International Competition

Note: The 2023 International Competition has been postponed. 

Every three years, coinciding with the fraternity's convention, the Foundation sponsors the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition. Created in 1964 as the Sterling Staff Competition, the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition offers the winner the opportunity to be presented in concerts and recitals by chapters of Mu Phi Epsilon for a period of two years. The most recent competition was held in 2021. The next competition will be held at the 2023 convention in Irving, Texas. To find out more about how you can enter the competition, visit the Foundation web site.

Winner of the 2021 International Competition

Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “rich tone and deft technique,” Hannah Porter Occeña is Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Northern Iowa and Principal Flutist of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra (Topeka, KS). The 2012 Irene Burchard prizewinner at the Royal Academy of Music, Dr. Occeña has performed as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and clinician throughout the US and abroad.

Committed to the rich heritage and new horizons of the repertoire, Dr. Occeña strives to make classical works accessible and engaging to diverse audiences. Between her performance schedule and collegiate teaching responsibilities, Dr. Occeña participates in outreach concerts and programs at schools and community centers.

As a chamber musician and collaborator, Dr. Occeña has worked to bring works by living composers to life. She is a commissioning member of the Flute New Music Consortium and has co-premiered works by Zhou Long (Confluence, 2015), Carter Pann (Giantess, 2018), and Valerie Coleman (Amazonia 2020). She has also privately commissioned and premiered several new works, including the whirring dusk by Lisa Bost-Sandberg in May 2018 and Shenandoah Variations for flute and orchestra by Joseph Kern in March 2019.

A dedicated scholar, Dr. Occeña has presented at the National Flute Association conventions in Orlando and Salt Lake City as well as the Rochester Flute Fair. She has collaborated on new editions of the Sonata in B minor by Amanda Maier and the Sonata op. 94 by Sergei Prokofiev and serves on the National Flute Association Special Publications Committee.

Dr. Occeña is a 2018 DMA graduate of Stony Brook University, where she studied with Carol Wincenc; she holds a Master of Music Dip. RAM from the Royal Academy of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

When not performing and teaching, Dr. Occeña enjoys distance running and spending time with her husband and children. She can be heard on New Beginnings: American and Australian Duos for Flute and Piano with the Occeña-Chen Duo, and both Voices from the Middle and Spohr, Forevermore! with the Midwest Chamber Ensemble. She is a Miyazawa Artist and plays on a Miyazawa Elite.

To book the 2021 winner for an appearance, please submit a booking form and review the sponsoring chapter responsibilities.

Past Winners

Year Winner
2021 Hannah Porter-Occeña, Flute
2017 Katsuya Yuasa, clarinet 
2014 Rachel Brandwein, harp
2011 Yukiko Sekino, piano
2007 Ruslan Biryukov, cello
2003 Merek Szpakiewicz, cello
2001 Jorge Avila, violin
1998 Keith Michael Bohm, saxophone
1995 Marilyn Harris, cello
Elizabeth Moak, piano
1992 Jeanine Wagner, soprano
1989 Carole Marie Harris, violin
Alison Young, flute
1986 Alan Chow, piano
Ayako Yonetani, violin
1983 Cheryl Elizabeth House, cello
1980 Julie Rosenfeld, violin
Roberta Bebb Veazey, soprano
1977 Cynthia Donnell, mezzo-soprano
Beverly Hoch, coloratura-soprano
1974 Barbra Bailey Bradley, accompanist
Judith Balo Goff, soprano
Sherry Kloss, Violin
Maquette Kuper, flute
Judy May, soprano
1972 Virginia Belwood-Shelton, piano
Yumiko Tabuchi, piano
1970 Leone Buyse, flute
Jane Bakken Klaviter, accompanist
Barbara Gray Massey, organ
1968 Marian Buck-Lew, piano
Miyoko Nakaya Lotto, piano
Karen Laycock Leonard, organ
1966 Asuncion Liebe, mezzo-soprano
Ann Marie Obressa Miller, soprano
1964 Lynn Lewis, piano
Virginia Marks, piano