Young Soloist Showcase
Wash away the dust of everyday life…
Santa Barbara Music & Arts Conservatory’s annual showcase
of student performers
by Stephanie Wilson Photography by Paul Wintz
When you take a group of dedicated young musicians, kids who get up early every Saturday morning to attend classes not only in music, but also in visual art, theater and creative writing, and you place them in front of a full orchestra, what do you get? You get a breathtaking display of young talent grown from years of study and hard work; you get an afternoon of entertainment that rivals the level of many professional symphony orchestras; you get music that washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
The Granada Theatre will once again be host to the Santa Barbara Music and Arts Conservatory (SBMAC) for their 28th Annual Young Soloists Showcase on Sunday, May 6 at 3 p.m. where student musicians will perform as featured soloists in front of a full orchestra, under the musical direction of conductor Alvana Eisenberg. “This [performance] represents many hours of hard work and a very serious dedication to their craft,” says Nina Bodnar, SBMAC artistic director who is excited about the level of commitment and talent of the students who were chosen for this year’s concert.
“I’ve enjoyed learning how to collaborate with the conductor and orchestra, and learn the music within that collaborative context,” says pianist Michael Sikich, who has been studying classical piano for 11 years and jazz for five. A high school senior, Michael auditioned for nine of the most prestigious music schools in the country, and has been accepted to several including New England Conservatory of Music, Indiana, University and Oberlin College, among others. “Now,” he added, “I’m just trying to decide!”
Violinist Camille Miller, who will play Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, has been accepted to several colleges for next year and has chosen the University of Southern California. She has been studying violin since she was 8 years old, and has performed several times as a soloist on SBMAC’s annual Showcase. Another returning violinist this year is Sofiya Prykhitko who will perform Henri Wieniawski. Polonaise in D Major. Soifya, who moved to the United States 16 years ago from the Ukraine, also sings with the San Marcos Madrigals.
Daria Etezadi, who attends Laguna Blanca, will play the Warsaw Concerto by Richard Addinsell, a single-movement work written for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight. The filmmakers wanted something in the style of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, but were unable to persuade Rachmaninoff himself to write a new piece. Clearly, Daria loves a challenge.
More returning soloists include violinist Andrew Horak who will graduate from Laguna Blanca in 2014. He will be performing Violin Concerto in d minor, by Max Bruch. And pianist Grace Stanton, whose first passion is to play chamber music, is still excited to take the solo spotlight with a full orchestra for a performance of Concerto in f minor by Frederick Chopin.
Sophia Zheng, who will play Schumann’s Concerto in a minor, is a 10th grader who performed in her first SBMAC Showcase at the age of 10. She says, “Getting to play with an orchestra is one of the best musical experiences I have ever had!” Also performing on a second SBMAC showcase is violinist Joshelle Conley who will perform Bruch’s Concerto in g minor and travels from San Luis Obispo each Saturday to attend the Music & Arts Conservatory.
First time soloist Marcos Schnieder was so excited to be invited to perform that he posted it on his Facebook page. He says “I feel very honored and somewhere in between excited and nervous!” A pianist from Bishop Diego High School — and at the top of his class scholastically — he will perform J.S. Bach’s Concerto in f minor.
SBMAC artistic director Nina Bodnar is hopeful that classical music is alive, well and nurturing a new generation. But perhaps poet Berthold Auerbach captured the nurturing magic of music best when he said: “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
For tickets at $25 adults, $10 seniors/students and free to children age 12 and under, call the Granada Box Office at 899-2222 or purchase online at www.granadasb.org and for more information about SBMAC call 751-6227, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.sbmac.org
Stephanie Wilson is artistic director of the Gold Coast Theatre Conservatory in Thousand Oaks.
The students chosen for the 2012 Annual Soloists Showcase are, front row (L-R), Sofiya Prykhitko, Michael Sikich, Camille Miller, Joshelle Conley; back row, (L-R), Andrew Horak, Marcos Schneider, Grace Stanton, Daria Etezadi and Sophia Sheng.
Classes at SBMAC are challenging and involved, but also allow time for fun as witness by gifted student pianist Michael Sikich’s tongue-in–cheek shot at playing a violin.
Wendy Water Wise Safety Tips
By Wendy Fereday
It is estimated nearly 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water! Even our bodies are made up of 65 percent water. Water is everywhere and an essesntial part of our lives. Here in Santa Barbara, we are fortunate to be surrounded by breathtaking water. We have miles of beautiful beaches, lakes, pools, and ponds. All the more reason to be water wise with your family!
Drowning, is one of the leading causes of death among children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old. We can turn this statistic around using basic water safety rules and orienting our kids to the water as early as possible. It is also essential to identify possible drowning dangers around your home and neighborhood. Here are some basic guidelines to prevent drowning:
Infants – children less than 1 year of age
Bathtubs – infants can drown in 1-2 inches of water. Never leave an infant alone in the bathtub. Bathtub seats are not safety items that can be relied upon. Always have adult supervision.
Buckets – 5 gallon buckets are a drowning site for infants. One baby each week drowns in a bucket. A crawling toddler is top- heavy, and once they have fallen in, then cannot get themselves out. The bucket, when filled with liquid, weighs more than the baby and will not tip over.
Toilets – carry the same warning as buckets. Use a toilet lock.
– Ages 1 – 4 years
Preschoolers primarily drown in home swimming pools and hot tubs or spas.
• 70 percent drown in their own pool
• 20 percent drown in a relative’s pool
• 75 percent were being supervised by one of two parents
• 70 percent were not in a bathing suit
• 46 percent were last seen in the home
• They were missing less than five minutes and the drowning was silent
The prevention of drowning requires multiple layers of protection; learning to swim is not the only answer.
Fereday Swim School – 964-7818 or www.feredayswimschool.com