The Sherer International Violin & Piano Competition

Sept. 17-18, 2022
Goshen College Music Center

Solomia Soroka, artistic director
Marcia Yost, executive director

The deadline for applications has been EXTENDED to Monday, September 5, 2022!

The Sherer International Competition is an annual violin and piano competition named in honor of the late Lon and Kathryn Sherer, Goshen College Professors Emeritus of Music. For 40 years, Lon (violin) and Kathryn (piano) created, nurtured and developed instrumental music at Goshen College, bringing the program to unprecedented heights through their talent, hard work, and pedagogy.

Participants in the 2021 Sherer Competition, on the Sauder Concert Hall stage


  • 1st Prize: $2,000
  • 2nd Prize: $1,000
  • 3rd Prize: $500

Judges’ decisions on all prizes are final.


The competition is open to classically-trained violinists and pianists in grades 8-12 (ages between 13-18 as of May 15, 2022). Competition applicants must not be enrolled in a degree program at a college or university.


Applications are now being accepted. A completed application form, payment of non-refundable $100 application fee, and uploaded video recording file must be submitted by the registration deadline (EXTENDED to Monday, September 5, 2022).

Submit application for the Sherer Competition

Screening Recording

All entrants must submit an unedited video recording of one piece from their competition repertoire on or before the registration deadline (EXTENDED to Monday, September 5, 2022). Recordings should be uploaded to YouTube, or shared from Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar file-sharing service.  Selected applicants will be notified by email no later than September 6, 2022. 



Repertoire should include selections from at least two of the following style periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary. Standard violin concerto movements are permitted. All works must be memorized with the exception of sonata movements, and works written after 1945. Students should aim for a program no longer than 30 minutes in length. Competitors exceeding the 30 minute limit will be stopped.


Repertoire should include selections for solo piano from at least two of the following style periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary. Concerto performances are NOT permitted for piano. Extended techniques such as introducing foreign objects into the workings of the piano, strumming or plucking of strings, etc. are also not permitted. All pieces must be memorized. Students should aim for a program no longer than 30 minutes in length. Competitors exceeding the 30 minute limit will be stopped.



All entrants will be notified of acceptance via email no later than September 6, 2022.

Competition Schedule

Schedule is subject to change

Sample Saturday schedule

  • 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  – Student arrival, registration, rehearsal, and practice time
  • 6:30 p.m. – Drawing for performance order, and reception for contestants
  • 7:30 p.m. – Concert, Sherer Piano Trio & Guest Artists, Sauder Concert Hall

Sample Sunday schedule

  • Morning – Warm-ups for violinists with accompanists, and pianists
  • 10:00 a.m. – Piano Adjudication, Sauder Concert Hall
  • 10:00 a.m. – Violin Adjudication, Rieth Recital Hall
  • 6:00 p.m. – Award Ceremony and Competition Winners Concert, Sauder Concert Hall


Piano and violin judges will be announced at a later date.

Dr. Matthew Hill

Matthew Hill, DMA, pianist and Goshen College professor of music, is chair of the music department and teaches piano, chamber music, music history, and as a result of the strong influence from his wife and daughter, also teaches a general education course in Opera and Musical Theatre. He has studied with such renowned musicians as Howard Karp and Claude Frank, whose respective pedagogical genealogies include Rosina Lhévinne and Arthur Schnabel. He has had a variety of teaching and performing experiences both nationally and internationally. Dr. Hill participated at the Schlern International Music Festival held in the Dolomites of northern Italy through invitation as a teacher, performer, and master class clinician. In China, he taught a series of master classes at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, and presented a solo recital. Matthew received his doctorate in piano performance at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His students have gone on to further graduate study at many different graduate schools, including Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Oklahoma, Westminster Choir College, and the University of South Florida.


Phoenix Park-Kim

Dr. Phoenix Park-Kim has given recitals throughout the United States, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Russia including performances in various music festivals such as the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Piano Texas, the Summer Music School in Siena (Italy), Piano Peabody, and Wiener Meisterkurse in Vienna (Austria).  She has won prizes at numerous competitions including first place at the Miami Concerto Competition, Jefferson City Concerto Competition, Kansas City Philharmonic Concerto Competition, and was a finalist at the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition and The American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award in the Performance of American Music. She appeared as a soloist with the Korean Philharmonic Orchestra, Kansas City Philharmonia, UMKC, Symphony of the Lake, Fishers Chamber, Atlantida Symphony Orchestra (Spain), and Marion Philharmonic Orchestras among others.  An avid chamber musician, she has performed with the Oxford String Quartet, Duo Dolce, Soprani Compagni and appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as part of the Distinguished Concerts Artist Series.

