Young Musician Wins Coveted Symphoria Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition

Abigail Feng, a talented student from Jamesville DeWitt High School, recently secured a remarkable victory in the Symphoria Youth Orchestra (SYO) 2023-2024 Concerto Competition. Notably, Feng showcased her exceptional skills not on the piano but rather on the cello, impressing the judges with her extraordinary performance of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85.

At just 14 years old, Feng displayed an impressive musical aptitude and a vast musical background. Her affinity for music began in kindergarten when she witnessed a peer playing the piano and felt an instant desire to do the same. Since then, Feng has immersed herself in piano competitions and has even taken up the cello.

Feng’s passion for music extends beyond the stage, as she credits her musical pursuits with enhancing her overall art of performance. She believes that her experience in music has made school presentations considerably more manageable and enjoyable.

Going head-to-head with a group of immensely talented young musicians, Feng emerged triumphant in the SYO Concerto Competition. Held on January 6th, the competition featured 15 participants from the Symphoria Young Artists Orchestra (SYAO), the most advanced ensemble in the SYO.

The SYO, consisting of three ensembles and over 140 students, serves as a platform that cultivates the skills and dedication of young musicians in Central New York. Feng expressed her elation at being part of such an exceptional group of musicians, highlighting the joy it brings her to perform with the SYO.

Feng selected the first movement of Elgar’s cello concerto for this year’s competition, describing it as a beautiful, emotional, and powerful piece that resonates deeply with her. She expressed her long-standing desire to share the poignant experience of this concerto with others.

The SYO panel, comprised of SYO Music Director Paul McShee, SYO Conductor Jessica Tumajyan, and Director of Orchestral Activities at Syracuse University James Tapia, unanimously praised Abby’s artistry, technique, and captivating performance.

Following her recent win, Feng adds yet another milestone to her already illustrious musical career. She was previously honored as the recipient of the CNYAMT Young Artists Scholarship in 2022 and was named the winner of the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music Youth Competition’s “Best of Syracuse” in 2022 and 2023. Additionally, Feng attended the prestigious Eastman Cello Institute at the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, further enriching her musical abilities.

Elgar’s cello concerto holds significant importance, representing the composer’s response to the post-World War I era with its profound emotional depth and reflective nature. Not only is it a challenging piece for a young cellist to tackle, but it also serves as Elgar’s final notable work before his passing.

As a well-deserved prize for her outstanding performance, Feng will have the opportunity to showcase her winning concerto during the Symphoria Youth Orchestra Spring Concert on Sunday, May 19th, at Henninger High School, attracting eager audience members from near and far.

For those seeking further information about the SYO and its exceptional young musicians, please click here.

FAQ:
1. Who is Abigail Feng?
Abigail Feng is a talented student from Jamesville DeWitt High School who recently won the Symphoria Youth Orchestra (SYO) 2023-2024 Concerto Competition.

2. What instrument did Abigail Feng showcase her skills on?
Abigail Feng showcased her skills on the cello, not the piano.

3. What piece did Abigail Feng perform in the competition?
Abigail Feng performed Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85.

4. How old is Abigail Feng?
Abigail Feng is just 14 years old.

5. What other musical instrument is Abigail Feng proficient in?
Aside from the cello, Abigail Feng is proficient in playing the piano.

6. What role does the SYO play in cultivating young musicians’ skills?
The SYO serves as a platform that cultivates the skills and dedication of young musicians in Central New York.

7. Who were the judges in the SYO Concerto Competition?
The judges in the SYO Concerto Competition were SYO Music Director Paul McShee, SYO Conductor Jessica Tumajyan, and Director of Orchestral Activities at Syracuse University James Tapia.

8. What previous honors has Abigail Feng received?
Abigail Feng was previously honored as the recipient of the CNYAMT Young Artists Scholarship in 2022 and was named the winner of the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music Youth Competition’s “Best of Syracuse” in 2022 and 2023. She also attended the Eastman Cello Institute at the Eastman School of Music.

9. What is the significance of Elgar’s cello concerto?
Elgar’s cello concerto holds significant importance as it represents the composer’s response to the post-World War I era with its profound emotional depth and reflective nature. It is also Elgar’s final notable work before his passing.

Definitions:
1. SYO: Symphoria Youth Orchestra, an orchestra that serves as a platform for young musicians in Central New York.
2. Cello: A musical instrument in the violin family, known for its deep and rich sound.
3. Concerto: A musical composition for a solo instrument accompanied by an orchestra.
4. Op.: Abbreviation for “opus,” used to number and identify musical compositions.

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For further information about the SYO and its exceptional young musicians, please visit their official website: Symphoria.