Friday, June 22, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on January 10th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 44 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 44

Small in stature, grand in skill

The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society showcases the talents of orchestra members' students


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of classical music’s most famous composers, can serve as an example of the fact that age is no indication of degree of skill. The Santa Maria Philharmonic Society has organized its second annual “Youth Showcase” concert for Jan. 18, featuring performances by some of Santa Maria’s most talented musical youth.

Kevin Park (left) and Jack Raventos (right) will be accompanying each other on piano for each other’s violin performance.

“When we initially thought about doing this, we thought it was another way of showing how the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society contributes to the community,” said the society’s director, Lynne Garrett, “because we have students of teachers that are in the orchestra.”

This will be the second annual “Youth Showcase” event. Last year saw several skilled youngsters perform, and several are now returning. Interest was so high in this year’s showcase that the performers had to first pass an audition to be included in the performance. The judges included Jed Beebe, Robert Aswad, and Dr. David Arrivèe, all ears of the highest caliber, who had to make the difficult final decision of who would perform.

Garrett, a doctor of musical arts in piano performance and a local teacher, has several students performing in the recital. She shares her piano students with Santa Maria Philharmonic Orchestra violinist and teacher Brynn Albanese. Due to several students’ skill, the young musicians will be performing chamber ensemble works.

“So Kevin [Park] and Jack [Raventos] are both studying piano and violin with Brynn and me, and when they both perform a solo violin work, they accompany each other,” Garret said. “The chamber music aspect is really great for these pianists, especially because they get to develop a relationship with another musician. They are learning to talk to each other musically. There is so much important interaction that goes on there, and it allows them to communicate in a real way.”

Park and Raventos aren’t the only soloists or chamber performers. Violinist Amy Sze, a youngster with a list of accomplishments, will be performing an impressive work by Sarasate as well as the first sonata for violin and piano by Franz Schubert, accompanied by Daniel Haw. Sze, Haw, and Park are all participants in the Academy of the West’s Extended MERIT Program, an accomplishment only awarded to very skilled musicians.

Students from the studios of Grace Seng, Mary Stornetto, and Jeanne Shumway will be performing as well. Shumway, cellist for the Philharmonic, has several students performing chamber music as well.

“We have one really wonderful piece that Jeanne Shumway got her students in on,” Garrett said, “and it’s for three cellos and piano, and so she has three cello students and then Kevin is doing the piano. It is a really great piece; it is full of surprise and drama.”

The amount of skill these young artists have accrued is due to a dedication to a skill—a skill they earn through hard work, the love of their art, and a special relationship with a teacher.

“There’s something very exciting about performing, and namely it’s the sharing,” Garrett said. “It’s an opportunity for them to share what they have accomplished at a high level with their parents, their family, friends, and an audience.”

This year’s performance highlights the efforts of 15 talented youth representing five powerful music teachers, and yet, next year the Philharmonic is hoping for more.

“We’re working at developing some really good communication to the local schools,” Garrett said. “We have been inviting all local public school students to all the Santa Maria Philharmonic concerts for free because we have to garner support in our younger generation to enjoy live classical music.”

Each of the performers on Jan. 18—all possible future members of the Philharmonic or any other orchestra—are volunteering their showcase performances. All of the proceeds from the concert will go toward the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society.

“The Santa Maria Philharmonic is working towards and trying to start a youth orchestra,” Garrett said. “We have some grant money, some seed money, to start a Santa Maria Youth Orchestra as well, and all these kids could be the beginning of a Santa Maria Youth Symphony.”

Cadillac rock

The Historic Santa Maria Inn features live music by rock and blues group Cadillac Angels on Jan. 11 and 12 from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Historic Santa Maria Inn, 801 South Broadway, Santa Maria. Cost is $10. More info: 346-7901.

Live at the missions

The San Luis Obispo Symphony presents the “California Missions Tour” featuring three concerts with the SLO Symphony Chamber Players, conductor Michael Nowak, and guest violinist soloist Shunskè Sato performing Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and Craig Russell’s “Ecos Armònicos” on Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Mission San Miguel, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. at Mission Santa Barbara. Info: 543-3533,, or

Going tropical

The Lions Peak Vineyards Tasting Room presents Jon Stephen Tropical Brazilian Guitar live on Jan. 12, 13, 19, 20, and 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Lions Peak Vineyards Tasting Room, 1659 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang. More info: 693-5466 or

Making musical dialogue

Lucia’s Wine Co. offers an open mic event on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 East Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.

Maverick music

The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including the country music of the Bluetooth Cowboys with Randy Emmet on Jan. 11 and 12 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with DJ Totem” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Randy Emmet and Friends is Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or

Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at

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