The concerto competitions for Lexington’s two leading student orchestras, the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, are a chance for musicians to step in front of the orchestra and play some of the greatest material written for their instruments.
It does not always happen this way, but both groups are presenting their winners this weekend: the UK Symphony Friday night and CKYO Sunday, both in the Singletary Center for the Arts concert hall.
Here’s a look at the musicians playing on both concerts. (Information is edited from the musicians’ program biographies.)
UK Symphony Orchestra performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a concert that includes John Williams’ music for Star Wars and Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Admission is free.
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▪ The concerto competition winner is oboist Christine Sallas, who will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Oboe Concerto.
Sallas is a teaching assistant at the oboe studio at the University of Kentucky where she is pursuing her doctorate in performance. She performs with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra as principal oboe, the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and has appeared locally with the Bluegrass Opera Company and the Lexington Singers Orchestra. Sallas received her Masters degree from The Boston Conservatory in 2012 and completed a Bachelor of Music degree in performance in 2010 at the University of Georgia School of Music. She has appeared on two commercial recordings: the CD and DVD recording of Home: A Live Concert Recording with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra alongside the Atlanta based rock band Collective Soul, and the CD Millennium Canons: Looking Forward, Looking Back with the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. John Lynch. Her major teachers include Dr. ToniMarie Marchioni, Mr. Robert Sheena, Dr. Reid Messich, and Dr. Dwight Manning.
▪ The competition’s runner-up, trumpeter Caden Holmes, will also appear, performing Alexander Grigori Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto.
He is a native of Madisonville in his third year at UK studying with Dr. Jason Dovel. He specializes in classical and jazz, but also plays baroque trumpet in the University of Kentucky Baroque Trumpet Ensemble. At the University of Kentucky, he has performed with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, Trumpet Ensemble, and Baroque Trumpet Ensemble. He has also performed in various chamber ensembles including the Brass Kats brass quintet and the Shades of Blue trumpet ensemble. Holmes has won numerous awards, including the 2014 International Trumpet Guild Legacy Scholarship, as well as second prize at the 2014 National Trumpet Competition in the ensemble division as part of Shades of Blue. He appears on Shades of Blue’s first CD, Competition Pieces for Trumpet Ensemble, released in 2015. Other accolades include an advancement to the seminal round of the 2016 NTC solo division, as well as winning third prize at the 2015 Grand Valley State University International Trumpet Seminar Solo Competition.
Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra’s concerto competition winners will perform in a 7 p.m. Sunday concert by the CKYO Symphony and Repertory orchestras that tops off a day of music in the organization’s Teen Arts Festival. During the day, the CKYO Friends of music perform at 1:30 in the Singletary Center recital hall; Preparatory String, Concert and MusicWorks orchestras at 3:30 p.m. in the concert hall, and the jazz ensembles play at 5:30 p.m. in the recital hall.
The competition winners are:
▪ Kate Brown, oboe, performing the fourth movement of David Mullikin’s Oboe Concerto.
Kate is a senior in the Fine Arts Academy at Woodford County High School. Inspired by her great grandmother, a professional pianist, she began studying piano and cello at an early age. When Kate began playing the oboe at age 10, she found it was the instrument she was meant to play. In middle school, she participated in All-District bands, Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and the Tri-State Middle School Honor Band at Morehead State University. In high school, she she participated in District 7 Symphonic Band for the last three years and the Kentucky All-State Bands and Orchestras for the last two years. She has been in CKYO, both in the Concert and Symphony orchestras, the last 3 years. Last winter, she went to New York to participate with a recording orchestra where she got to play beside one of her musical mentors, John Ellis. In addition to oboe, Kate plays the English horn, and she assists the Woodford County Middle School band program.
▪ Skye Park, violin, performing the first movement of Serge Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
Skye, a 14-year-old student at The Lexington School, began playing violin at age four and later became a student of Margie Karp. She is a member of the Cincinnati Starling Project as a student of Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a member of the Starling Orchestra, where she is a frequent soloist, and CKYO Symphony Orchestra. Skye has performed on NPR’s From The Top twice, as a soloist in its recordings in Beijing, showcasing Great Wall International Musical Academy, and in Cincinnati celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Starling Chamber Orchestra. She also participated in the show’s Arts Leadership Orientation and Outreach Program at Rowan County Public Schools in Morehead. She made her solo debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 10 under the baton of Robert Trevino in a Young People’s Concert. At 13, she won the Lucille Wonnell Young Artist Concerto Competition and performed the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra in Cincinnati under the direction of Michael Chertock. Skye is the youngest recipient and prize winner of Great Wall International Music Academy’s Violin Concerto Competition, and she has also been a prize winner of the Young Artist Competition of the Louisville Orchestra. She is featured on Violinmasterclass.com and appeared on PBS/CET’s Showcase with Barbara Kellar.
▪ Amy Wang, paino, performing Frederic Chopin’s Grand Polonaise Brillante.
Amy is a junior in the Math, Science, and Technology Center at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. She first began piano at age 5, taking lessons from Ms. May Man and later, Mr. Thomas Mauricio. Since 2011, Amy has been studying under Dr. Mami Hayashida. Some of her honors include second place in the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Concerto Young Artist Competition, awards from the Nathaniel Patch Piano Competition and first place in the statewide Kentucky Music Teachers Association Bluegrass Piano Competition. She was chosen to represent Kentucky for the Music Teachers National Association Southern Division Piano Senior Competition, in which she was awarded honorable mention, and was invited to perform on Louisville’s WUOL-FM 90.5. Amy is also a student at Lexington Ballet and the president of the Kentucky Chinese American Association Dance Troupe. She studies violin with Dale Jones. In 2012, she was a violinist in Kentucky’s All-State Orchestra and in 2015 she was awarded the Supreme Award for Violin Solo Performance from the National Federation of Music Clubs String Festival.
Note: Rich Copley does have a child in Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras.