MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University music major has been named the only United States finalist in an international violin competition.

Madalyn Pridemore, of Macomb, a sophomore violin performance major, is one of 21 finalists in “The Violin Doc” International Online Festival. She is one of four finalists in her category, advanced violin for musicians between the ages of 16-20.

Within each category, the grand prize winner will be awarded an instrument based on their category. All participants receive an individual, online masterclass and attendance at an online workshop by a maker of stringed instruments.

The juried competition is being conducted by students submitting YouTube videos, and a separate contest for a “People’s Choice” award. The prize for the separate contest is three masterclasses with renowned violinists. Each “like” on the YouTube video counts as one vote and through this competition, Pridemore is competing in the “People’s Choice” section against all of the other violinists in the competition and voting ends Saturday, Aug. 15.

“This summer, I have had the opportunity to prepare and participate in this festival, which is open to string musicians under the age of 20,” said Pridemore. ” After entering my videos for the competition, I found that I am the only participant from the United States, so I hope that I represent my community, university and country well.”

Pridemore is a student of WIU Associate Professor of Music Julieta Mihai, who is also on the jury for the competition, along with other musicians and music teachers from around the world.

After completing her bachelor’s degree at WIU, Pridemore plans to continue on toward a master’s and doctoral degree in violin performance.

To see Pridemore’s competition video, visit


Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.