Two State College Area High School seniors have received prestigious YoungArts awards from the National YoungArts Foundation.
Baron Cao and Drew Spielvogel, with honorable mentions for classical piano and visual arts, respectively, are among 725 award winners for visual, literary, design and performing arts, representing the top 10 percent of applicants. Honorable mention awards are the foundation’s second-highest honor, behind being named a finalist.
A two-time YoungArts award winner, Cao has won several national and international competitions across the country, including third prizes at the 2018 New York Piano Competition and Festival, the 2017 National Music Teachers National Association Finals for senior piano and the International Youth Chopin Piano Competition. He also has been featured on NPR’s “From the Top” radio show.
Spielvogel, also a two-time YoungArts award winner, has won multiple national-level awards in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. Working primarily in graphite, charcoal, acrylic paint, and oil paint, he explores themes of dehumanization, and the processes through which individuals not conforming to expected gender behaviors are marginalized or pressured to adapt.