In Events, Students

The School of Music presents two nights of performances by talented student soloists

Livestreamed event March 9-10, 7:30 p.m.

BYU’s “Evening of Concertos” is an event unlike any other in the School of Music. It’s an auditioned student showcase of some of the best and brightest — a chance for solo instrumentalists and vocalists to shine. 

The event spans two nights and features 15 soloists, all juniors and seniors. Each student will perform a concerto, which is a piece specifically written for solo voice or instrument with orchestral accompaniment.

“The two nights of ‘Evening of Concertos’ will highlight some of the most outstanding students in the BYU School of Music,” said faculty member Alexander Woods, who is coordinating the event. “Students will be performing on wide variety of instruments, featuring compositions by cherished composers such as Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Mozart and Haydn, plus exciting new pieces such as ‘Russian Marimba Concerto’ by Sergei Golovko and ‘Clarinet Concerto no. 2’ by Oscar Navarro.”

This year due to pandemic precautions, piano accompanists will play the role usually filled by the orchestra. 

“Pieces will be performed with piano accompaniment instead of our usual Symphony and Philharmonic backdrop, but the streaming cameras from the de Jong Concert Hall will provide an intimate and exciting experience with these excellent soloists,” Woods said.

Students chosen for this event underwent a competitive and rigorous audition process.

“We had auditions last November, and I competed against the other piano majors here at BYU,” said pianist Brooke Ballard. “The second round of auditions in December was against other instrumentalists. I was so excited when I found out the results!”

“It took a lot of preparation, persistence and perseverance to get here,” said Cassie Hyatt, a vocal performance major. “I auditioned for the program a few times before I was actually accepted, but that gave me opportunities to improve my singing abilities and showed me that this is something I really wanted. I have found that music brings peace, happiness and strength to my life.”

Ballard will play Mendelssohn’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor.” “It’s one of my favorite pieces to play. It’s so light and sparkly and I’m always excited to perform it,” she said. “You put in all the effort and work you can while you practice, and then if you’ve practiced right, the piece seems to perform itself and it just flies!”

Because the event features a wide range of instruments, students are given a platform to showcase pieces that audiences might not otherwise hear.

Trombone performance major Damon Webb said, “I’m grateful to perform at the concert because it’s a great opportunity to play some of the trombone repertoire that most people have not heard. Getting to share great music with people is really rewarding.”

Students in the Junior Division will perform March 9. The featured soloists are: Cassie Hyatt, soprano; Charlie Jarvis, cello; Nathan Fenwick, horn; Nathan Winters, marimba; John Burton, clarinet; Emma Fuller, bassoon; and Brooke Ballard, piano.

The March 10 concert features performances by Senior Division students, who include: Claire Peterson, violin; Isaac Sanabria, bassoon; Sarah Knight, soprano; Damon Webb, Trombone; Amberlee Woodhouse, piano; Hyrum Kohler, viola; Abigail Fuller, soprano; and Lauren Cain, piano.

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