GAMBIER — The Knox County Symphony will present its annual Winter Concert on Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall on the campus of Kenyon College.
This concert is dedicated to Karen Buchwald Wright, due to her generous support of the symphony’s mission. The concert will spotlight the winners of the Young Musicians Competition for 2012, which is sponsored each year by Psi Iota Xi.
The Collegiate Division soloists will be Sarah Baldessari, harpist, playing Claude Debussy’s “Sacred and Profane Dances;” Kendra Gibbs, soprano, singing Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Black Swan;” and Yue Long, pianist, playing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor.”
The High School Division soloists will be Jordan Shremshock, soprano, singing Giacomo Puccini’s “Musetta’s Waltz” and Charles Gounod’s “The Jewel Song;” and Elisabeth Hettinga, violinist, playing Camille Saint-Saens’s “Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor.”
Elisabeth Hettinga (second place, High School Division) is a home-schooled freshman from Utica. She began studying the violin at the age of 5 with Carol Thompson of Johnstown. She has won various competitions including the Duquesne Young Artist National Competition in Pittsburgh. Elisabeth has been a member of the Newark-Granville Youth Symphony since its inception and currently serves as the concertmaster. In addition to performing with family members in the Knox and Licking County communities, she has studied violin at the Csehy Summer School of Music in New York and the Masterworks Festival in Indiana. Elisabeth hopes to be a professional violinist and also has a strong interest in medicine and photography. She desires to utilize her gifts to bring glory to God. She is currently the student of Tatiana Hanna of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
Jordan Shremshock (first place, High School Division) is a senior honors student at Mount Vernon High School. She has participated in the choral program since middle school and has been in private lessons with Diane Dingler for as many years. She won second place with her duet partner Candace Jaymes in the Young Musicians Competition last year. Since that time Jordan has participated in the Ohio State Harmony Camp, sponsored by the Sweet Adelines of Knox County, and performed at the Red Kettle Café with other members of Diane Dingler’s voice studio. In preparation for college she has added piano lessons to her musical training regimen. She hopes to continue to pursue her love of music in college and beyond.
Yue Long (second place tie, Collegiate Division) is a sophomore at Kenyon College and is from Changsha, China. She started piano study at the age of 5 and continued until she was 13. During high school she played mostly on her own in both classical and popular genres in her free time. She enjoys playing sonatas by Beethoven, nocturnes by Chopin and fugues by Bach, and has expanded her knowledge of piano repertoire through her piano studies with John Reitz at Kenyon. She was a featured performer in Kenyon’s bi-annual Angela Waite Recital Series in January of 2011 and has come to enjoy the variety of experiences of playing the piano in public.
Kendra Gibbs (second place tie, Collegiate Division) is from Washington, W.Va., and is currently a senior Music Performance major at the Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She currently studies voice with Elizabeth Barrett. Kendra is a member of MVNU’s Collegians Chorale. She earned second place in the Young Musicians Competition in 2008 and was a student sofor in the annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah at MVNU.
Sarah Baldessari (first place, Collegiate Division) began studying the harp in 2003 with Laura Hearne in St. Louis with Jody Guinn in Cleveland in 2005. She served as the principal harpist for the Cleveland Youth Orchestra from 2008 to 2011 and has performed with the Kent State University Orchestra, the Canton Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus. She also participated in her school orchestra from seventh to 12th grade, playing violin, piano and harp, and was a featured soloist several times. Sarah has also taken private lessons in violin and piano, and is presently a member of the Kenyon College Chamber Singers. She now studies harp at Kenyon with Janet Thompson-Edge.
The concert will open with a performance by the symphony of Piotr Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy — Overture,” a programmatic work in which the music actually “tells the story” of the Shakespeare play, complete with musical sword fights and passionate love themes. The concert concludes with two excerpts from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. “Mars, the Bringer of War” is dramatically martial with extensive use of the brass section, and “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” utilizes sprightly rhythms in the strings and woodwinds to end the concert on a joyous note.
The Knox County Symphony has been bringing quality performances to the area for 46 years. Founded in 1965 by Dr. Paul Schwartz, the symphony has been under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Locke for the last 28 years. Psi Iota Xi will host the reception following the concert providing an opportunity to meet the soloists. Tickets will be available at the door. For information call Sarah Goslee Reed at 392-4955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published on February 8, 2012