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OCU Alumna Competes in Poland's Top Music Festival
An alumna of the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University is one of 10 semifinalists for an American Idol-style musical talent contest in Europe. Joanna Maksymowicz, who graduated from OCU with an undergraduate degree in viola performance, is one of 10 candidates for "Sopot Festival 2009," Poland’s most popular music festival. The competition is hosted by Radio Zet, the nation’s largest radio station, and by TVN, Poland’s most popular television channel. “Every year the festival is broadcast live and watched by many millions of Poles,” said Tomasz Zieba, a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and instructor of cello at OCU’s Bass School Music. “It has a great reputation.” Maksymowicz, who uses the stage name Jona Ardyn, is performing an original work entitled "Anything Goes." The piece was written for her by Tomer Biran, a Hollywood-based American composer. Her performance is online at and her artist’s website is To vote, visit the Radio Zet site at and select #2 and then click on "wyslij." From the 10 nominated artists, the festival jury will invite five to perform live on Aug. 22. “Right now all of the media are talking about her a lot, describing her as a new super talented artist, rising star with a gorgeous and natural voice,” Zieba said. “Of course, in her bio very often they mention fact that she has been studying at OCU. We all should be very proud of her and wish her best of luck.”