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NSO Young Artist Festival: A Day-long Event Open to String Students

Opportunities like this do not exist in Fairfield County but are common throughout the country.

The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra will host its Second Annual Young Artist Festival on Saturday, February 1, 2014 in Norwalk Concert Hall, 125 East Avenue in Norwalk. This day-long festival is open to string students of all levels who have at least two years of study and have not yet graduated high school.

The festival offers four different levels which serve to encourage and recognize the talented young musicians in Fairfield County.

Additionally, the festival will host a Concerto Competition which is open to all instrumentalists through high school. Festival coordinator and Norwalk Symphony Board Member Becki Christopherson observes, "The primary purpose of this festival is to give young musicians the opportunity to perform in the context of the greater Fairfield County musical community.

Opportunities like this do not exist in Fairfield County but are common throughout the country. This year, all levels except the Concerto Competition are open only to string students. The Concerto Competition is open to any instrument. We hope to expand in future years." 

Younger students with at least two years of study are invited to perform for judges and receive constructive feedback and recognition. Older string students with at least four years of study can perform longer pieces and receive adjudicated feedback. These two levels are non-competitive but provide valuable training to prepare students for future competitions. The Junior and Senior Competitions, for more serious students, present those winners with cash prizes of $150 and $300, respectively. 

The Concerto Competition is open to students of all ages who reside in Fairfield County. In order to be eligible to compete in the Concerto Competition, these students must submit a video of their playing. Those passing the preliminary round will be invited to a live audition the day of the festival in the acoustically stunning Norwalk Concert Hall. Norwalk Symphony Music Director Jonathan Yates and other judges will select a winner who will then be invited to perform their concerto with the orchestra at the subscription Family Concert on March 9, 2014. This concert, which will start at 3pm, is especially geared towards the youthful audience and includes Camille Saint-Saens’ children’s classic Carnival of the Animals. Members of the Norwalk Youth Symphony will perform “Side by Side” with the members of the Norwalk Symphony. The Symphony's Executive Director Jane Shelly remarked, " The Norwalk Symphony sponsors this annual Festival because it is a perfect reflection of Maestro Yates’ vision that the NSO be meaningfully integrated into the lives of all the communities we serve." The deadline to apply to participate in this opportunity for young musicians has been extended to December 23 for registration and January 11 for video submissions. A registration brochure containing further details is available on the symphony’s website, www.norwalksymphony.org. For more information, please call the symphony at 203.956.6771.

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