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Students competed for solos in Spring Symphony Orchestra Concerto Concert

The Ohio State Symphony Orchestra practices for an upcoming concert. Credit: Mitchell Hooper | Outreach and Engagement Editor

Musicians had to earn their spots as soloists for the Ohio State Spring Symphony Orchestra Concerto Concert.

Over 20 students competed in the School of Music Concerto Competition held in December for a place in the concert on Tuesday, and only five winners were chosen. The winners will be accompanied on stage by the Ohio State Symphony Orchestra.

Director of Bands and Professor of Music Dr. Russel Mikkelson, who organized the event, said the winners of this competition have come this far not only because of their talent, but also their level of dedication.

“It is a very exhilarating experience for these students. You can sense the excitement within them and with each passing rehearsal, the growth in their confidence,” Mikkelson said.

The concert winners are a mix of high school, undergraduate and master’s students, including Emily Bedard, a second-year graduate student in flute performance, Regan Tackett, a first-year graduate student in voice pedagogy, Kai Hirayama, a second-year graduate student in clarinet performance, and Daniel Wu, a high school student from Worthington, Ohio.

The orchestra will perform an original work that was created by another winner, James Tickel, a second-year graduate student in music theory and music composition. Sunday will mark the premiere performance for his piece, “Komorebi.”

Mikkelson, director of Opera and Lyric Theatre A. Scott Parry and professors Scott A. Jones and Robert J. Ward will share responsibility for conducting the concert, while the instrumentation within the orchestra will change from piece to piece. Each piece will range from three to 11 minutes.

“The audience will not get bored, I can guarantee you that,” Mikkelson said.

Hirayama said this opportunity provides the soloists with real-life performance experience.

As the only vocalist in the concert, Tackett said she was surprised to have received this opportunity. Tackett said she had been working on her piece for many months prior to the December concert in order to feel comfortable performing it in a competition setting while remaining connected to the piece.

“Since being at Ohio State I have made a lot of progress in performing. And the more that I do, the more I enjoy it,” Tackett said. “The Department of Music has done wonders in regards of my confidence to push myself.”

The Spring Symphony Orchestra Concerto Concert will be held Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Weigel Auditorium. Admission is free.

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