Kayla Burggraf


Kayla Burggraf, Decorah High School graduate, represented Iowa in 2011.

Stringed Instruments

Bethany Wheeler, an Iowa harpist and formerly a student at Coe College, represented Iowa at the Summer Music Institute in 2010.

Application Info for 2012

Financial Aid Form 2012




Summer Music Institute

National Symphony Orchestra 2012--July 2-30

Every summer, approximately 60 students (ages 15-20) from all over the nation meet in Washington, D.C., to attend the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute (SMI). The Institute offers four weeks of private lessons, rehearsals, coaching by National Symphony Orchestra members, classes, and lectures to prepare aspiring musicians for their futures in music.

This 4-week program includes:

Each student accepted into the program attends on Full Scholarship, which includes housing, lessons, a food allowance, and local trasportation during their stay.

NEW this season – All applicants will submit their applications online via ArtsApp.com (including solo and excerpts recordings) through www.kennedy-center.org/smi. ArtsApp is an independent company and is not affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. There is a charge of $10 to use the ArtsApp site, which is a registration fee for the site itself and is collected through PayPal. Please contact Carole Wysocki, NSO Director of Education, cjwysocki@kenendy-center.org for further information if you are unable to complete the online application process for any reason.

Application deadline is January 27, 2012.

These two Iowa musicians were nominated to attend the Summer Music Institute in 2011. Kayla Burggraf was selected as an "alternate" and will attend the Summer Music Institute

Kayla Burggraf began her music study at the age of five on the piano. At age twelve she began studying flute, first in her school band and then with private teacher, Suzanne Ernst of Decorah, Iowa. As a young child Kayla competed and performed extensively on the piano, participating in many festivals and competitions. Throughout high school, Kayla participated in her high school Band, Choir, and Orchestra programs, earning top honors in all three.

An 18-year old aspiring orchestral flutist, Kayla is currently studying with Leone Buyse former principal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, Wind Chamber Music Program and 20/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble. She plans to graduate in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in flute performance.

Before coming to Rice, Kayla studied with soloist and flute professor at University of Iowa, Nicole Esposito. Most recently Kayla performed with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra after winning their Young Artist Concerto Competition in April 2010. In March 2010, Kayla won the soloist competition at the Dorian Honor Band at Luther College. In fall of 2009 Kayla was selected for the second year to the Iowa All-State Orchestra, winning co-principal chair. Kayla has participated in two intensive summer music festivals, Lutheran Summer Music Program (LSMP) and National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University (NHSMI), both of which she won the principal positions in the Symphony Orchestra.

In summer 2009 she attended NHSMI, where she studied with Walfrid Kujala former principal piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other honors include six Best-of Center Awards at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, over 35 division one ratings at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, and chamber and solo honors performance selections at LSMP and NHSMI. Her previous teachers include Nicole Esposito, University of Iowa; Suzanne Ernst, Luther College, and James Fritz, Decorah High School.


bryanneBryanne Presley is a 19-year-old native of Nevada, Iowa and has extensive experience as an oboe soloist and orchestra performer. Currently, she is studying with John Snow (Minnesota Orchestra) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Bryanne plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2014, and continue to pursue a Masters and PhD degree in music. Previously, Bryanne studied oboe with Dr. Kevin Schilling (Iowa State University) for eight years.

Internationally renowned opera singer Simon Estes invited Bryanne to perform with him as part of his Roots and Wings concert tour of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties to benefit the Simon Estes Iowa Educational Foundation, which provides scholarships to graduating Iowa high school seniors with financial need. She performed for the October 30, 2010, in Benton County and November 13, 2010, in Carroll County.

Bryanne is a 2010 graduate of Nevada High School. In May 2010, Bryanne performed as a soloist on the National Public Radio Show “From the Top”, where she performed the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto with Christopher O’Riley. In 2009, she was selected as an Iowa finalist for the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Music Institute. Bryanne was principal oboist for the Iowa All-State Orchestra in 2009, and a member of the Iowa All-State Band in 2007 and 2008. Bryanne’s solo performances at Iowa High School Music Association (IHSMA) state solo contests were awarded Outstanding Performer Awards in 2007 through 2010. Bryanne was a four-year member of the Des Moines Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Des Moines Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Joseph Guinta, and she was a winner of the Des Moines Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2010.

Summer 2010:

Bethany Wheeler is a 19 year old aspiring classical harpist from Hiawatha, Iowa. She studied from 2001 to 2003 with Sarah Mally, and from 2003 to 2020 with Gretchen Brumwell, including five years at the Cedar Rapids Symphony School, and one year at Coe College, where she began her pursuit of a music degree in harp performance. Bethany is currently completing her college education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music under the instruction of Yolonda Kondonassis. She plans to graduate in the spring of 2013.

Ms. Wheeler has performed with several Eastern Iowa area orchestras, including serving as co-principal harpist with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra during the 2009-10 season, and serving as the principal harpist in two Iowa City Community Theater productions.

Bethany has also participated in multiple summer music programs. She attend the Five Season's Chamber Festival in 2005 and 2008 for flute, and again in 2010 for harp. She attended the Northern Iowa Summer Harp Workshop at the University of Northern Iowa in both 2005 and 2007, and The Young Artist's Harp Seminar in Rebun Gap, Georgia, in 2008 and 2009.

Most recently, Ms. Wheeler has participated in the 2010 National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute in Washington, DC. She is the first Iowan to ever be accepted to this prestigious program.

More about the Summer Music Institute...