vonseggernErec VonSeggern, a sophomore from Idyllwild, won the Wisconsin State Flute Festival held in Madison. He was awarded a first-place prize of $350. It was the third straight year a Lawrence University student has won the state flute festival competition.

For his 15-minute finals performance, VonSeggern played Georges Hüe’s “Fantaisie Pour Flûte et Piano,” “Night Music for Solo Flute, 1. Night Music I”  by Vanraj Bhatia and Otar Gordeli’s “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 8.”

The Wisconsin Flute Festival is a one-day educational event for flute players and flute enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

VonSeggern is a student in the flute studio of Assistant Professor Erin Lesser

ashleyAshley Arnold
, a graduating senior at Idyllwild Arts Academy, has been named one of 565 semifinalists in the 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The semifinalists were selected from more than 4,300 candidates on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character, and involvement  and school activities.

Final selection of the scholars will be made by the Commission of Presidential Scholars, a group of eminent citizens appointed by the president, and will be announced in May. The commission will select one young man and one young woman form each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. students living abroad — up to 20 students representing the visual, literal and performing arts; and 15 students at-large.

The scholars will be invited to Washington, D. C. in June to receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in various activities and events held in their honor.

Semifinalists were chosen by a panel of distinguished educators after a review of students’ essays, self-assessments, description of activities, school recommendations and school transcripts …

Colleen Meyer is the new Idyllwild HELP Center executive director following Karen Patterson’s recent retirement.

Skye Zambrana has been promoted to replace Meyer as client services administrator  …

PharathikouneLinda Pharathikoune of Idyllwild was one of several presenters in April when more 100 Lao American scholars, artists and community builders gathered in Minneapolis for the first National Lao American Symposium and Writers Summit to reflect on 40 years of Lao American experiences since the end of the Vietnam War.

The theme, “Our Shared Journey: A Symposium on 40 Years of the Lao in the United States,” addressed the conflict ultimately leading to the displacement of more than 700,000 refugees around the world, including 400,000 resettled in the United States.

Pharathikoune’s family was among those affected by the conflict.

She is now the Lao American author of the forthcoming books, “The Audacious Heart,” “Life On The Edge Of Society” and “The Evolutionary Love” …

The 12th London Independent Film Festival announced its awards Monday, concluding an 11-day festival that showcased the best of low-budget filmmaking from the UK and abroad.

The Best International Film prize went to Stephen Savage of Idyllwild for “Vertical,” the story of an all-female rock climbing team.