UM Music Students Take Third in National Competition

April 13, 2016

UM senior Sarah Harmsworth, UM graduate student Adam Sears and Hellgate High School student David Harmsworth.MISSOULA – Two University of Montana School of Music students and one Missoula Hellgate High School student recently won third place at the Music Teachers National Association’s Young Artist String Chamber Music Competition in San Antonio.

The Missoula Piano Trio consists of UM graduate student Adam Sears of Missoula on piano, UM senior Sarah Harmsworth of Bonner on violin and Missoula Hellgate High School student David Harmsworth, Sarah’s brother, on cello. The trio will repeat their winning performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in the UM Music Recital Hall as part of Sears’ graduate chamber music recital.

“The performance was virtually flawless and very possibly the most heartfelt of all. You could feel it in the air,” said UM music Professor Steven Hesla, who coached the trio. “I was so proud.”

In addition to countless hours of practicing their competition repertoire on their own and together, the trio spent more than 60 hours practicing with Hesla, their primary coach. After winning the regional competition, they went on to face five other finalists at the national competition. A piano trio from Brigham Young University took first place, and a string quartet from Vanderbilt University took second place.

“Their hard work paid off,” Hesla said. “All ensembles were deserving of their national finalist status, and our trio’s distinction is even more notable given the quality of its well-qualified competitors.”

For more information on the trio and the competition, call Hesla at 406-243-6055 or email


Contact: Steven Hesla, UM music professor, 406-243-6055,