In February, the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra held its annual Young Artist Competition, where student musicians perform solos before a panel of judges, receive feedback and are eligible to win cash prizes for further study. The most exceptional musicians are invited to perform a solo with the symphony during one of their concerts.
That concert – Concertos & Cupcakes – will be held Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Midlands Technical College’s Harbison Theatre.
Secaida Howell, a senior at Blythewood High School, won first place in the Young Artist Competition for his alto saxophone performance. In Sunday’s concert, he will perform Milhaud’s “Scaramouche.”
For Howell, playing the saxophone is a family affair. His father, a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Music, and younger brothers also play the saxophone. Howell has been playing saxophone for seven years
“Winning the competition was certainly one of the biggest highlights of my musical career” he said. “This win has sparked my determination to compete in other concerto contests over the next few years.”
Howell plans to study music education at USC beginning in the fall.
Kristen Klein is a junior at Dutch Fork High School and a two-time performer in the Young Artist Competition. This year, she won second place and an invitation to perform with the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra. She will perform “Concertino” by C. Chaminade.
Klein has been playing flute since second grade, and joined a band program in ninth grade. This concert will be her first experience performing a concerto.
“I am excited to play with the LMSO but also a little nervous to be standing up and playing this challenging piece in front of the audience,” she said. “It is an honor to perform with a group of very talented musicians who share a love of music.”
The orchestra will also perform Donna Diana Overture by Reznicek and New World Symphony by Dvorak.
After the concert, the audience is invited to a cupcake reception to meet the musicians.
Concertos & Cupcakes is a free performance, although donations are accepted. Part of the philosophy of the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra is that everyone should be able to experience a live concert, regardless of their ability to pay for a ticket.
Bridget Winston, Special to The State