York Music Boosters congratulates the 2014-2015 York Symphony Orchestra Concerto/Aria competition winners! Each musician will perform with the York Symphony Orchestra at one of the three Symphony Orchestra concerts during the school year. Read on to learn more about these wonderful musicians and amazing young people:
Julia Dierksheide, harp: Julia is a junior and a member of the York Symphony Orchestra. She is excited to bring Carlos Salzedo’s Chanson dans la Nuit to life on the York stage. Julia began playing the harp in 3rd grade and currently studies with Ms. Lillian Lau, an accomplished teacher and performer. She has attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and participated in ILMEA at both the District and State levels. Julia is an award-winning member of the Greater Chicago Chapter of the American Harp Society. This summer, she will be a featured student soloist in the Lyon & Healy Summer Concert Series. Julia hopes to continue to play harp at the collegiate level while studying biology and microbiology, pursuing a career in scientific or medical research.
Lauren Gaynor, flute: Lauren is a senior at York and will be playing Otar Gordeli’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra. Lauren studies flute with Dr. Jen Brown. She is grateful for her meaningful musical experiences in the York Symphonic Band, York Symphony Orchestra, her small woodwind ensemble and the York Marching Band, where she served as drum major this year. Lauren has been selected for ILMEA six times, attending the State Conference last year. Lauren is very grateful to Dr. Brown for being a wonderful and impactful influence on her flute career as well as her overall high school experience. Lauren hopes to continue playing flute in college where she plans to study psychology.
Ella Lee, violin: Ella is a sophomore and plays violin with the York Symphony Orchestra. Ella is grateful for the opportunity to play Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor with the York Symphony Strings. Her valued mentor Paul Zafer and current teacher Ann Palen have helped her prepare this piece. Ella credits her desire to perform to her parents, who are both professional trumpet players. Ella is also inspired by violinist Hilary Hahn and Bruch’s and Sibelius’s violin concertos. Looking forward, Ella aspires to become a professional writer or violinist.
Becky Swanson, saxophone: Becky is a senior and plays alto and tenor saxophone with many York performing arts groups, including the York Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Marching Band. She will be performing Fantasia Movement 1 Anime by H. Villa-Lobos. Becky’s private teacher is Robert Birkeland from Elmhurst College. Becky also plays saxophone with the Youth Jazz Ensemble of DuPage (YJED) under the direction of George Andrikokus. She has been selected to perform with the ILMEA District Jazz band for the second year in a row. She is a member of the Bethel handbell choir and plays organ and piano, as a substitute/assistant, at 1st Congregational United Church of Christ. Becky plans to pursue a degree in Music Education, and hopes to become a high school band director.
Hannah Widmaier, piano: Hannah, a senior, has studied piano for twelve years with Uli Widmaier, her father, and will be playing Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, Mvt. 1—Allegro affettuo. As a sophomore, Hannah performed the first movement of J.S. Bach's Piano Concerto in D minor with the York Symphony Orchestra. She has played piano at York for several Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra performances. For the past two summers, Hannah has attended the Interlochen Fine Arts Camp in Michigan, receiving the Fine Arts Award both years. She started the Schumann concerto during her junior year, worked on it at Interlochen with Dr. Kate Boyd, and performed it with an accompanist at the end of the session. Hannah has two private piano students. She also sings in the York Concert and Madrigal Choirs. Hannah is grateful to Uli Widmaier, Dr. Boyd, her family, and the performing arts communities at York and Interlochen for their help and inspiration. Hannah plans to major in religious studies and hopes to become a rabbi.