Mar 232011
Authors: Lianna Salva

The final concert for the CSU Concerto Competition will take place tonight in the Griffin Concert Hall of the UCA at 7:30 p.m.  

The competition involves three undergraduate music majors who will each be performing a solo concerto in order to win prizes and scholarships.  

Unusually, solo performances played with the orchestra are given to faculty members, according to event coordinator Jennifer Clary.   

Soloists have been competing since late last semester, Clary said.

Following the competition, Maestro Wes Kenney will be conducting the University Sinfonia Orchestra.   

Tonight concludes the competition with three final soloists and also acts as a showcase for graduate conductors.  The conductors, one for each soloist, have not worked with the soloists before this competition.  Names were drawn at random for the pairing of the conductors and soloists.  

The three final soloists are Staci Tomaszewski, Akane Ueda and Thomas Wilson.  

Senior percussion performance major Tomaszewski will be performing American composer Eric Ewazen’s “Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra, Mvt I.” 

Adam A. Torres, pursuing a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting at CSU, will be conducting Tomaszewski. Torres most recently co-conducted the opera “The Gondoliers” at CSU.
Before the final concert, conductors and soloists practice privately and discuss expectations for each other.  

“My job is to help her realize the goal of interpretation and meaning of the piece,” Torres said of Tomaszewski.

Tomaszewski’s concerto choice sparked interest in the orchestra who will be accompanying her.

Ewazen is a contemporary composer who offers nostalgic, exciting, and emotional marimba music, according to Torres.  

“It’s nice to bring new music to new audiences,” Torres said.   

Soloist and senior music therapy major Ueda will be performing Mozart’s “Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, Mvt. I” on piano.  

“This piece has always been my favorite.  This concerto is in a minor key, which is unique for Mozart,” Ueda said.  

Ueda expressed that this would be the first time in her life she would be playing with an orchestra, which poses a challenge when trying to work with style.  

“I looked at the style of the piece and tried to build my own style around it,” she said.
Conducting Ueda is Vaughn Cardona, who is pursuing a graduate degree in orchestral conducting.  
Cardona co-conducted “The Gondoliers” along with Torres.  

Junior music education major Wilson will be performing the clarinet in the first and second movements of Robert Starer’s “K’li zemer Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra.”

Graduate student for instrumental conducting, Christy Muncey will be conducting Wilson.  Muncey conducted as an undergraduate and acted as a drum major for five years.  

Muncey assures that Wilson is prepared and that the preparation for the competition was a collaborative effort.  

“I think it’s a fantastic piece.  It provides a nice contrast to the rest of the pieces,” Muncey said.  

Each soloist is guaranteed a scholarship, but the amounts will depend on the soloist’s placement.  
Tickets can be purchased at

Staff writer Lianna Salva can be reached at

Concert Competition

  • What: CSU Concerto Competition, University Sinfonia Orchestra concert
  • When: 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Griffin Concert Hall, UCA
  • Cost: $7 CSU students, $1 youth (ages 2-17), $12 adult
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