Budding soloists featured in Kamuela Philharmonic’s Winter Concert

The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra continues its 2017-18 season with the concert titled “Rustic Inspirations,” brought to mind by the exceptional landscape of Parker Ranch, at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea.

The program features performances by the winners of the orchestra’s annual Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition. Accompanied by the philharmonic, cellist Celina Lim will play George Golterman’s Cello Concerto No. 4 in G, opus 65, movement No. 3; violinist Alyson Kwong will perform Eduoard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, opus 21, movement No. 1; and cellist Joshua Chang will play Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, movement No. 1.

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In keeping with the rustic theme, maestro Brian Dollinger will conduct the orchestra in a performance of Antonin Dvorak’s Suite in A major, op. 98b, “American,” and Four Dance Episodes from “Rodeo,” by Aaron Copland.

Lim, 11, a seventh-grade student at Punahou School on Oahu, has studied cello with Nancy Masaki of Honolulu for the past five years. She has played cello in the Hawaii Youth Symphony for most of that time but wanted to do something different now that her playing is more advanced.

The possibility of performing as a soloist with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra inspired her to enter the competition. She picked the Golterman concerto to play because it is a fast-paced, happy piece, which she thinks reflects her personality.

Golterman, a German cellist and composer of the 1800s, wrote eight cello concertos that are widely studied by students to learn technique and gain a basic understanding of the concerto, and learning this piece has helped Lim make progress on those goals. Her lively, engaging manner also makes her solo performance very enjoyable.

Kwong, 16, a 10th-grade student at Punahou, has studied violin with Sheryl Sohet of Honolulu since she was 3 years old. She is a member of the Hawaii Youth Symphony, also plays in the Punahou School Symphony, and participates in the school’s quartet program.

Kwong has been working on her performance as a soloist since participating in the competition two years ago, and is thrilled to have finally won. To her, the Lalo concerto is different from standard violin solo repertoire because of its Spanish influence, and she feels that the beautiful melodies in the piece, with their varying moods, colors, and tempos, give her an opportunity to shine.

Playing with the orchestra is exciting to her, and she believes the whole experience will improve her skills as a musician.

Chang, 18, also is a student of Masaki. He started playing cello in the seventh grade and has studied with her for the past five years. He graduated from Roosevelt High School on Oahu in May and is studying music with I-Bei Lin at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Chang has played with the Hawaii Youth Symphony, UH Contemporary Ensemble and UH Orchestra. He loves the Elgar Cello Concerto and has been practicing it intensively for the past year, so his performance of the piece displays outstanding technique and a vibrant sound.

Since Chang hopes to become a professional performer, he and his teachers are grateful for the opportunity to perform with the Kamuela Philharmonic.

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Dollinger chose the Dvorak Suite, first performed by an orchestra in 1910, and the Copland Dances, premiered in 1942, for this concert because they contain themes from American folk music and ranching culture evocative of the “Rustic Inspirations” present in the landscapes of Waimea, home of the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets are $43, $28 and $23 or free for those 17 and younger accompanied by an adult and are available for purchase online at www.kamuelaphil.org or www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling 885-6868 or in person from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Kahilu Theatre box office, 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Waimea.

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