Six talented young musicians perform in the annual CSA Honors Recital at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb on Saturday, February 27 at 1:30 p.m.  All are recipients of this year’s CSA Talent Scholarship, awarded annually by the NIU Community School of the Arts.  A limited audience of family members will experience this very special music performance in the Concert Hall at the NIU Music Building.  The public is invited to enjoy a livestream by visiting the NIU School of Music website.

Ranging in age from nine to 17, this year’s CSA Talent Scholarship winners are from DeKalb, Sycamore, Genoa and Oak Brook.  They will perform classical works by F. Seitz, C. Debussy, J. Serrano, G.F. Handel, H. Villa-Lobos and J.S. Bach.

At the elementary age level, Laureen Demir (violin) is nine years old and attends third grade at Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook.  Laureen is the daughter of Veysel Demir and Minmei Hou.  Claire Hua (violin) is eleven years old and attends St. Mary Catholic School as a fifth grader in DeKalb.  Claire is the daughter of Chaoxiong Xia and Lei Hua.  Laureen and Claire study Suzuki violin with NIU Suzuki Strings program director and CSA teacher Ann Montzka Smelser.

At the junior age level, Chloe Dye (violin) is thirteen years old and attends Veritas Scholars Academy in the seventh grade.  Chloe is the daughter of David and Emily Dye, and she studies Suzuki violin with CSA teacher Laurie Rodriguez.  Michael Jaros (guitar) is fourteen years old and attends homeschool as an eighth grader in DeKalb.  Michael is the son of George Jaros and Julie Zaborac, and he studies guitar with CSA teacher Quentin Dover.

At the senior age level, Emily Bychowski (viola) is fifteen years old and is a sophomore at Sycamore High School.  Emily is the daughter of Ron and Shelly Bychowski, and she studies viola with CSA teacher Austin Cruz.  Reilly Farrell (piano) is seventeen years old and attends DeKalb High School as a junior.  Reilly is the son of Robb and Tamara Farrell, and he has studied Suzuki piano with Marilyn Montzka and piano with Linc Smelser.

Auditions for the six scholarship awards are held in January each year, when the young musicians play their pieces from memory before a three-judge panel.  Each winner receives $250.  The NIU Community School of the Arts has awarded 144 talent scholarships to young musicians in the community since 1996.

The money for these awards comes from the NIU Community School scholarship fund.  In addition to talent scholarships, the CSA also awards need-based scholarships twice each year.  Since 1993, more than 825 scholarships have been awarded to area students pursuing their study of the arts with the community school.

The Community School of the Arts at NIU offers lessons, classes, and ensembles in music and visual art.  For more information, visit or call (815) 753-1450.