November 22, 2013
Workman wins concert, aria competitionNineteen Susquehanna students auditioned and competed for this year's Concerto and Aria Competition on Nov. 19.
Out of these 19 students, only six made it to the finals.
The final competition between these six performers was open to the public.
Senior vocalist Ryan Workman was the overall winner of the competition. Workman, accompanied by Lecturer in Music Ilya Blinov, was the first performer of the evening.
For his performance, he displayed his talents as a tenor with "L'Esile," which is Italian for "The Exile," from "Composizioni da Camera," composed by Verdi.
The piece itself reflects the loneliness of exile and of an individual who is alone and suffering.
In part, the singer is asking death to come and claim him and to help him regain his happiness. Workman's performance captured that agony and pain.
Next up was senior Joshua Druckenmiller, also accompanied by Blinov. Druckenmiller's piece was Mozart's "Se di regnar sei vago" from Mitridate by Mozart.
Third to take the stage was sophomore flutist Sarah White, bringing a change of pace with her riveting performance of "Poem" by Charles Griffes.
Just after was junior Eric Morris on clarinet. His accompanist was first-year Aleatha Khoo on piano. Morris's selection was "Concerto No. 2, Allegro," by Weber.
The next contestant was senior Katie Battle on French horn, accompanied by senior Melissa Lee on piano. Battle's performance of Mozart's "Concerto No. 3 in E-flat, Allegro" was particularly riveting to several of the audience members.
Finally, junior cellist Jonathon Moody took the stage, performing "Cello Concerto No. 1, Allegretto" by Dmitri Shostakovich. The darker overtones of the cello were an interesting change of pace in comparison to the other pieces displayed that evening.
Moody said, "I think having a solo competition like this is great for SU music students because it's fun, and because it encourages a higher level of performance for all involved."
He goes on to explain that it's a safe way to compete and helps the participants to improve themselves in an atmosphere that is supportive and helpful.
What exactly is the big deal about the Concerto and Aria Competition?
Senior Zachary Hornig, one of the competitors, said, "The contest serves as a means for the musicians to compete for a chance to perform a piece from their solo repertoire with the full orchestra in the spring concert, as opposed to with the piano accompaniment that we usually perform with."
Carolyn Fenstermaker, a former graduate of Susquehanna, explained that she had originally learned of the competition through her attendance to the Chamber Music recitals and the piano recitals.
Fenstermaker said: "It's a good way to showcase talent. A lot of people around here look for this kind of entertainment."
She said that she comes here often, and she believes that this competition is a wonderful thing for the students and that many of the surrounding Selinsgrove community members would enjoy, were it advertised more.
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