Concerto Competition

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Congratulations to the six GCTYO Principal Orchestra musicians who advanced to the Final Round of the 2020 Concerto Competition! Read about each finalist below. The final round concert will be presented Feb. 1, 2020 at 2 PM at the studios of GCTYO’s media partner, WSHU Public Radio, on the campus of Sacred Heart University (5151 Park Ave., Fairfield, CT). The concert is free and open to the public; reservations are not required.

Alison Shively

Alison Shively started playing the violin at age 4. She is Concertmaster of GCTYO’s Principal Orchestra and was Concertmaster of GCTYO’s bi-annual international tour in 2018 to Scotland and Iceland…

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Alison Shively started playing the violin at age 4. She currently studies with Professor Kyung Yu of the Yale School of Music. She is Concertmaster of GCTYO’s Principal Orchestra this season and was the Concertmaster of their bi-annual international tour in 2018 to Scotland and Iceland. Alison has appeared as soloist with the then GBYO (Sibelius concerto, 2017), Danbury Symphony (Tchaikovsky concerto, 2018) as well as Manchester Symphony (Bruch Scottish Fantasy, 2019) both as competition winner and by invitation. She was the recipient of the Marianne Liberatore Memorial Scholarship in 2018. Alison is an avid chamber musician and has played in many different groups over the years. She is a member of Vivace, a choreographed string group in Westport that concentrates on non-classical repertoire. Alison has also participated in master classes and workshops with renowned musicians as well as memorable summer camps such as the idyllic Kinhaven Music School in Vermont. In addition to music, Alison is a curious learner and enjoys doing research and exploring new ideas. A people-person at heart, she loves spending time with friends as well as traveling, especially internationally. She volunteers at the Yale New Haven Hospital, is on her school’s We the People team, and was a member of the mock trial team for 2 years. Alison is 17 years old and a senior at Trumbull High School. She plans to major in neuroscience in college and to eventually pursue a career in medicine.

Emily Simpkins

Emily Simpkins has been studying flute for 6 years. She has been a member of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras since eighth grade and is in her third year with Principal Orchestra.

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Emily Simpkins is 17 years old and a senior at Masuk High School, where she is an honors student. She has been studying flute for 6 years with Mary Larson of Monroe and Keith Underwood of New York. Emily has been a member of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras since eighth grade and is in her third year with Principal Orchestra. She is currently the principal flutist in both the Principal and Chamber Orchestras. Emily has played with the CMEA Western Region band/orchestra since eighth grade. She has also played with the CMEA All State Music Festival Band the past few years. In addition to music, Emily enjoys reading, science, and math. She hopes to study music and computer science in college. 

Henry Friedman

Henry Friedman‘s music education began in 2010 at the age of six when he started studying piano. He has been studying the French horn since 2013 and has been a member of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras since 2015…

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Henry Friedman is a sixteen-year-old Junior attending Fairfield Warde High School.  His music education began in 2010 at the age of six studying piano with Melanie Andrews, which he continues today.  He has been studying the French horn since 2013 with Jeff DesRosier of Fairfield and, more recently, Broadway performer Steve Sherts of New York.  He enjoys playing a variety of genres, including orchestral, chamber, jazz, and musicals. A member of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras (formerly Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras) since 2015, Henry is currently Principal Horn in both the Principal and Chamber Orchestras.  He additionally has had the opportunity to expand his horn skills by performing with GCTYO’s Jazz Ensemble I. He has travelled with GCTYO to Italy in 2016, as well as Scotland and Iceland in 2018. He is a member of Fairfield Warde’s Wind and Jazz Ensembles, as well as the Tri-M Music Honor Society.  Henry has been accepted to both the CMEA Western-Region and All-State Festivals, and most recently to the NAfME All-National Concert Band under the direction of Emily Threinen of the University of Minnesota. He has been invited to perform locally in the pit orchestras of Oklahoma, Into the Woods, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, and City of Angels.  Henry looks forward to studying both French horn performance and music education in the future.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell has practiced and performed with the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestra since 2016 and has also earned a position in GCTYO’s elite Chamber Orchestra for the past two years…

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Jack Campbell of Monroe, Connecticut is a high school junior studying cello with Ms. Andrea Mills.  He has practiced and performed with the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestra since 2016 and has also earned a position in GCTYO’s elite Chamber Orchestra for the past two years.  Throughout his high school career, Jack has secured a seat in the Connecticut Music Educator Association Western Regional High School Festival Orchestras and All State Orchestras.  He looks forward to competing at the national level this season.  Jack enjoys various music genres and participates in a performance ensemble and string quartets under the direction of Dr. Andrew Smith of the Suzuki Music School Westport and Asya Meshberg of the Chamber Music Institute.  Jack won the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Young Instrumentalists’ Competition for 2019.  Over the summer, he attended the Eastman Cello Institute founded by Alan Harris and went on to play for the Broadway Method Academy’s production of the Little Mermaid.  He is an active Boy Scout and proudly achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2018.

Kevin Tzanetis

Kevin Tzanetis is an avid trumpet player for a plethora of ensembles at Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras and Fairfield Warde High School. He began private lessons at the age of eight…

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Kevin Tzanetis, a 17 year old senior, is an avid trumpet player for a plethora of ensembles at Fairfield Warde High School and the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras. He began private lessons at the age of eight years old with James Buchta who has mentored him to this day. Kevin has been a member of GCTYO for 6 years and is currently in Principal and Jazz I Orchestras. He studies with Grammy Award-winning trumpet player, Nabaté Isles and music educator Geoffrey Brookes. Kevin has performed in the Western Region and All-State Jazz Ensembles throughout his middle and high school years. Last summer, Kevin received a scholarship award to attend the Jazz At Lincoln Center Jazz Workshop at Fordham University. There, he studied with world-renowned trumpeter Marquis Hill and trumpeter Tatum Greenblatt. Also last summer, Kevin had the opportunity to study with world-renowned trumpeter Sean Jones, trumpeter Brad Mason and trumpeter Tanya Darby. In the future Kevin would like to further pursue a career in Jazz Studies and Performance.

