Originally created 11/11/05

Students to perform for chance to play with best

One day, Cassandra Komp would like to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra.

But before she reaches such musical heights, the Evans High School 11th-grader hopes to outplay other musicians her age with a performance of Handel's Third Oboe Concerto in G Minor on Saturday at the 2005-06 Symphony Youth Competition.

"I've been playing concertos for a while," said Cassandra, 16. "I wanted to compete with some of my classmates and show what I can do."

In the competition, sponsored by the Augusta Symphony, the Augusta Symphony Guild and Kiwanis Club of Augusta, seven students will vie for cash prizes and the chance to play with the symphony in the spring.

"I didn't even think about the cash prize," said Cassandra, who also plays the English horn and flute. "Playing with the symphony, that would be an incredible opportunity."

Sara Neal, the symphony's director of education and outreach, agreed.

"There's nothing like getting the opportunity to hear yourself as a musician perform with orchestral accompaniment as a background as opposed to piano accompaniment," she said.

The middle and high school students will compete in two age categories and perform, by memory, a movement from a concerto featuring a woodwind or brass instrument, Ms. Neal said.

The competition's musical theme rotates each year from piano to string to this year's theme of woodwind and brass instruments, she said.

Donald Portnoy, the symphony's music director and conductor, and principal clarinetist Roman Fukshanksy will judge the competition based on a number of factors, including musical interpretation, technique, tempo and overall performance.

The first-place winners in both categories will receive $150 and the opportunity to perform with the symphony at the Publix Charities Family Concert on March 12 at Bell Auditorium, she said.

Reach Kate Lewis at (706) 823-3215 or kate.lewis@augustachronicle.com.

If You Go

What: The 2005-06 Symphony Youth Competition presented by the Augusta Symphony Guild, the Augusta Symphony and the Kiwanis Club of Augusta

Who: Seven students will compete in two age categories to win a chance to play with the Augusta Symphony this spring.

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way


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