Young Artist Competition winner performs with GYSO
By Jarmea L. Boone
Young Artist Competition winner Bryant Wright, viola
Photo copyright Phoenix String Quartet
“Bryant Wright is a very gifted musician. When he plays viola, he shows us what is possible through passion and a tremendous work ethic,” said Michael Alexander, director of KSU’s orchestra and director of GYSO. The competition is held annually, and the winner is awarded solo performance opportunities.
Through the Young Artist Competition, Wright competed with other students with a variety of musical emphases, including piano, strings, winds, brass, percussion and voice. Winning this competition has given Wright the opportunity to perform in GYSO’s concert as well as with the CSO. The prize also bestowed a $1,000 cash prize.
During the May 4 concert, the GYSO jazz and percussion ensembles and symphony orchestra performed a variety of music. Amongst GYSO’s more than 200 student members and nine ensembles, there are four orchestras and several wind chamber groups that perform under Alexander’s direction. In describing the performance, Alexander stated, “It was a wonderful opportunity to see young musicians perform great repertoire at a very high level. It demonstrates what is possible when young people are excited about the arts.”
Earlier in the evening, the GYSO Sinfonia and Camerata performed with Kenn Wagner, violin soloist from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The GYSO Philharmonia also performed conducted by Jim Palmer.
Alexander has been working with GYSO for two years now. “We wanted to provide an outlet in the region for students who are interested in learning more about music so that they could come to pursue their passion,” Alexander stated. As director of GYSO, Alexander says, “I enjoy watching students discover the joy of making music, especially when we explore the why and what of the music they are performing.”
The Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra is currently the largest youth orchestra in the southeastern United States.