Talented Student Soloists Take On Symphonic “Tour de Force”
Music, Orchestra, University Center for the Arts | February 01, 2012
The orchestra, directed by Wes Kenney, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in f minor, one of the most intense symphonies ever written. “Only the best of orchestras can attempt to play this symphonic tour de force,” said Maestro Kenney. “The difficulties lie in the rhythmically complex first movement, its lovely lyrical second movement, the intricate ensemble challenges of the third and the frenetic finale that leaves the audience breathless.”
Colorado State University students majoring in music will join the orchestra as soloists, chosen through audition, for the annual, highly competitive concerto competition. CSU soloists include: Brianne Little, flute – Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in D Major, op. 283 by Carl Reinecke; Nathan Wilson, saxophone – Rhapsodie for Orchestra and Saxophone by Claude Debussy; and Sabrina Romney, viola – Der Schwanendreher by Paul Hindemith.
Brianne Little, born in Elmore, Ohio, is a second year graduate student majoring in flute performance. Because of her strong past in a community orchestra and in Ohio’s Capital University top ensembles, Little has learned the importance of a strong work ethic and the discipline that follows. After graduation, Little plans to apply to Graduate programs in hope of continuing on into a Doctorate program. When asked why she chose to play the Flute, Little said, “perhaps it chose me. I love the variety of sounds a flute can make–it’s such a versatile instrument.”
On performing in the ‘Fate & Finals’ concert, Little observes that “Maestro Kenney wears the emotions of the pieces on his face when he conducts and it really urges me to dig a little deeper and find that emotion in my playing.”
Nathan Wilson is a second year student in CSU’s Master of Music program in Saxophone performance. Originally from Grand Junction, Colo., Wilson completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado and was involved with their Wind Symphony and Symphonic and Campus Bands. Wilson has also played in Mesa State College’s Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo and Saxophone Quartet. His professional playing experience includes Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Loveland Symphony Orchestra, Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra and more. Wilson notes that playing as a student soloist with the Fort Collins Symphony and being conducted by Wes Kenney “is a great and humbling experience due to [Kenney's] knowledge and love for music.” Wilson hopes to attend either the University of Northern Colorado or the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va., to find a teaching position and continue work on his doctoral studies.
Before attending CSU, Sabrina Romney completed her undergraduate music degree at Utah State University and minored in French. Romney is currently in her last semester at CSU as a graduate student studying viola performance. “I love all of the opportunities that this university provides,” Romney says. “CSU offers so much knowledge and experience that can’t be found anywhere else.” Post-graduation, Romney will seek a full-time orchestra position in addition to other violist opportunities such as pit orchestras, chamber ensembles or as a soloist.
From the age of 4, Romney learned to play the violin from her mother, a trained Suzuki violin teacher. Eventually, Romney traded the violin for a viola and played for hire in two ensembles as well as in her high school orchestra. When asked about the upcoming Concerto and Tour, Romney noted that “this concert will give us soloists the opportunity not only to be featured artists, but also to have the audience that comes with orchestra concerts hear the fruits of our labors.”