Madison Chueka

Madison Chueka has studied flute for the past five years. She started playing flute in kindergarten at the Westport Suzuki Music School. This is Madison’s first year with GCTYO where she is a member of both the Principal and Chamber Orchestras.

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Madison Chueka is a freshman honors student at the Pierrepont School in Westport, CT and has studied flute with Adrianne Greenbaum for the past five years. She started playing the flute in kindergarten at the Westport Suzuki Music School. This is Madison’s first year with GCTYO and she is a member of both the Principal and Chamber Orchestras. Prior to joining GCTYO, Madison had been the principal flutist of the NYS Philharmonia Winds and Concert Orchestra. This year, Madison won a top position in the CMEA Western Regionals Orchestra. In addition to playing the flute, Madison is an accomplished choral singer who sings with the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir of Fairfield, Connecticut. She has also sung with the opera program at the Yale School of Music. Madison has recently started to pursue rowing at the Connecticut Boat Club in Norwalk, CT.

Toshiyuki Shimada

Maestro Shimada holds a teaching position at Yale University, as Associate Professor of Conducting with Yale School of Music and Department of Music.  He has a strong commitment to music education…

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Toshiyuki Shimada is Music Director and Conductor of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra in New London; Music Director and Conductor of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes; and he has been just appointed as Music Director and Conductor of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra.  He was Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra of Yale University since 2005 until 2019. He is also Music Director Laureate of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Portland, Maine, for which he served as Music Director from 1986 to 2006. Prior to his Portland engagement he was Associate Conductor of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, under Sergiu Comissiona, for six years. Since 1998, he has also served as Principal Conductor of the Vienna Modern Masters record label in Austria. 

Maestro Shimada has been a frequent guest conductor with a number of international orchestras and has traveled extensively with the Yale Symphony Orchestra. He maintains a close association with Turkish orchestras, and this season will be guest conducting for the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, his fifth Turkish orchestra collaboration. He will also continue his association with the Lindenbaum Festival in South Korea, supporting its mission to bring peace in the world through great music, and to help promote peace in the Korean Peninsula. 

This past summer, Maestro Shimada conducted a very special concert at the DMZ, South Korea, with the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra with all the Korean TV stations covering the concert. Recently, Maestro Shimada performed in Carnegie Hall in New York with the Yale Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, he led the Yale Symphony Orchestra on a highly successful Russian Tour, performing to full houses in Saint Petersburg (White Hall), Moscow (The Great Hall of the Moscow “Tchaikovsky” State Conservatory), Veliky Novgorod and Yaroslavl, and received stunning reviews.                 

In addition to these activities he has held the position of Artistic Adviser of the Tulare County Symphony Orchestra in California, and served as Music Director of the Nassau Symphony Orchestra in New York; the Cambiata Soloists, a contemporary music ensemble in Houston; the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra at Rice University; and the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles.

He has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Itzhak Perlman, André Watts, Peter Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Idil Biret, Peter Frankl, János Starker, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Cho-Liang Lin, Sir James Galway, David Shifrin, Evelyn Glennie, and Barry Tuckwell.  In the Pops field he has performed with Doc Severinsen, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Marvin Hamlisch.

Maestro Shimada holds a teaching position at Yale University, as Associate Professor of Conducting with Yale School of Music and Department of Music.  He has a strong commitment to music education, and has been a faculty member of Rice University, Houston, Texas; the University of Southern Maine; and served as Artist Faculty at the Houston Institute of Aesthetic Study.  He is a favorite guest conductor with the orchestras of Ithaca College, Purchase College, and the University of Connecticut. He has conducted All State Honor and Regional Honor Orchestras for Connecticut, California, New York, Maine and Massachusetts. He was one of the distinguish speakers at the Chopin Symposium 2010, at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. He has been teaching at the New York Conducting Workshop, guiding talented young conductors with his wide experience. He is also a Board Member of the Conductors Guild. 

 

Candace Channing

Candace Channing is an internationally acclaimed flutist and master flute instructor. She is a graduate with distinction from the Eastman School of Music and has studied with such renowned flutists as Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway, and Marcel Moyse…

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Candace Channing is an internationally acclaimed flutist and master flute instructor. She is a graduate with distinction from the Eastman School of Music and has studied with such renowned flutists as Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway, and Marcel Moyse. Ms. Channing has performed with the Norwalk Symphony, the New Haven Symphony, the New York Flute Club, the Colorado Philharmonic, and the Ives Stereopticon to name a few. She has been part of the music faculty at multiple universities and, most recently, performed a world premier of Eric Ewazen’s On Wings of Song. She continues to be active in the flute world, giving masterclasses, performing, and teaching.

In addition, Ms. Channing has been a college consultant for over 30 years. She is the founder of Channing College Consulting, a “group” (made up solely of herself and now also her two daughters) born out of her desire to help her flute students leverage their passion for music (regardless of skill level) and individual dynamics as a means of differentiating themselves in the highly competitive college process. This “out-of-the-box” approach yielded great success – her students applied, were accepted, and attended schools that complemented their personal needs and desires. Today, Ms. Channing’s college consulting embraces that same core concept – empowering all students, musicians and non-musicians, to both develop insightful college applications based on their unique interests, passions, experiences, talents, and dreams, and to make smart individualized college choices.

2019 Competition