KPU music trio wins big at two competitions

Wed, Apr 29, 2015

Langley, B.C. – A talented trio from Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) recently earned top prizes at two significant chamber music competitions, placing first ahead of all other senior post-secondary performances.

Music students Alexander Chernata on clarinet, Julie Lin on violin and Andrea Pedro on piano – KPU’s “AJA Trio” – were awarded first place in the senior category at the 61st Annual Young Musicians Competition put on by Vancouver’s Friends of Chamber Music. The win came with a $1,200 Friends of Chamber Music Award grand prize.

The students were also awarded senior ensemble first prize in the open chamber ensemble section of the Vancouver Kiwanis Festival this past week. 

On Thursday, the AJA Trio will move to compete at the Kiwanis Fraser Valley International Music Competition.

“The trio was praised highly by adjudicators at both festivals. Distinguished cellist and Vancouver Kiwanis Festival adjudicator Paul Marleyn described them as a very mature ensemble who played beautifully. These three are a young group with a lot of promise. They should be very proud of their accomplishments,” said Bo Peng, an award-winning soloist and musician.

Peng, cellist for the Borealis String Quartet, coached the students for their competition performances. He also instructs a chamber music class through the quartet’s partnership with KPU – an exciting opportunity that allows students to study with and learn from musicians of international critical acclaim. Last year, the quartet was installed as KPU’s first string quartet-in-residence.

Jane Hayes, KPU director of piano studies, and Don Hlus, chair of the KPU Department of Music, also worked closely with Peng and the AJA Trio.

“This has been an incredibly collaborative adventure, and we are all sharing in the students’ success. It’s about them, their careers and the music. I’m thrilled the AJA Trio is seeking opportunities to perform, and we’re all excited to see how exceptional they are at it,” said Peng.

For more information about KPU’s Department of Music, visit

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at


Photo caption: (From left) Julie Lin, Andrea Pedro and Alexander Chernata - KPU's award-winning AJA Trio.

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Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
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