As a reward for winning the Dana Young Artist Competition, aspiring Youngstown State University musicians Phil Monrean, Lauren Eisenreich and Victor Cardamone will perform musical repertoires with either the Dana Chamber Orchestra or the Dana Symphony Orchestra this spring semester.
Eisenreich, who played the Lars-Erik Larsson Trombone Concertino during her performance, said she was ecstatic to be chosen as a winner and appreciates the rare opportunity.
“After working so hard for so long on preparing the piece, it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I was one of the winners. I don’t think it will fully sink in until I’m in front of the orchestra performing. It’s one of those once in a lifetime experiences and I’m grateful,” she said.
Cardamone, the first vocalist to place in the competition since 2008, sang a concert recitative for tenor composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart entitled “Misero! O Sogno, O Son Desto?” He too expressed excitement to perform with the orchestra.
“I am thankful to have this magnificent opportunity to sing with the Dana Symphony Orchestra. Performing for and alongside my peers, who are some of the greatest musicians I know and friends that I have, was such a joy,” he said.
During the competition, participants were required to play an instrument or sing a song in front of a panel of judges at the Butler North Church in Youngstown.
John Wilcox, professor of violin in the Dana School of Music and conductor of both the chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra, said that all of the competitors’ considerable skill made choosing a short list of winners a challenge.
“It was difficult for the judges to choose and the students are all very competitive. As a music director, I would have been fine with all of them winning,” Wilcox said
Monrean, who played the guitar, chose the song “Fantasía para un Gentilhombre” by the composer Joaquín Rodrigo.
“It was an incredible experience, and I had a lot of fun. The level of playing at the Dana School of Music is phenomenal, and it pushed me to be a better performer on stage. I’m so grateful for the experience and that the professors chose me,” he said.
Eisenreich, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in music and a career as a college professor, also said the entire experience has improved upon her skillset.
“Competing made me grow immensely as a musician. I discovered so much about myself, and I was able to rectify many problems that I’ve had for years. I can’t wait to perform my piece with the orchestra in the spring semester,” Eisenreich said.