Other stories filed under Arts
Concerto soloists just announced
March 14, 2016
Soloing is one of the most prestigious opportunities a musician can get. It also can be one of the most frightening moments in their musical career, being the focus of an entire audience. This wide spectrum of emotions is part of the Stillwater Concerto Concert.
The Concerto Concert takes place on May 22, and the auditions occurred on Feb. 27-28. A concerto is a solo accompanied by an orchestra, or in this case the Stillwater Concert Orchestra accompanying seniors Kristen Diederichs on Oboe, Jonathan Luk on Cello, Brooke Knoll on Harp, and the vocalist Kate Kugler.
Many seniors try out to join in this opportunity, but only four are accepted. There are two soloing positions for strings and two positions for others: wind instruments or vocalists.
“[The Concerto Concert] is a spot for a solo for the last Concert Orchestra performance of the year, the spring concert,” senior Jonathan Luk said.
Each student is allowed to select their own piece to solo, and to allow time for the orchestra to learn the piece the auditions happen far before the actual performance.
Many of the soloists have seen and been inspired by previous year’s Concerto concerts, and by other musicians in their life.
“I have come to the concert every year since seventh grade. It’s been a goal of mine since watching them and made me want to play cello,” Luk said.
Diederichs said, “I have been going to the concerto concert since I was really little, because my family really likes to go to the orchestra concerts. My sister was in band and orchestra, and she was five years older than me, so I went to a lot of her concerts. I started playing the summer before fifth grade. I thought it would be really fun to be a soloist, and I have never seen an oboe do it before.”
With less positions open than the number of seniors auditioning, the Concerto Concert auditions were a stressful time for all.
“I was really nervous. I have been waiting a long time to audition, and I really did not want to mess up,” Luk said. “But, I know the more I worry, the worse I play, so I had to work to distract myself.”
Senior year can already be very difficult, and adding the selection, auditioning, practicing and performing of the Concerto Concert can be stressful.
“Choose a piece early and stick with it; Senior year can be very busy and you do not have time to go back and forth between different pieces. Just focus on one piece,” Luk said.
Diederichs said, “Make sure you pick up your piece early enough. I picked up my piece in July. Practice really hard until about the week before and then make sure that you are calm enough about it. It should be about having fun and be something that you want to do. It should be a fun thing.”
The solos performed at the Concerto Concert are a parting gift from some of the hardest working, most talented musicians at the school.
“Those soloists have earned their spots and have worked hard for that. Anything less than that would not really represent the music program here at Stillwater,” Luk said.