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Morning Sun
  • Four soloists featured in SEK Symphony Orchestra concert

  • Four student soloists, winners of the 2011 Pittsburg State University Concerto Aria Competition, were featured in the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra concert Sunday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.

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  • Four student soloists, winners of the 2011 Pittsburg State University Concerto Aria Competition, were featured in the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra concert Sunday in Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium.
    Selim Giray is director and conductor of the orchestra, which opened the concert with “Overture to ‘La forza del destino’” by Verdi, and closed with “Symphony No. 92” by Haydn. In between were the four student soloists.
    “The Concerto Aria Competition was held in April, 2011,” said Kimberly Arzoian, soprano, who sang “Vissi d’ Arte” from the opera “Tosca” by Puccini.
    She said that this aria was assigned to her as part of her repertoire by her voice teacher, Patrick Howle of the PSU music faculty. She decided to perform it in the competition, and was thrilled to be a winner.
    “It was really exciting to be able to sing with the symphony,” Arzoian said. “This was my first time with the symphony, and I’d like to do it again.”
    A music education student, she has played several other roles in PSU’s Opera Workshop programs, and is currently preparing for her senior recital.
    Josh Tidd, who will graduate in May with a bachelor of music in trombone performance, played “Concerto for Trombone” by Wagenseil.
    “My teacher, Robert Kehle, suggested the piece,” Tidd said. “Alto trombone is often neglected, often a secondary instrument.”
    He said that it was a privilege to perform with the symphony orchestra.
    “At a larger university you don’t get many opportunities like this,” Tidd said. “There are only 10 or 12 in the trombone studio here, so I’ve been able to get a lot of individual attention.”
    Alheli Aranda Britez, PSU sophomore majoring in piano performance and a student of Dr. Reena Natenberg, chose to  perform “Piano Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra” by Shostakovich.
    “I feel that this piece has my character,” Britez said. “It is playful like me, but also more serious.”
    She has performed at many venues in her native Paraguay and has won competitions there and in the United States and Brazil, but was delighted with the opportunity to play with the SEK Symphony.
    “It was a pleasure and I learned a lot,” Britez said.
    For junior viola major Ernesto Estigarribia, also from Paraguay, it was a dream come true to perform “Romance for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 85” by Bruch.
    “I tried to play this piece so many times, but it was hard to find an orchestra to play it with,” he said. “It is a great piece and well written. When I heard about the competition, I did not hesitate to try out and fortunately I got to  play.”
    Estigarribia is a viola student of Selim Giray, who is a nationally known violinist in addition to being the symphony conductor and a PSU music faculty member.
    Page 2 of 2 - The PSU music department got high praise from audience members.
    “The PSU music school is fantastic,” said Kate Price, who is current auditing a  music appreciation class taught by David Hurley.
    Jack Overman, No. 1 PSU sports fan who rarely misses a game, also tries to attend all the concerts that he can.
    “For a town our size to produce an orchestra like this is remarkable,” Overman said. “We’re blessed.”
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