Stambaugh Auditorium was filled with the music of Youngstown State University’s Dana Symphony Orchestra on Monday night as the 2013 winners of the Dana Young Artist Competition showcased their solo acts.
The concert began with three solo performances by the winners of November’s Dana Young Artist Competition — Victor Cardamone sang, Philip Monrean played classical guitar and Lauren Eisenreich played the trombone — and ended with Gustav Holst’s stellar seven-movement orchestral suite, “The Planets.”
“This is a big event,” John Wilcox, professor for the Dana School of Music, said. “It’s a lot of fun putting this together. A lot of things have to happen correctly: the students have to be very responsible; they have to learn how to play their parts; they have to show the ability to work in an ensemble setting.”
Wilcox, also the director of the Dana Symphony Orchestra, recruited student musicians and chose the musical program for the concert. He compared conducting an orchestra to coaching a sport.
“It’s not unlike a team sport,” he said. “We all have to interact together … to make things go right.”
Cardamone, a music education major who performed Mozart’s “Misero! O sogno,” called the experience “an honor and a privilege.”
“I think it went fantastically,” he said. “I think the orchestra played very well … and I want to thank everybody who was involved in playing my piece. They did a fantastic job. It’s a tribute to their hard work and their excellence.”
Cardamone said he was surprised when judges of the Dana Young Artist Competition chose him as a winner.
“I completely was caught off guard; I didn’t expect that at all when they called my name and placed me as one of the winners,” he said. “It’s such a blessing, and I’m so thankful.”
Eisenreich, a jazz studies major, played “Concertino for Trombone and String Orchestra” by Lars-Erik Larsson. She expressed appreciation for the opportunity to perform a solo at the orchestral concert.
“I am grateful that I had this experience. The whole process has helped me to grow as a musician immensely,” Eisenreich said. “I was happy with how my solo went. No performance is perfect, so I am just glad that was able to walk on stage and enjoy playing.”
The annual competition is held every November and is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students who are enrolled in applied music at Dana. The winners were encouraged to debut their solo acts at Convocation on Dec. 6, 2013.