After winning the Grand Prize in the 2006 Odessa young musician's competition at the age of ten, Simion Gronic was invited to participate in Apogee's Odessa International Music Festival later that same year. There, he was selected as an Apogee Merit Scholar based on his extraordinary series of performances of both folk and classical repertoire on five wind instruments, becoming the first Apogee laureate from Moldova and one of the youngest in the Foundation's history. While being reappointed each year as Apogee Merit Scholar, Simion (now twelve) has gone on to represent his country repeatedly at home and abroad, winning grand prizes in many international flute and trumpet competitions in Europe and Asia. He performs on wide variety of folk instruments as well as on the trumpet, and is equally at home performing folk, classical and jazz music.
In May and June of 2008, Apogee brought Simion to New Orleans to study jazz in its birthplace and to perform on the stages of his hero, Louis Armstrong.