By Phoebe Gurdon
For The Diamondback
Twenty-one of the University of Maryland’s orchestral musicians showcased their talents Sunday, vying for an opportunity to become the next featured soloist for the university’s symphony orchestra.
Hopeful soloists performed a variety of concerto pieces for a jury of judges at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Seven to 10 will move onto the final round of the Orchestra Concerto Competition, according to Mark Wakefield, who manages instrumental ensembles at the university’s music school.
“We’d love for there to be up to 10 because it’s more experience for the students, another chance to perform,” Wakefield said about the next stage of the competition. “But if there’s a clear line that [the panel] needs to cut off, then it can be seven, it could be eight, or nine.”
The concerto competition is open to any registered undergraduate or graduate music school student at this university, Wakefield said. There are divisions for piano, strings, wind brass percussion and voice opera, he added.
Some divisions have a preliminary competition to decide who will move into the competition, while soloist competitors in other divisions are nominated by professors, Wakefield said.
Simone Pierpaoli, a senior physics and cello performance major and one of two cellists competing for the featured soloist spot, said he connected to the piece he performed for the jury.
“I’m feeling more nervous than I think I ought to be. This is a pretty familiar space in front of people that I’ve played for before,” Pierpaoli said before his performance. “I think I really cared to bring this one, my best playing, something that’ll move someone.”
After the competition, audience member Trebor Fenstermaker said the performances were well-executed and that he plans on returning for the final round on Nov. 20.
“It was really interesting. We didn’t know what to expect so it was kind of surprising,” Fenstermaker said. “Everybody was really good.”