Conference.

~ Congratulations to the following FOUR WPMA students who are being selected for 2019 Georgia Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) ~

Sophie Chan – Junior at Milton HS
Kevin Chen – Sophomore at Norcross HS
Eileen Liu – Junior at Alpharetta HS
Jinsol Shin – Junior at North Gwinnett HS

Since 1964, Georgia GHP (Governor’s Honor Program) is the most desirable summer educational program among all the 10th & 11th grade high school students in Georgia. It is a four-week long summer program designed to provide the intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. Best of all, it’s FREE!

Thousands of nominated students went through at least two rounds of audition and interview before being selected. It is a real HONOR!

~ Congratulations to TWO WPMA students won top prizes! ~ 3.10.2019

Cello student Evan Nicholson (10th grade at Paideia School) won the 2019 Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra concerto competition! Evan will play the 1st movement of the Dvorak Concerto with the EYSO in both Nashville and Atlanta concerts in May.

Piano student Grace Peng (9th grade at Northview HS) won the 1st place in the High School division of the Atlanta Music Club Competition! Grace was awarded a $2000 scholarship.

Bravo to Evan’s teacher Dr. Martin Gueorguiev and Grace’s teacher Dr. Raffi Besalyan at the William Pu Music Academy!


~ Mr. William Pu received Who’s Who in Asian American Communities (WWAAC) National Spotlight Award and was interviewed by CNN former anchor, Sashi Koto. ~ 2.17.2019


~ Georgia Music Teacher Association Fall Festival Competition Winners ~

Huge congratulations to all the students from Dr. Grace Tian Meng Fowler’s studio who competed at the 2018 GMTA Fall Festival.

All 20 students who competed got a Superior rating! Also, special congratulations to the seven students who received a special Performance/Romantic (money) Award: Sanjana Arumugham, Angela Yu, Riya Saravanan, Jaxon Lou, Mack Walrath, Jessica Wang and Christopher Lucas.

We couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s hard work and dedication!!!!!
the 2018 GMTA Fall Festival.

~ 2018 Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition Winners ~

Congratulations to the Tuna Quintet ~ the grand prize winner of the 2018 Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition (high school division)! Five members of the Tuna Quintet, Monica Chang (violin), John Cho (viola), Adam Wang (cello), Alex Pu (bass) and Carson Lee (piano) are currently studying at William Pu Music Academy. They performed Schubert “Trout” Quintet today.

Also congratulations to two other WPMA students, Grace Peng (piano) and Cal Wrath (cello)! Their groups won the middle school division 1st & 2nd prize respectively.

~ Congratulations to record of Eight WPMA students are selected by 2018 GHP! ~

Serena Gao (violin) Lambert HS
Nina Youn (violin) Mill Creek HS
Kaci Xie (viola) Alpharetta HS
John Cho (viola) Mill Creek HS
Alicia Shin (cello) North Gwinnett HS
William Kim (cello)

Since 1964, Georgia GHP (Governor’s Honor Program) is the most desirable summer educational program among all the 10th & 11th grade high school students in Georgia. It is a four-week long summer program designed to provide the intellectually gifted and artistically talented high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. Best of all, it’s FREE!

Thousands of nominated students went through at least two rounds of audition and interview before being selected. Its a real HONOR!

 ~ 2018 GMTA Competition Winners ~

We are extremely delighted and so honored to introduce a collection of 12 beautiful and talented students from the William Pu Music Academy who have won 16 awards at 2018 Georgia Music Teacher Association (GMTA) Competition!

Winner of 10-11th grade division
1st Alternate of Instrumental Concerto
Kirsten Jiwon Lee (violin)

Outstanding Performer
Evans Nicholson (cello) Instrumental Concerto
Zhimei Xu (violin) Instrumental Concerto
Evans Nicholson (cello) 8-9th grade division.

Award of Excellence
Adam Wang (cello) Instrumental Concerto
Kate “Sunny” Kim (violin) 6-7 grade division.
Matthew Kim (cello) 8-9th grade division.
Adam Wang (cello) 10-11th grade division.

Honorable Mention
Serena Gao (violin) Instrumental Concerto
Mahalia Mason (cello) 4-5 grade division.
Emma Surbrook (cello) 8-9 grade division.
Alexander Lee (cello) 8-9 grade division.
Suraj Mysore (cello) 8-9 grade division.
Zhimei Xu (violin) 10-11th grade division.
Joe Billips (cello) 12th grade division.

