We are very pleased to introduce the winners of our annual Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition, which took place on Saturday, September 9, 2017, at a private estate in Kailua-Kona. Young string instrument players from around the Aloha State were eligible to compete this year. During the competition, student musicians from three age categories (12 years and under, 13–15 years, and 16–18 years) performed, by memory, one movement of a piece chosen from standard orchestral repertoire with piano accompaniment.
All ten contestants performed so well it was difficult for judges to select the winners, who are cellist Celina Lim, 11, violinist Alyson Kwong, 14, and cellist Joshua Chang, 18. These three winners will perform their solo works in concert at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, accompanied by the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra, on Sunday, January 28, 2018, as part of the Orchestra’s winter concert Rustic Inspirations. Winning contestants also receive cash rewards.
Celina Lim is a student of Nancy Masaki of Honolulu. She gave a lively performance of Georg Goltermann’s Concerto No. 4 in G major, opus 65, mvt. 3: Allegro molto. Alyson Kwong, a student of Sheryl Sohet of Honolulu, was a standout in the largest group of competitors with her emotional rendition of Eduoard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, opus 21, mvt. 1: Allegro non troppo. Joshua Chang, who is also a student of Nancy Masaki, displayed outstanding technique and a vibrant sound during his performance of Edward Elgar’s Concerto in E minor, opus 85, mvt. 1: Adagio Moderato.
Violinist Maya Chang, 14, a student of Kathy Hafner of Honolulu, was the runner-up in the middle age category, playing Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 in G minor, opus 26, mvt. 1: Prelude Allegro moderato. Cellist Alexander Canicosa-Miles, a previous year’s winner in the youngest age category, received an honorable mention for his performance of Concerto in E flat major, opus 107, mvt. 1: Allegretto by Dmitri Shostakovich.
Founding Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Madeline Schatz-Harris, a longtime teacher, started the concerto competition as a showcase for some of the talent exhibited by local students. New Artistic Director and Conductor Brian Dollinger is also passionate about promoting opportunities for young musicians to learn and display their talents. The Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra is a charitable organization, as described in Section 501(c)(3), and part of its mission statement is furthering the musical knowledge of local young people. The Orchestra is eager to continue its sponsorship of the competition, along with other educational initiatives, as a way of working to accomplish that goal. Next year’s competition will feature brass, woodwinds, and percussion, including piano.
Those who wish to contribute to this endeavor, either financially or in other ways, are encouraged to contact the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra either through the website at kamuelaphil.org or at P.O. Box 2597, Kamuela, HI 96743.