BYU senior Catherine Boyack is one of the youngest performers to win the National Flute Association (NFA) Young Artist Competition.
Four years ago, Boyack made it to the second round of the competition and met the other quarterfinalists.
Some were getting doctorates, and others were playing with nationally renowned orchestras. Boyack had just graduated from high school, and even though she had won the high school NFA competition the year previously, meeting the other contestants shook her self-confidence.
Boyack says this time, BYU professor April Clayton was instrumental in her success, coaching her between rounds of the competition. “You’ve got this,” she would tell Boyack. “You’re a power player.” Boyack says, “I knew that I was a capable player, but I didn’t think that capable was good enough.”
With the NFA win, Boyack says her level of credibility has drastically increased. “My idols have won this thing,” she says. “It really gets your name out there since this is the biggest flute competition in the States.”
The NFA award includes a professional development grant to help launch winners’ professional careers. “I still have so much to learn,” Boyack says. “This grant will be an amazing opportunity for me to discover and grow.” Boyack plans to be a music professor.