 ~ Osaka International Music Competition U.S. Regional Winners ~ 2017

Congratulations to Grace Peng (13) and graduating senior Carson Lee, piano students of Dr. Raffi Besalyan at WPMA for winning 2nd and 3rd places respectively in the inaugural U.S. Regional Osaka International Music Competition held on May 12 in Kopleff Recital Hall at GSU. As top prize winners Grace and Carson were selected to compete in the Grand Final round of the Osaka International Music Competition in Japan this coming fall.


~ WPMA Students won 2016 GMTA Competition! ~

Congratulations to 13 WPMA students who won total of 19 awards at 2016 GMTA (Georgia Music Teach Association) Competition!!!

Outstanding Performer – Conference Recitalist
Evan Nicholson (cello) 6/7 grade level

1st Alternate
Maxmilian Lou (cello) 8/9 grade level

2nd Alternate
Zach Tseng (violin) 4/5 grade level

Award of Excellence
Katie Chong (violin) 4/5 grade level

Honorable Mention
Mahalia Manson (cello) 2/3 grade level
Emma Surbrook (cello) 6/7 grade level
Zach Surbrook (cello) 6/7 grade level
Eunice Chon (violin) 6/7 grade level
Serena Gao (violin) 8/9 grade level
Adam Wang (cello) 8/9 grade level
Kyle Qian (violin) 10/11 grade level
Sarah Chen (violin) 10/11 grade level

~ Instrument Concerto Competition ~
2nd Alternate
Maximilian Lou (cello)

 Outstanding Performer
Amy Park (cello)

Honorable Mention
Zach Tseng (violin)
Kyle Qian (violin)

Award of Excellence
Evan Nicholson (cello)
Serena Gao (violin)
Adam Wang (cello)

~ Congratulations to WPMA piano students who competed and won awards at the NFMTA (North Fulton Music Teacher Association) Fall Festival! ~

Fayo Akinsanmi — Superior Award
Tomi Akinsanmi — Superior Award
Jason Lou — Superior Award
Isabella Reulbach — Superior Award
Jessica Wang — Superior Award

Special Congratulations to Money Award Receiver:
Heng Yang — Superior & Baroque Performance Award
Christopher Lucas — Suprior & Performance Award
Ariel Najarian — Superior & Performance Award

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Congratulations to WPMA students Zach Tseng and Evan Nicholson for winning the 1st and 2nd prizes (Winner and Alternate) at the 2016-2017 MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Georgia State String Performance Competition Junior Category (age 11-14). The Competition was held at the Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

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~ Nina Youn Won GCYS 2015 Concerto Competition! ~

Congratulation to WPMA student Nina Youn for winning the 2015 Georgia County Youth Symphony Concerto Competition! Nina was featured as a soloist and performed ‘Winter’ from A. Vivaldi’s Four
Season with GCYS on November 17, 2015!

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~ WPMA students Won 2015 GHP! ~

The Georgia Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) is a residential summer program for gifted and talented high school students who will be rising juniors and seniors during the program. The GHP received approximately 2,800 applicants for the 2015 application cycle. 10 violinists and 4 alternates for GHP Violin Finalists were chosen this year.

A big congratulations to WPMA students Joseph Pang, Amy Zhang, Kyle Qian and Annie Su for winning the positions among 10 violinist and 4 alternates to the 2015 GHP!

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~ WPMA student Monica Chang Won GCYS 2014 Concert Competition! ~

Congratulations to WPMA student, Monica Chang, a freshman at North Gwinnett High School for winning the Georgia Symphony Youth Orchestra 2014 Concerto Competition! Monica is also the concertmaster of the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony. Monica featured as a soloist and performed the Bach Violin Concerto in E Major, BWV1042 with the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony!
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~ WPMA Students Received Awards and Recognition! ~

We are very proud that three of our students received awards and recognition at the 2014 GMTA State Auditions for Instrumental, Instrumental Concerto, Voice and College Piano. Ling Yi Xin, age 15, was recognized as Conference Recitalist in the 10th and 11th Grade Division. She also was selected as the first alternate in the concerto competition. Grace Chen, age 14, received an Award of Excellence in the 8th and 9th Grade Division. Serena Gao, age 13, received an Award of Excellence in her  6th and 7th Grade Division. We are very proud of these students and of their achievements. Congratulations to Ling Yi, Grace and Serena!

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