North York Concert Orchestra is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 NYCO Youth Concerto Competition.

Congratulations to the three winners (in alphabetical order):

JONATHAN ALTER – Piano – Mozart Piano Concerto #20 (1st movement)

JOELLE CRIGGER – Violin – Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (1st movement)

MARIO RODRIGUEZ McMILLAN – Cello – Schumann Cello Concerto (1st movement)

They performed their pieces with the orchestra at the Prize-Winners’ Concert on December 4, 2022. Click on the links above for a video of their performance.

Joelle Crigger


Joelle Crigger is an accomplished classical violinist as well as a past winner of The Canadian Open Junior Fiddle Championship. An avid chamber and orchestral musician, Joelle has served as concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra for three terms and received a merit-based award from the TSYO for leadership and artistic excellence in 2020. This fall, Joelle was thrilled to have been invited to perform as part of a string quartet at the TSO’s 100th gala anniversary.

Within her community, Joelle has served as a youth mentor and teaching assistant at DAREarts Music Days. She is also honoured to have been invited to perform at the World Vision Christmas Chapel for five years. Having received top awards at numerous music festivals/competitions, Joelle is excited to be soloing with both the North York Concert Orchestra and the Oakville Chamber Orchestra for the 2022/2023 season.

A recipient of the President’s Scholar of Excellence, the Kathleen Parlow Scholarship, the Percy Faith Award, and the Nick Gelmych Violin Scholarship, Joelle is currently studying Violin Performance at the University of Toronto in the studio of Jonathan Crow.


Jonathan Alter


Jonathan Alter, 17, began piano lessons at age 3 and has since achieved major success at local, national, and international competitions. He was awarded First Prize and the Judges Distinction Award by the American Protege International Piano Competition in New York, returning by invitation to perform at their Summer Gala at the historic Isaac Stern auditorium of Carnegie Hall. He was also invited to play in Athens, Greece after winning First Place at the e-Muse International Music Competition.

Jonathan has performed at the CCC International Music Festival Gala after receiving the festival’s “Best of Grades” trophy, and at both the North York Music Festival’s Gala concert and private fundraising event for donors. He has played for Steinway and Sons at the Toronto Auto Show as part of fundraising for the Canadian Music Competition, and as guest soloist for the Shevchenko and Common Thread Choirs. Above all, Jonathan says that his most meaningful music experience was performing at age 11 for his dying grandmother by her bed in the ICU of Mount Sinai Hospital.

Currently in his final year at the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, where he is the grateful recipient of the Nora McCardell Memorial Scholarship, he studies in the studios of Drs. Jeanie Chung and Benjamin Smith, and previously with Dr. Michael Berkovsky. He is also a piano major in grade 12 at the Claude Watson Arts Program at Earl Haig Secondary School, and plans to study music in university with the dream of becoming a conductor. Outside of music, he most enjoys chess, tennis, and running with his dog Cheddar.

Jonathan is very excited about making his orchestral debut with the North York Concert Orchestra.

Mario Rodriguez McMillan


Eighteen-year-old cellist Mario Rodriguez McMillan was born in Mexico City. He grew up surrounded by music and began his own musical studies at the age of seven. He studied classical guitar at Escuela Superior de Música del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, an acclaimed conservatory in Mexico. His love for music inspired him to reach proficiency at various instruments, including piano, drums, percussion, and trumpet. He eventually chose the cello because of its incredibly expressive qualities.

Mario was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2022, and he studied with renowned faculty including Sascha Goetzel, David Hetherington, and Bryan Epperson. He has also been a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2020 and currently holds a principal cellist position.

In the spring of 2022, Mario’s string quartet won first place in the Ontario Music Festivals Association chamber provincials competition.

Mario is currently in his first year studying cello performance with Joseph Johnson at the University of Toronto.