Walker is UNCW’s division winner of the 41st annual Richard R. Deas Student Concerto Competition. The competition was open to students in grades 4-8 (junior division), 9-12 (high school division) and to UNCW students who enrolled as majors or minors in the Department of Music. Audition pieces were required to be performed from memory. The winner of each division becomes a featured performer at a symphony orchestra concert.
“I think every student who intends to perform as a career should have this opportunity. It’s great that the university puts on this kind of competition,” said Walker, a saxophonist. “I’ve had a couple of rehearsals with the symphony, and each time I get more excited about the performance.”
Walker will perform Czech classical composer and conductor Karel Husa’s “Élégie et Rondeau” for alto saxophone and orchestra. High school division winner Camden Stohl, who attends Hoggard High School, will perform Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26. Roland-Grise Middle School violinist Finnian Long, winner of the junior division, will play with the Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra at the Free Family Concert on April 29.
The competition is named in honor of former UNCW Department of Music Chair Richard R. Deas, who helped establish the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra in 1971 and assisted in developing the competition in 1976.
"The symphony has been pleased to feature young talent in the competition since the 1970s," said Steven Errante, UNCW Department of Music professor and Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and and Youth Orchestra conductor. "Many of our winners have gone on to distinguished careers in music. It’s one way the symphony and UNCW can give back to the community and promote its youngest members."
Besides the student performances, the Masterworks Series concert includes Borodin’s “Polovtsian Dances” and “Prince Igor Overture” along with a premiere of “The Dance of the Coin,” a multi-media work for film, dance and music composed by Julia Walker Jewell with choreography by Lesa Rogers Broadhead.
-- Venita Jenkins