Concert features concerto winners

Concert features concerto winners
May 2012 SEMYO Concerto Competition winners, from left, are Joel Denney, Kathryn Anderson and Nicholas Scheel.

Three of the area's most accomplished young musicians will perform Sunday as part of

the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras spring concert featuring the organization's concerto winners.

Nicholas Scheel, 12, of Rochester, was selected as the Philharmonic Concerto Competition winner.

Joel Denney, 17, of Byron, and Kathryn Anderson, 17, of Rochester, are the Concert Orchestra Concerto Competition winners for winds and strings respectively.

Scheel was only 6 years old when he was fitted with a child-size cello under the encouragement of his parents. He's played cello ever since and won the competition by playing Allegro Appassionto by Camille Saint Saëns.


"He is so passionate and advanced for his age," said Judy Hickey, a member of the SEMYO board. "It's fun to see him play and progress."

Scheel, a homeschool student, joined SEMYO four years ago. He also takes weekly lessons with Anna Clift, a St. Olaf professor in Northfield. Among his accomplishments was being one of 10 cellists that performed at the national convention of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Considering what he enjoys most about performing, Scheel said, "Listening to the music I'm making and the joy of completing a piece and having it sound nice."

As a junior at Byron High School, Denney, who started playing clarinet as a fifth-grader, plays in the school bands, including pep band and marching bands and pit orchestra. He joined SEMYO five years ago and was recently selected for his second consecutive year on Minnesota Music Teachers Associations All State Orchestra, a high achievement, especially for a clarinet player.

There are only four clarinets in the group, compared to 40 violins, he said.

Denney will play the Clarinet Concerto No. 7 in E-flat (Darmstadter Konzert), Rondo by Carl Stamitz.

As for why more young people should play an instrument, Denney said, "It's a lot of fun. If they think they don't like classical, it's because they haven't listened to really good music."

Anderson, a homeschool student who comes from a musical family, started playing violin when she was 4 years old.


Anderson joined SEMYO eight years ago. She also plays with the Mayo Clinic Chamber Symphony, where she's been assistant concert master for two years, and the Omnia Music String Quartet with three other SEMYO members. Anderson also sings in the Arioso high school homeschool choir and plays piano.

She will play the Violin Concerto No. 3 in b minor, III. Molto moderato e maestoso by Camille Saint Saëns.

Also performing at the concert will be the Concert Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Strings, Symphonic Winds, brass ensemble and a percussion ensemble.

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