Youth highlighted as they are showcased by the Solano Symphony Orchestra
VACAVILLE — The Solano Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Semyon Lohss, will showcase the musical talent of young local performers at its annual Tribute to Youth concert at 3 p.m. on February 13 at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre, 1010 Ulatis Drive.
Highlights of the program will include solo performances by the winners of the 2021 Young Artists Competition, who will be accompanied by the full orchestra.
Pianist Isaiah Burton, a 16-year-old junior in the Visions in Education homeschool program, performs the joyous first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major.
Soprano Shanley Gunida, 17 at Vanden High School, sings the thoughtful aria, “Ain’t it a Pretty Night,” from Carlisle Floyd’s American opera “Susannah,” as well as the German art song ” Allerseelen”, by Richard Strauss.
Cellist Ethan Chen, a junior at Davis Senior High School, plays Tchaikovsky’s graceful “Variations on a Rococo Theme.”
Burton took formal piano lessons for three years, but has been playing the piano since he was 10 years old. In addition to studying classical piano, he also plays classical guitar and is a pianist in his church. He is also an active performer with the West Coast Ragtime Society.
Burton won an award in the 2019 Youth Ragtime Competition and was featured in their 2020 and 2021 Youth Showcase online concerts. He was also featured in the 2021 World Champion Old-Time Piano Playing Junior Showcase.
Burton plans to pursue a career as a professional pianist and intends to study music at the college level.
Gunida was born in Philadelphia, where she lived for six years before moving to California in 2010.
She began her musical journey here after singing her first solo in church. Since then, she has expanded her musical abilities by taking piano lessons, playing alto saxophone in her school orchestras, and joining church choirs.
Gunida began taking voice lessons in August 2020 at the Young Artists Conservatory of Music under her instructor Ed Halbach. After graduating from high school this spring, she plans to study nursing alongside music when she attends college in the fall.
Chen has been learning the cello since the age of 6. He played as principal cello for two years with the California Youth Symphony Associate Orchestra.
He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018 as the inaugural winner of the American Protégé Piano and Strings Competition. He won first place in 2019 at the DVC/HNU Young Artist String Competition; won the California Youth Symphony Orchestra concerto competition and gave a solo performance with the orchestra; and was a finalist in the Palo Alto Philharmonic Concerto Competition.
Chen in 2020 won the first prize with an outstanding young talent special prize at the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Bonn; won first place in Alameda’s VOCE Branch Chamber Music Competition; and was invited to perform at the Junior Bach Music Festival.
Chen made his second appearance at Carnegie Hall in 2021 as the first winner of the American Protégé in the Romantic Music Competition. He also won first place in the VOCE Yolo branch solo music competition.
Musicians from the Vacaville High School Premiere Orchestra – with Music Director Melinda Ellis – and members of The Wind Ensemble of Vanden High School – with Music Director Troy Symington – will also join members of the Solano Symphony Orchestra on stage to present selections famous. from the symphonic repertoire.
Tickets for the show can be purchased at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater by phone, 707-469-4013, or through the website, www.vpat.net. The theater box office opens one hour before the performance.
The Solano Symphony Orchestra Youth Tribute Concert is funded in part by the generous support of the Margaret Beelard Community Foundation. It is intended as a highlight of the season and an opportunity to champion local talent and inspire young musicians to continue to develop their technique and dedication to artistic excellence.
There will be a maximum of 225 tickets available for this event to help keep patrons and orchestra members safe, as well as to remain compliant with California Department of Public Health requirements regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19.