Young Artists Take Center Stage
According to Oviri Duado (senior, social work), “Practice really does make perfect.”
On Saturday, Jan. 28, five Andrews University students showcased their talents at the Young Artists Concert at the Howard Performing Arts Center. Willaglys Senior (freshman, music performance), Tiffany Steinweg (sophomore, music performance), Dana Wilson (sophomore, music performance), Ana Lozano (Master of Music Performance, major), and Rachelle Gensolin (senior, music performance, pre-dentistry) were accompanied by the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Claudio Gonzalez, performing selections by Joseph Haydn, Charles-Camille Saint-Saens, Sergei Prokofiev and Alexander Scriabin.
During their performances, it became very clear that the young artists had years of experience under their metaphorical belts. Senior, born in Venezuela, started taking oboe lessons when she was ten years old. Steinweg, who grew up near Portland, Oregon, and Gensolin, from California, started playing their instruments at five years old. Wilson, from Georgia, began playing violin when she was eight years old, and Lozano, who was born in Mexico, had also been playing piano for many years.
Senior started the concert off with the first movement of Oboe Concerto in C Major by Joseph Haydn; at the end of her performance, she received a standing ovation from friends and others in attendance in the audience.
Thembi Ndebele (sophomore, biotechnology, pre-dentistry) said, “The oboe had always been my least favorite instrument. But this changed as soon as Willaglys began playing her oboe. Her performance was riveting and expressive. It was truly remarkable.”
Steinweg and Wilson played Violin Concerto No. 3, Op. 61 by Camille Saint-Saens, Steinweg playing the first movement and Wilson playing the final one. At the end of their performances, each received a bouquet of flowers from family members and congratulations from the orchestra members with thigh claps and stomping feet.
Wilson said, “I guess I'd say that being a winner for the Young Artist competition is beyond being able to play a solo and wear a beautiful dress on stage. Honestly, it isn't really about me. A composer sat down and put together an astonishing work and I was able to share my interpretation of it. In the process, I pray that God was reflected to someone. The other winners are inspiring as well and it was an honor being featured with them.”
After Intermission, the piano concertos began. Lozano played Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major, and to finish off the concert, Rachelle Gensolin played the third movement of Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor, Op. 20 by Alexander Scriabin. Both pianists played with electrifying emotion that oozed from their fingers. It was as if they were the only ones in the room. Each soloist left an astounding energy that could be felt all throughout the auditorium.
D’Shauna Edwards (sophomore, biotechnology, pre-medicine) attended the concert and was very impressed by the performances of each soloist.
Edwards said, “Each soloist effectively justified their title as a Young Artist Competition Winner through demonstration of their musical skill, technique and expression.”
Lawrencia Robinson (junior, Spanish, global studies) was also positively impacted by the performances.
Robinson said, “The musicians’ commitment and dedication from their childhood paid off. Each piece was absolutely beautiful and inspiring to the audience.”