Tuesday, October 23, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 33

Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on January 10th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 45

Santa Maria Philharmonic Society to host youth showcase


Musical history is filled with wunderkinds. But famous stories like that of Mozart eclipse the constant flux of incredible talent that young students of music display, often before they’re out of grade school.

Thankfully, the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society understands that the next generation of orchestra musicians and soloists are all around us, dutifully studying their instruments day to day. The society’s sixth annual Youth Showcase is on Jan. 14 and will highlight a number of youthful musicians from ages 8 to 18.

The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society hosts its sixth annual Youth Showcase event, which will highlight the talents of local musicians between the ages of 8 and 18. Pictured: Haley Kang, who performed at a previous Youth Showcase.

Everyone performing in the showcase had to audition first, explained Lynne Garrett, Philharmonic board member and founder of the showcase. She said that auditions raise the bar for the performers and even the performances they deliver.

“The aspect of having it by audition gives it a little more importance and makes them feel special if they’re excepted,” Garrett said. “And having a goal to work towards where the expectation is set higher gives them a little bit more inspiration for more quality work, more refinement.”

Garrett is a local piano teacher as well, and some of her students have auditioned for the show and will perform, she said.

One student is 9-year-old Suri Kim, who will play the first movement of a piano sonata by Franz Joseph Haydn. Kim won a top honor at the California Association of Professional Music Teachers for contemporary performance in her age category last year, Garrett explained.

“I found it very challenging to find just the right music for her, and she just loved it,” Garrett said. “Sometimes kids are very conservative, and you play something that’s a little dissonant and they say, ‘Oh, that doesn’t sound good!’ So, it’s a challenge to develop their appreciation for music that’s being written right now.”

The young pianist was up to the challenge, Garrett said, just like she was up to the challenges of a classical great like Haydn.

Kim told the Sun that Garrett is a “wonderful teacher,” and that she has helped Kim surprise herself with what she’s been able to accomplish. Kim also said that she enjoys performances like the showcase.

Many of the performers in the Philharmonic Society’s Youth Showcase are students of orchestra members, like Kavi Feyaldenhoven (pictured performing at a previous Youth Showcase), who is a student of orchestra member Jeanne Shumway.

“I just like performing, I don’t know why,” Kim said. “I want to play piano until I grow up, and play as an adult.”

Other kids in the showcase are students of other Philharmonic members as well, Garrett explained. That was the impetus for the event, to showcase the skills of the orchestra members’ students, she said.

Now that the showcase is in its sixth year, Garrett has seen the connection and camaraderie between the young musicians spur each other artistically.

“Older kids are great with the little ones,” Garrett said. “They are like, cheering them on, saying, ‘Good work! Keep working at it!’ I’ve seen that happen and it’s really sweet.”

There are elementary school-aged kids to high school students slated to perform, Garrett said. Some of the high schoolers are juggling AP classes, athletics, and testing all while staying dedicated to their art, she explained.

Catch the show
The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society presents its sixth annual Youth Showcase on Jan. 14
at 3 p.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 4380 Orcutt Road, Santa Maria. Cost is $10. More info: santamariaphilharmonic.org.

But no matter how old the performers are, they’re all engaging in the same process of study and practice.

“It’s interesting to see them at all these different phases, and how does music play a role in their lives,” she said.

Managing Editor Joe Payne wishes he’d practiced his piano more at 9 years old. Contact him at jpayne@santamariasun.com.

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