Lafayette Symphony auditions set for 2008 Keller Competition

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Two Lafayette-West Lafayette musicians and an Illinois flutist are winners of the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra’s 2008 Keller Competition, LSO officials announced today (July 24)
Clarinet player Anna O’Connor, a Lafayette Jeff High School student and daughter of Thomas and Ruth O’Connor, and pianist Jason Wu, son of Tim and Yulen Wu, of West Lafayette, won for their performances. Katie Christenson, daughter of John and Becky Christenson of Wheaton, Ill., was selected for her flute playing.

The trio will perform with the symphony Dec. 6, 2008 at the symphony’s annual Keller Concert at the Long Center for Performing Arts, 111 N. Sixth St., in downtown Lafayette.

A panel of professional judges selected the three musicians from a group of 25 performers at the competition held earlier this summer at Covenant Presbyterian Church in West Lafayette.

“Congratulations to this year’s Allan W. Keller Competition winners. They were terrific, and we look forward to their performance with the full symphony at our annual Keller Concert in December,” said Karen Goff, Keller Competition Committee chairwoman and member of the LSO’s Education/Outreach Committee.

“And thanks to all the outstanding performers for an event that drew the most contestants since we started this program 35 years ago. We hope to see them again next year.”

Musicians age 22 and younger are eligible to compete at the annual Keller Competition for the opportunity to perform as featured soloists with the LSO. The date for next year’s Keller Competition will be announced later this year.

The Allan W. Keller Memorial Award was established in 1973 to honor Allan Keller, a former LSO treasurer and supporter. Each year, young musicians compete for the opportunity to perform as featured soloists with the LSO and each winner is granted a cash prize.
Over the years, a number of Lafayette-West Lafayette area musicians have advanced to prominent music schools, performed at top musical venues and attained significant success with their instrument, whether that be violin, cello, voice, clarinet, trumpet, flute or percussion.

“We view the Keller Competition as a cornerstone for the LSO’s commitment to education and outreach as we grow our regional orchestra,” said LSO music director Nicholas Palmer. “Through this wonderful and longstanding program, we can tap into the local and area schools, employers and organizations to expand the symphony’s reach and offer professional performance opportunities for the region’s young musicians.”

The 2007 Keller Competition winners were Christian Schrock of Covington, Jinty McTavish of Lafayette and Nathan Kross of West Lafayette. They performed during the LSO “Classical Holiday Celebration” concert on Dec. 15, 2007.

“The Keller Competition, marking a milestone 35th year this year, promotes quality musicianship, high achievement in musical performance for students from throughout the Lafayette-West Lafayette region,” Goff said. “I am so proud the LSO sponsors this excellent competition because it confirms that in both school music programs and in private applied studios, quality music teaching takes place every day to support, encourage and challenge local young musicians.”

The LSO kicks off its 2008-09 season with a performance by guest violinist Elena Urioste at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Long Center.

At age 21, Urioste is already a two-time winner of the Sphinx Competition and has performed with numerous orchestras including Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. A Philadelphia-based musician of Mexican heritage, she will be performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, written in 1878 in Clarens, a Swiss resort on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The concert is sponsored by Eli Lilly and Co.’s Tippecanoe Laboratories.

Launched in 1950 as a non-profit organization, the 70-person Lafayette Symphony Orchestra is focused on enriching the cultural life of the West Central Indiana community and 14 surrounding counties through excellence in orchestral music and educational experience.
About 80 percent of its patrons are from Lafayette, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe County, while the remainder are from the surrounding counties of Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Howard, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Pulaski, Tipton, Warren and White.

For more information on the Lafayette Symphony, go to http://www.lafayettesymphony.org

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