TSO inspires next generation of musicians

By KATIE STEWART

 

The winners of the 2013-2014 “Young Artist Competition” will be performing at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

 

Guest conductor Michael Hall will be leading the TSO at “Celebrate the Future” concert on May 9 at 8:00 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall.

 

Hall and the TSO will be performing three pieces by students from the TSO’s Young Composers Project, and completing the performance with works by Brahms, Verdi, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.

 

The program will open with Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” and end with the final movement from Tchaikovsky’s “Fourth Symphony,” as well as the overture from Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” and Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture.”

 

Hall says that the concert celebrates exceptional young performers and composers, as well as the wonderful musicians of the TSO. It is called “Celebrate the Future,” because the feelings he wants to evoke through the repertoire are joy and excitement. 

 

“The TSO will perform orchestral works that add to this festive atmosphere.  In writing his Academic Festival Overture, Brahms’ utilized many student songs of the day,” Hall said.

 

The TSO’s “Young Artists Competition,” which began in 1987, continues to draw many young musicians throughout Arizona. 60 musicians in three age divisions participated in the most recent event.

 

The competition takes place each fall, with young instrumental musicians competing for regional cash prizes, and an opportunity to perform with the TSO.

 

Members of the TSO judge the performances, and all participants receive helpful written commentary and suggestions from the judges.

 

The “Celebrate the Future” artists are:

·      Hannah Lee, fourth grade pianist, performing “Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23

·      Trevor Barroero, University of Arizona percussionist, performing “Séjourné’s Marimba Concerto”

·      Rebecca Shiao, 12th grade pianist, performing “Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3”

 

The “Celebrate the Future” program is also featuring works by three students from the TSO Young Composers Project:

·      “Vesuvius,” by Anthony Constantio, junior at the Manhattan School of Music.

·      Symphony No. 1 Waltz by Angelese Pepper, cellist from Safford, Ariz.

·      “M82” by Ben Nead, senior at University High School.

 

The TSO’s Young Composers Project uses the orchestra as a workshop, providing interaction between students and professionals, including TSO musicians, guest artists and conductors, in exploring the creative process of composition.

 

The program has produced more than 200 new pieces by young composers.

 

Compositions have been performed on TSO’s “Young People’s Concerts” and have been programmed on the orchestra’s subscription concerts.

 

This project has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts for the past seven years and has exalted the high level of composition by young participants.

 

It also praises the strong quality of the arts education and the setting of goals for youths to achieve.

 

This is the first “Celebrate the Future” concert the TSO has produced since May2010. 

 

Shawn Campbell, Vice President of Artistic Engagement and Education and a member of the TSO horn section, says the concert is a true celebration of the talent and artistic excellence in Tucson.

 

“The TSO has long been committed to involvement in the arts for young people and to developing young musicians,” said Campbell. “Celebrate the Future allows the TSO to feature two of its many education programs while highlightingthe talents of Arizona youth.”

 

Campbell explains that the goal for most aspiring young musicians is the experience, the commentary and the chance to win cash prizes, but the dream is to win a performance award, resulting in the performance of a solo work with the Orchestra.

 

Campbell adds that for the composers, it is rare to get works played at all, much less by a professional orchestra.

 

The admission to the program is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12, tickets are available online at tucsonsymphony.org or at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue.

 

For more information about the Young Composers Project or any other TSO events, visit tucsonsymphony.org or contact 882-8585.

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