Two area high school musicians have been named 2013 Young Artists, and will appear as soloists with the Clinton Symphony Orchestra in concert on Saturday, February 23. Concert time is 7:30 p.m. in the Morrison High School auditorium.
Selected from the Symphony’s annual Young Artist Auditions are Taylor Hicks of Clinton, and Benjamin Rogers of Savanna. Both are high school seniors, and both play the tuba.
“The goal of the auditions was to pick one student from area high schools to perform as soloist with the Symphony, but our judges deadlocked on two,” said Robert Whipple, the Symphony’s Executive Director. “We dare not choose on the basis of diversity, but rather on quality of performance; therefore we have two outstanding student tuba players this year.”
Hicks is the son of two music educators, Walter and Christina Hicks, and himself plans a career in music education. He has been selected to play in the Iowa All-State Band for the past two years. He will perform three movements from Suite No. 1 for Tuba and Orchestra by American composer Alec Wilder, who composed music for many performers in mid-20th century, including Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
Rogers is the son of Linda and the late Donald Rogers, and also plans to become a music educator. He was a member of the Illinois All-State Honor Chorus his junior year, and he lead the tuba section in the All-State Band last month. He has chosen music by contemporary Norwegian tuba soloist Øystein Baadsvik to perform with the Symphony. The piece is titled Fnugg Blue, and includes many advanced performing techniques, such as lip beats and multiphonics, in which the performer sings into the tuba while playing.
The orchestra, under the baton of Brian Dollinger, will open the concert with Beethoven’s overture to his opera Fidelio. A suite by English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor will be performed, as well as the Symphony in C by Georges Bizet, written when the composer was 17 years old.
Both of the student soloists and three additional honorable mention students from the auditions will receive scholarship awards from the Symphony. The honorable mention awards will go to Rishi Kolusu, trumpet, and Kathleen Marston, viola, both seniors at Clinton High School, and Colleen Elfline, alto saxophone, a freshman at Morrison High School.
Because of the added expense of two performances and five awards, the Symphony has received funding as a memorial to the late Rober R. and Marie W. Smith of Clinton to secure orchestra music for the performance, and from Climco Coils Co. in Morrison for the additional scholarship awards.
In honor of the soloists and of the many excellent students heard in this year’s Young Artist Auditions, all students are admitted free to this concert. Adult tickets are $15, and available in advance at Wagner Pharmacy on N. 2nd St. in Clinton, Fitzgerald Pharmacy in Morrison, and Grummert’s Hardware in Sterling. Tickets will also be available at the door of the concert.
Complete program notes as well as biographies of the composers and soloists are available on the Symphony’s website at www.clintonsymphony.org.