Wichita State News

WSU Symphony to showcase top students in honors concert

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Six student soloists will perform in concert with the Wichita State University Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Miller Concert Hall. The annual Concerto-Aria Concert features upperclassmen and graduate students chosen by audition.

The orchestra, led by Mark Laycock, will also perform Gershwin's “An American in Paris” and the world premiere of “And We All Waited” by Jay Kawarsky, professor of composition at Rider University.

Tickets are $7, with discounts available, through the Fine Arts Box Office (978-3233). For further information, contact Laycock at (316) 978-6202 or mark.laycock@wichita.edu.

Violist Rosemarie Barney will play the first movement of Hindemith's Der Schwanendreher; Mirella Gable, horn, will perform Villanelle by Dukas; Guenhwa Lee will play the first movement of Stravinsky's Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments; soprano Kendra Rios will sing “Voi lo sapete” from Mascagni's CavalleriaRusticana; bass-baritone Andrew Simpson will sing “Il lacerato spirit” from Verdi's Simon Bocccanegra; and Brian Simpson will play the first movement of Dittersdorf's Bass Concerto.

Gershwin penned the tone poem “An American in Paris” in 1928 while on a European tour. It remains a vibrant, kinetic depiction of one of the world’s most colorful cities. Blending jazz and classical elements, the score features a trio of saxophones, extensive writing for solo trumpet and a prominent part for authentic French taxi horns.

Written in response to recent tragic events in America, “And We All Waited” is somber and heartfelt, a reflection on innocent lives lost. A former faculty member at Fort Hays State University, Kawarsky now teaches at Rider University, home of the Westminster Choir College. He has written for all genres and recently received his sixth Composer Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Rosemarie Barney is a senior viola performance major who studies with Catherine Consiglio. She is a substitute member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and teaches viola privately. In 2012, she served as principal viola for the inaugural Kansas Intercollegiate Orchestra. She advanced to the semifinal round in the Naftzger Competition in both 2010 and 2011. She has also performed with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall with SYS, and across Europe and the United States with Evangel University’s Concert Orchestra.

A native of southern New Jersey, Mirella Gable is a graduate student in horn performance, studying with Nicholas Smith. She is a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, as well as the orchestras of the Wichita Grand Opera and Wichita Ballet. She is also a member of the WSU Graduate Woodwind Quintet. She has performed with the WSU Faculty Brass Quintet, Newton-Mid Kansas Symphony Orchestra and Wichita Salon Series. Gable serves as Brass Coach for the Wichita Youth Symphony. She is a 2010 graduate of the Eastman School of Music, earning degrees in applied horn and music education.

Guenhwa Lee, a native of South Korea, began piano studies at age 9. She came to the United States in 2008 to study in the disciplines of music therapy and piano. She is pursuing a Master of Music in Piano Performance with Julie Bees. A graduate teaching assistant, she instructs students in both class and applied lessons and group studies. Lee is a registered member of the Music Teachers National Association. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music composition from the University of Suwon.

Kendra Rios is a second-year graduate student majoring in opera performance; she is a student of Pina Mozzani. She is the opera performance graduate assistant to director Marie King. Credits include stage direction for the fall 2012 production of “Pirates of Penzance.” She played the role of Corinna in the spring 2012 production of Rossini’s “Il Viaggio a Reims” and Ottavia in the fall 2011 production of “L’Incoronazione di Poppea.” She recently sang in a master class for Joyce DiDonato. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rios completed her undergraduate studies at Westminster Choir College in Princeton.

Bass-baritone Andrew Simpson is a second-year graduate student in opera performance. A native of Dallas, he has performed the roles of the Pirate King in “Pirates of Penzance,” Seneca in Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea” and Lord Sidney in Rossini’s “Il viaggio a Reims.” He has worked with the Fort Worth Opera, Wichita Grand Opera and Lyric Opera Wichita. Upcoming roles include Don Annibale in Donizetti’s “Il Campanello di Notte” this spring at WSU.

Valley Center native Brian Simpson is a senior at WSU, majoring in music performance and computer science. He has been studying upright bass for four years under Mark Foley and also worked with Patrick McNally at the University of Montana. Simpson was named the 2012 Presser Scholar for WSU School of Music and received Honorable Mention in the University of Montana Concerto-Aria Competition. He also performed with the Missoula Symphony, the Missoula Children's Theatre and several jazz combos while in Montana.

Mark Laycock
Mark Laycock
Mark Laycock, director of orchestras, holds the Ann Walenta Faculty of Distinction Endowed Professorship. His work as guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator spans 20 states, and his appearances with professional ensembles include the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera and Opera Kansas, as well as orchestras in Slovakia and Canada.

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Created on Thursday, February 07, 2013; Last modified on Thursday, February 07, 2013