Black Tie Gala Concert Press Release

Black Tie Gala Concert Event

June 5, 2016 @ Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre

5:30 Gala / 7:00 Concert Tickets $15 / $25

Box Office 707.469.4013

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Annual Concert of Premier Performing Student Artists of Young Artists Conservatory of Music

In Major Partnership with Steinway and Sons and The SONUS Symphony.

Solano County Music Conservatory Presents Symphony Ready Student Artists

Black ties, gowns, symphony, and the promise of excellence. Select Student Artists from the Young Artists Conservatory of Music (YACM), a locally supported non-profit music education organization, will perform in the annual “Black Tie Gala Concert” on June 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre. These select few students represent the highest standard of achievement and performance readiness acquired through music training at Solano Music Conservatory (SMC), a division of YACM. Previously known as The Premier Performers Concert, this year’s “Black Tie” is the first to use this name signifying the prestige of the evening. The student artists chosen by Artistic Director, Wanda Cook, to perform at this event “embody the realization that support for excellence in the arts is a leading force in the drive to lift community and transform lives”.

The Concert is preceded by our Premier Performers Gala Reception at 5:30 p.m. Participants will enjoy mingling in the Theatre lobby with horderves, wine and live Jazz, performed by the SMC Jazz Combo under the direction of SMC teaching Artist Wayne Gross. During the event YACM will present the Premier Performers and recognize those key contributors, partners, and sponsors who support excellence in lives of children through development in the arts. Entrance to the Gala is free but an entrance donation is encouraged. Some of the organizations and individuals who will be recognized include, The Beelard Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Travis Credit Union, Soroptimists of Solano County, Steinway and Sons, The Marcus Family, G-Spectrum, Principal Marissa Carbonell and Jade Brandon of Vallejo School District, Linda Samera, Cynthia Chancellor, Danny Gentry of Fairfield Suisun School District, Vacaville Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Len Augustine, and more.

Highlighting the evening concert are three Featured Soloists, Madison Brown, Evan Losoya, and Benjamin Mendiola who will be accompanied by The newly formed SONUS Symphony, conducted by returning Maestro Dr. Stephen Thompson. Dr. Thompson conducted The Symphony of Northern California in accompaniment with our 2015 Featured Soloists in a performance of Mendelsohn’s Piano Concerto N0. 1 and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Dr. Thompson, previously on staff at Solano Community College, recently joined American River City College and was featured on Capital Public Radio in an interview with Steven Milne about his new work with the ARC music program.

Featured Vocalist, Madison Brown, age 18, is a Mezzo Soprano and graduating from Buckingham Charter High School this year. She is an award winning vocalist and has studied voice at YACM for ten years and is currently under instruction of SMC Teaching Artist Ed Halbach. Mr. Halbach has an extensive professional background in association with the San Jose Opera, West Bay Opera, The Russian Opera of San Francisco and many others. Madison Brown will perform Zueignung, Die Nacht, & Morgen by Richard Strauss accompanied the SONUS Symphony. Miss Brown will also perform “Things Change” from the Musical “Little Women”.

Featured Pianist, Benjamin Mendiola, age 17, is a Pianist and graduating from Will C Wood High School this year. He has been studying piano for 11 years, with the past 6 years under the instruction of Wanda Cook. Benjamin is highly regarded as a passionately skilled musician and joyous performer. During the Premier Performers 2015 Gala Concert, Ben received a standing ovation in appreciation for his performance of Gerswhin’s Rhapsody in Blue with The Symphony of Northern California. He is an award winning pianist and was recently recognized by the Saturday Club of Vacaville through a generous scholarship award in recognition of his academic and musical accomplishments. on June 5th Benjamin Mendiola will will perform the Allegro movement of Piano Concerto No. 5 (Egyptian), by Camille Saint-Saëns accompanied by The SONUS Symphony.

Featured Pianist, Evan Losoya, age 16, will perform Piano Concerto No. 2, by Dimitri Shostakovich accompanied by the SONUS Symphony. He has been studying piano for 10 years at SMC with the last 4 years under the instruction of Wanda Cook. Evan is finishing his Junior year at Vacaville Christian High School. He is a highly esteemed student musician as an oboist, pianist and composer. He has received multiple awards, scholarships and recognitions for his musicianship in association with The NOR CAL Honor Band, Nevada Reno Jazz Festival and most recently earning 2nd place (following an adult pianist) in the Solano Community Symphony’s Young Artists Competition. Evan will also perform his own original Rhapsody, “Hypnotic Suggestion”.

The Black Tie Gala Concert celebrates some of the most accomplished classically trained young musicians in Solano County. To qualify as a Featured Soloist, a YACM student artists must have achieved a high objective standard of musical accomplishment which includes a consistent pre-professional proficiency demonstrated in confident performance. Hundreds of YACM students enjoy the experience of attaining meaningful music proficiency. However, Each year, a few rise to express the level of professional competency and need the support of professional symphonic accompaniment.

Joining the Featured Soloists are selected student artists who, as “Premier Performers” will share short but powerfully presented solos from various classical and theatre genres.

Senior Solo Pianists Senior Solo Vocalists Ensembles

Kristian Bakken (15) Megan Albidress (16) TnT Rock Band

Tyler Smith (15) Jenna Kitzes (16)

Apprentice Pianists Apprentice Vocalists

Duet – Grace Paniccia / Elizabeth Weber Duet - Senzel Ahmady / Catie Whittet

Duet – Taylor Kostal / Alexis Edwards

“One of the best assets in Solano County is that it has within its borders a comprehensive music conservatory”, says Artistic Director, Wanda Cook. “In the upcoming year, YACM will impact nearly 2,500 children from Contra Costa County, Napa County, Solano County and Yolo County. Our young child programs are designed to help families explore music while developing their children’s minds, social capacities, and inspiring an interest in ongoing music education. Those who wish to unlock their potential are provided a vigorous arts program that prepares them for college and professional musicianship.”

“The challenge of mastering the proficiency, poise, and grace required of a performing artist takes years to accomplish. Diligence, grit, and focused attention are habits and disciplines of excellence acquired by these young artists”, says Director of Development, Kevin Phillips. “The habits and disciplines of excellence are transferable skills. They apply as well in the study medicine, engineering and technology. YACM prepares children to pursue excellence not only in the arts, but in their lives as well.”

Contact: Wanda Cook / 707.451.7200

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