Three Ahwatukee Foothills musicians performed Saturday in a musical competition that saw some of the best young artists around Phoenix come out and play.

Bobae Johnson from Altadeña Middle School, and Joyce Yang and Linda Han from Desert Vista High School, were among the handful of finalists chosen to compete in the Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition Finals on Saturday. The finals took place at Desert Foothills Lutheran Church and saw students from seventh grade to 12th grade perform.

The competition was broken down into four division depending on age group. Johnson, 12, who plays violin, finished as a runner-up to winner Bronson Wu of Kyrene Apprende Middle School for the Division 1 crown. Yang, who plays piano, and Han, violin, competed in Division 2, which was won by Eric Lin, a Corona del Sol High School student who played piano.

“It’s one of the most competitive events because it involves all instruments competing against each other,” said Meehae Jang, Johnson’s mother. “It’s a really excellent experience for them overall because they are playing with the best of the best. Every one of them was just unbelievable.”

In Division 3, the three finalists ended up sharing the victory because Jang said the judges couldn’t decide because they were all “pretty close to perfect.” They each played a 15-minute piece from memory, she said.

The three local artists have played together before. They are all members of the Phoenix Youth Symphony, one of the top and most competitive young symphonies in Phoenix.

“Arizona should be proud of these fine young musicians who have dedicated so much of their time and energy to classical music,” said Andrea Terhune, Arizona Musicfest chairman of the board. “With all the distractions and challenges that young people face these days, it is a testament to these students’ dedication and artistic ability that they have reached this high level of performance.”

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