MC Orchestra to present annual Showcase of Area Artists

February 17, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

Conductor Bill Robinson will lead the Orchestra at Maryville College and six talented area soloists in a performance of concerto works for piano, violin and bassoon on Mon., March 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center for the Arts.

The annual Showcase of Area Artists provides a performance opportunity for talented area musicians and features a wide variety of musical styles and instruments. Artists are selected by a panel of judges during auditions held each December.

A college and community ensemble, the Orchestra at Maryville College brings live symphonic performances to the public stage four times per season.

“The Showcase Concert is the high water mark of what the College Orchestra is all about,” Robinson said. “We give young, extremely talented students the rare opportunity to perform as soloists with full symphonic accompaniment. It is the perfect blend of our educational mission, as well as our role of bringing live classical music to our community.”

Inna Karsheva will perform Concerto No. 4 in D minor, op. 31 by Henri Vieuxtemps. She is pursuing a bachelor of music at the University of Tennessee, where she studies violin under Dr. Miroslav Hristov. She previously studied under Elisaveta Kazakova, Kostadin Mitrev and Blagorodna Taneva. She began her musical studies at age 6 in the town of Pleven, Bulgaria. At age 14, she moved to continue her studies at the National High School of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has performed as an orchestral leader in the Central European Initiative Youth Orchestra in Italy and as principal second violinist in the Bulgarian Youth Orchestra. During her first semester in Knoxville, she was assistant concertmaster of the UT Symphony Orchestra. She is the daughter of Atanas Karshev and Galia Karsheva.

Thomas Lovett, a violinist in Knoxville, will play Tzigane by Maurice Ravel. Lovett, who plays a modern violin by Jon Van Kauenhoven, is pursuing a master of music degree from UT, where he studies under Dr. Miroslav Hristov. He received his bachelor’s from the University of Oklahoma, where he won the school’s Concerto Competition. He has held numerous orchestral positions, including one with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and substitute positions with Hartford Symphony while serving as concertmaster of the Hartford Opera Theatre, and more recently with the Knoxville Symphony. He recently held a guest artist faculty position at NYU’s Collaborative Piano Festival.

Jordan Potter will perform the Concerto in A Minor for Bassoon by Antonio Vivaldi. A junior at Tennessee Technological University and a resident of Mountain City, Tenn., Potter has been playing bassoon for six years. A student of James Lotz, Potter performs with the TTU Symphony Band, Concert Band, Chorale and the Bryan Symphony Orchestra. He is the son of Jeff and Lisa Potter.

Maria Thompson, a fourth grade home school student in Knoxville, will play the Miniature Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Alec Rowley. At the age of 5, she began studying piano with Fay Adams, associate professor of music at UT. Her awards include the Tennessee Music Teachers Association 2010 Second Grade Piano Solo winner, TMTA 2011 Third Grade Piano Solo winner and TMTA 2011 Fifth Grade and Under Piano Concerto winner. She is the daughter of Vance and Emily Thompson.

Albert Xue, an eighth-grade student at West Valley Middle School in Knox County, will play Piano Concerto No. 3, op. 50 by Dmitri Kabalevsky. A student of Fay Adams, Xue has been playing the piano for eight years. He has won many awards, including Fourth Grade TMTA Piano Solo honorable mention, Sixth Grade TMTA Piano Concerto runner-up and Seventh Grade TMTA Piano Solo honorable mention. He was also the winner of the keyboard prize in the Knoxville Choral Society’s Young Classical Musicians Competition. He is the son of Ziling Xue and Yihui Yang.

Yusuke Yamanaka, a senior at Maryville High School, will perform Piano Concerto No. 1 in Db Major, op. 10 by Sergei Prokofiev. He was selected to attend the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts in 2010 and has received many awards, including first place in the 2010 and 2011 Blount County Keyboard Teachers’ Association competition, first place in the 2011 Sonata Festival, second place in the 2011 TMTA competition and third place in the 2011 Music Teachers National Association competition. A former student of Krystyna Koneczy of Maryville, Yamanaka takes lessons from Dr. David Northington at UT. He plans to continue his musical endeavors in the form of a minor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Members of the Maryville College Concert Choir Lassies will serve as escorts to the guest soloists during the performance.

Tickets are available at the Clayton Center Box Office and are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (age 60 and older) and $5 for non-MC students. Tickets are free to MC faculty, staff and students with ID (although a printed ticket is required for admission).

Immediately following the concert, attendees are invited to join the Orchestra for a reception in the William Baxter Lee III Grand Foyer, sponsored by Aramark Dining Services.

For more information, please contact the Division of Fine Arts at 865.981.8150.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.