Dr. Park-Kim has been heard on public radio throughout the U.S, Madrid, Spain and Ontario Canada.  She is dedicated to providing more exposure to lesser known repertoire especially music by African-American composers. In this endeavor, she was awarded the Lilly research grant and also received special congressional recognition.  Her CD “Deep River,” and “Summerland” are collections of Classical works by African American composers, was released under the MSR Classics label.  Her other recordings are also available on most online platforms such as Spotify, iTune, and  She is currently professor of piano at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana and serves as Artistic Director for the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition and Festival.


Stefan Hersh

Violinist Stefan Hersh has a varied career as a soloist, ensemble player, and pedagogue. He has been a featured soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony, the Illinois Philharmonic, and regional orchestras throughout the United States. He has performed abroad at venues including the Campos do Jordão Winter Festival in Brazil, the Festicamara in Medellin, Colombia, and the Cremona International Summer Academy in Italy. Hersh has performed throughout the US at venues such as the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the Olympic Music Festival, the Moab Music Festival, the Taos Summer Music Festival, the Tucson Winter Festival in Arizona, Bard College, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, and the Mendocino Music Festival in Northern California and many others.

Hersh’s orchestral career has included tenures as Principal Second Violin of the Minnesota Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony. Hersh was a founding member of the Callisto Ensemble and of the Chicago String Quartet and was a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and the Philadelphia String Quartet. He was Associate Professor at De Paul University before joining the Chicago College of Performing Arts faculty at Roosevelt University in 2003.


Penny Thompson-Kruse

Woman in a black jacket with see through sleeves smiling, holding a violin underneath her folded arms

Dr. Penny Thompson Kruse, professor of violin at the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University, has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. Prior to her BGSU appointment, Kruse was on the faculty of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, for eight years. For five seasons she was a member of the Kansas City Symphony, serving as associate concertmaster during the 1989-90 season.

Trained at Northwestern and Yale Universities and earning a D.M.A. in violin performance from the University of Missouri—Kansas City, Conservatory of Music and Dance, Dr. Kruse has written articles in American String Teacher, the Strad and Journal of the American Viola Society. Dr. Kruse was named Professor of the Year by the BGSU students of Ashley/Batchelder Residence Halls, received the Pro Musica Award for Exceptional Service to the students of BGSU and the Ohio String Teachers Association Collegiate Teacher of the Year.

Collaborative Pianist

A native of Minnesota, pianist Luke Norell has concertized internationally as soloist and chamber musician. Recent engagements have included performing at the University of Indianapolis, Ohio University, the Music Archive of Sarasota, Florida, and the Ruthmere Fall Concert Series. He has appeared as soloist with the Maple City Chamber Orchestra and the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra and also performed at Edvard Grieg’s historic home at Troldhaugen. As vice president and founding board member of the newly formed Edvard Grieg Society of the Great Lakes, Luke took part in hosting its inaugural “SalzBergen” conference at Goshen College, giving performances with bass-baritone Njål Sparbo, and his wife Mary Rose as the Norell Piano Duo. Dr. Norell serves as the Piano Program Director for the Goshen College Community School of the Arts and as collaborative pianist for the Goshen College music department. He studied with André Watts at Indiana University, completing his D.M. and M.M. degrees, and received his B.M. degree from the University of Northwestern (St. Paul).

Sherer Competition Artistic Director

Solomia Soroka, DMA, is professor of music at Goshen College, where she teaches violin, chamber music, and music theory courses. Born in Lviv, Ukraine, she earned her master’s degree and completed her postgraduate studies in the Kiev (Kyiv) Conservatory, and later served on its staff in the department of chamber music. She also has a DMA degree from Eastman School of Music. She studied with Hersh Heifetz, Bohodar Kotorovych, Lyudmyla Zvirko and Charles Castleman. Solomia Soroka made her solo debut at ten, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared at concerts and festivals in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Taiwan and Ukraine. Since her American debut in 1997, she has performed throughout the United States as well.

Solomia Soroka has toured and recorded extensively with her husband, the pianist Arthur Greene. Their Naxos recording of Four Violin Sonatas by William Bolcom was selected as Recording of the Month with the highest ranking for both artistry and sound quality by Classics Today, and received reviews in various distinguished journals

In the past eight years Soroka has been recording for Toccata Records, based in London, where she made six premier recordings, of music by American composer Arthur Hartmann, Ukrainian Myroslav Skoryk, Mykola Lysenko, and Yevhen Stankovych, and Holocaust composers Leone Sinigaglia and Bernhard Sekles.

During the summer Solomia Soroka is on the faculty of Music Fest in Perugia, Italy. She also  has taught at the Castleman Quartet Program, Pilsen Summer Academy, and Schlern Music Festival. Ms. Soroka is active giving masterclasses in her native Ukraine, USA, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, Czech Republic, and Italy.


For general questions regarding the competition, or for questions regarding the program, audition screening recording, accompanying needs, etc. please contact:

Solomia Soroka

Artistic Director
Sherer Competition

For questions regarding travel, accommodations, meals, or the Goshen area, please contact:

Marcia Yost

Executive Director
Sherer Competition