Area native Liesl Schoenberger wins 'America's Hot Musician'

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

For the second time this year, a Southeast Missouri native won a television musical talent contest.

Violinist Liesl Schoenberger, 24, was recently announced the winner of "America's Hot Musician." The competition aimed to encourage more youth to play and appreciate instrumental music.

Earlier this month, singer Neal E. Boyd won $1 million on the show "America's Got Talent."

"The life of a musician is always uncertain. ... It's nice to know there are people supporting [classical musicians] like me who are living one day at a time," Schoenberger said.

Episodes of "America's Hot Musician" were aired online, but the finals played on Lifetime Real Women in July. A voting mishap and other issues kept the winner from being announced until now.

With the last official correspondence with show staff in July, Schoenberger said she was "surprised" to see her name as the winner on the show's website this week. She is waiting to talk to someone from the show before making a decision about the recording contract.

Schoenberger earned a master's degree in music from Indiana University this May, and is currently studying at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

"It's exciting for me being Midwest-bred to experience the East Coast. It's great because this is where classical music is so active and thriving. It's been fun and really exciting," she said.

Schoenberger will be in town for the holidays and will perform with pianist Matt Yount on Dec. 21 at Southeast Missouri State University's River Campus.


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