WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 28, 2016) – The Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony will present a Concert for Community on May 7, 2016 at 3 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public and will take place at Wait Chapel on the Wake Forest University campus. Although the concert is free, please visit the Symphony website at WSsymphony.org to reserve your ticket.
“This is one of my very favorite concerts of the year,” said Maestro Robert Moody, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony. “It is our annual gift to the community and is free for everyone. It is a unique opportunity to hear remarkable music, beautifully performed by professional musicians and tomorrow’s stars. I love the fact that it highlights the enormous talent here in our community, both established and emerging.”
Maestro Moody, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, and Stephen Mulligan, Assistant Conductor, will both conduct portions of the Concert for Community. The program features the combined professional and youth symphonies, totaling approximately 120 musicians, performing multiple pieces.
The Winston-Salem Symphony will open the concert with the world premiere of Elysia, composed by Alexander Umfleet, the winner of the 2016 Winston-Salem Symphony and University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) Composition Competition. The 2016 Peter Perret Youth Talent Search winners will then perform with the Winston-Salem Symphony. Caroline Smoak, the winner of the junior division (ages eight to 12) will perform the Finale from Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 26. Nathalie Schmalhofer, a German-Canadian violinist who is a high school senior at UNCSA and is the winner of the senior division (ages 13 through senior year of high school), will perform the opening movement of Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Op. 64.
The annual Youth Talent Search, named in honor of former Winston-Salem Symphony Music Director Peter Perret, was developed to identify the region’s most gifted and talented young musicians, to develop young talent, and to recognize and support the teachers and families of musically-gifted children. Participation in the competition also provides students with experience and motivation to continue their musical studies. Many have gone on to become professional musicians, including the winner of the very first Peter Perret Youth Talent Search, who is now a member of the New York Philharmonic.
For the second half of the concert, the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Symphony will combine to play Grand Canyon Suite, by Ferde Grofé. This majestic work consists of five movements celebrating different aspects of one of our nation’s most magnificent natural wonders.
Alexander Chadwick Umfleet is currently a third year undergraduate student studying music composition with Lawrence Dillon at UNCSA. Originally from Raleigh, he has been writing music for seven years, under formal instruction. His music works to create scenes in sound, inspired very much by the worlds of literature, film, and mythology. His works have been performed by ensembles including the UNCSA orchestra, the UNCSA nu ensemble, trumpet professor Judith Saxton, and by members of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic. He is also an avid performer, serving as a percussionist for ensembles including the UNCSA Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, nu ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and the Triangle Wind Ensemble. Beyond music, he holds a deep fascination with history and an uncanny love of dragons. Hear more of his music at https://soundcloud.com/alakaslasher.
Caroline Smoak is twelve years old and is a homeschooled seventh grader. She began her violin studies at the age of five with Violet Pan, a teacher in the Charlotte area, and continues to work with her regularly. This year, she was the winner of the strings category for the Charlotte Symphony Guild’s Young Artist Competition (junior division). She has been part of Charlotte’s Youth Orchestra program since third grade, this year advancing to the senior orchestra. In addition to violin, she enjoys playing the piano, knitting, doing crafts, and reading good books. She loves attending church on Sundays, as well as singing with her church choir and participating in the worship service with her violin. She has also studied with Hye-Jin Kim of East Carolina University. Recently, she has had lessons from Weiwei Le from UNLV and Yuriy Bekker from College of Charleston. She will be studying at the Heifetz International Music Institute this summer.
German-Canadian violinist Nathalie Schmalhofer is a high school senior at UNCSA and studies with Janet Orenstein and Ida Bieler. Achievements include first prize for Best Interpretation of a Modern Piece, second prize in the German National Youth Competition, the Culture Prize in Bobingen and the “Live Music Now” scholarship from the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation. Schmalhofer also served as the youngest judge for the International Leopold Mozart Competition and has appeared as soloist with the Romanian State Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau. She attended the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro on full scholarship where she won the EMF Young Artist Competition in 2013 and 2014. In describing her performance, CVNC reported “her playing was sensitive, musical, and expressive.” In 2014, she studied Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Maestro Kent Nagano. This past summer Schmalhofer attended the Aspen Music Festival on a full Fellowship from the Kenan Institute. She has played in Masterclasses for Elmar Oliveira, Augustin Hadelich and the Jupiter String Quartet. Since coming to UNCSA, she has won numerous competitions in NC, including the MANC String Competition, the NC–ASTA Competition and the Omega Talent Hunt Program and made her New York debut at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. Just recently, she has won the Concerto Competition of UNCSA and will be performing with the UNCSA Orchestra next spring under Christopher Lees.
The Concert for Community is sponsored by The Montgomery/Tucker Charitable Fund; Season Presenting Sponsor Bell Davis & Pitt; as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras Program
The Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras is part of the Winston-Salem Symphony and includes about 90 student musicians. The Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Orchestras are currently comprised of two full orchestras and a string orchestra for aspiring musicians in the first through twelfth grades: the Premiere Strings, led by Fabrice Dharamraj, is a strings ensemble for young musicians; the Youth Philharmonic, led by Margaret Rehder, is a full orchestra for intermediate level students; and the Youth Symphony, led by Stephen Mulligan, is a full orchestra for advanced students. Both full orchestras consist of 50 to 75 members and perform several public concerts annually as well as occasional concerts for special audiences. For more information, visit wssyo.org.
About the Winston-Salem Symphony
The Winston-Salem Symphony began its 69th season in September 2015 as one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded regional orchestras. Under the baton of Music Director Robert Moody, the performance season includes a Classics Series, a Plugged-In Pops Series, Discovery Concerts for Kids, annual performances of Handel’s Messiah, a concert featuring Winston-Salem Symphony and Youth Symphony musicians, holiday concerts, three youth orchestra ensembles, and a multitude of educational and community engagement programs. For more information visit WSsymphony.org
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