The Madison Symphony Orchestra‘s holiday concerts are always its most popular events of the year. For the first time. Wisconsin Public Television brings this festive celebration into homes across the state, filmed live at Madison’s Overture Hall.
“Our annual Christmas concert has become a very meaningful experience for everyone involved,” says Music Director John DeMain. “One cannot help but leave the Hall with a feeling that the holiday season has begun. And hopefully, you will have a big glow in your heart.”
Read on for our exclusive Q&A with Maestro DeMain to learn about how this inaugural broadcast came together.
This year, The Final Fortefeaturesviolinist Julian Rhee of Brookfield, harpist Naomi Sutherland of Viroqua, pianist Michael Wu of Sun Prairie and violinist Yaoyao Chen of Menasha, who will vie for top honors in the 2017 competition. WPR’s Lori Skelton and Jim Fleming will co-host the event.
It’s competitions like these that always make me feel a little sad inside. I mean not really, but I do wish I would have learned to play an instrument when I was growing up. Sure I could play a few simple nursery rhymes on the piano, but the music bug never really latched on. I think my sister stole all of the musical talent in the family, so instead I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy other people’s musical skills.
Year after year I am amazed by these kids. The time and dedication they have to put into their respective instruments to perform at this level at such a young age is simply astounding. Kind of makes you wonder though – is it that doing something consistently starting at a young age makes you great at it? Or are some people just lucky enough to find their special niche and a very young age?
Written by Shannon Lobdell, WPT Project Coordinator – Young Performers Initiative. State Honors Concerts airs 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25 on Wisconsin Public Television.
The State Honors Concerts bring together Wisconsin’s top high school musicians, and let
me tell you — they sound great!
After surviving a successful audition in the winter, a three-day camp in the summer, and hours of intense rehearsals in the fall, more than 400 students join forces in Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts to participate in a concert they will never forget.
These talented young musicians hail from nearly every county in the state, bringing with them stories of dedicated teachers, supportive communities and, of course, hours and hours of practice. When it all comes together, the concerts provide an inspiring look into the strength of music education here in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Public Television recorded Wisconsin School Music Association’s 2012 State Honors Concerts as part of the Young Performers Initiative to celebrate our state’s young performers and those who inspire them. This broadcast is the first of many upcoming programs that shine a spotlight on Wisconsin’s talented youth, including:
Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte – 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14 Live at Overture: The Naughtons – 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 UW Varsity Band Spring Concert 2013 – 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4 Spirited Songs: A Celebration of Choral Music – Coming in June
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, four talented young musicians from across Wisconsin will perform with the Madison Symphony Orchestra at Overture Hall in Madison during The Final Forte: Wisconsin Young Artists Compete. You can be there by reserving your free tickets now at this link, or tune in to the live high-definition broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television or listen in on Wisconsin Public Radio.
These four musicians represent the finalists in the statewide Bolz Young Artists competition. After a series of qualifying rounds, they will compete for scholarship money on the state’s largest broadcast stage.
Meet the four contestants in the videos below and see just a little bit of the amazing amount of work that they and their families put into fostering their immense talent. Then, tune in March 21 to watch them perform!
Every year I am amazed with what these kids can do. Part of it may come from my lack of ability to play an instrument, but each of these young artists is truly great at what they do. If you’d like to see just what I’m talking about, you can see each artist in action by watching their profiles courtesy of In Wisconsin by using the links above.
The competition is quite an opportunity, but only one artist can receive top honors. Make sure you tune in Monday to watch their full performance with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and find out who won.