Warsaw student wins competition sponsored by Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association


Renee Blunier | Photo courtesy of Quincy Symphony Orchestra

WARSAW, Ill. — The Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association has announced Renee Blunier, who plays the oboe, as the winner of the Martha McCrory Young Artists Competition, open to local 10th through 12th graders.

The contest was held Dec. 16 at First Union Congregational Church in Quincy. Blunier performed movements from Benedetto Marcello’s “Oboe Concerto in C Minor.” She will receive a cash prize and perform as a soloist during QSO’s “Music of John Williams” Concert on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Blunier is a daughter of Joe and Karen Blunier and a junior at Warsaw High School. She has played oboe for eight years, studying with Alan Kanauss, Paul Chinen, Cody Collins, Lora Launer, Karen Weirather and piano accompanist Joni Wilson.

Blunier has been a member of the Quincy Area Youth Orchestra for four years, a two-year member of the ILMEA All-State Orchestra and the winner of the 2023 Marilyn Minford McCoid Young Artist Competition with the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in the IGSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest with superior rankings and a Best of the Day award.

Blunier plans to major in music performance at Western Illinois University to fulfill her dreams of playing oboe forever.

In its 69th year, the purpose of the Martha McCrory Young Artists Competition is to allow high school musicians to perform as concert soloists, accompanied by a symphony orchestra. In a press release, QSOA executive director Jane Polett said, “This recognition of talent and dedication is not only beneficial to the student, but it’s a treat for the audience.”

Contact the symphony office at 217-222-2856 or visit qsoa.org for more details on the Feb. 10 performance and the competition.

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