Atlanta, GA – The road to musical excellence is paved with many hurdles that must be overcome. The journey is filled with years of relentless study and hours of practice, practice, practice. On Sunday, March 10th, at 3:00pm in Peachtree Presbyterian Church’s Kellett Chapel, the Atlanta Steinway Society will host its 2013 Young Artists Series Spring Concert.
The selected performers are Ashley Catanzarite (Cumming, GA), Alois Cerbu (Athens, GA), Ethan Shen (Atlanta, GA), Sylvia Tang (Johns Creek, GA), Kelsey Yao (Atlanta, GA) and Julie Xiang (Atlanta, GA). The hosting organization will award each participant an honorarium which they hope to use to further their musical studies and realize their individual ambitions.
Ashley Catanzarite started piano at 8 years old and has studied with Dr. Nancy Elton since 2011. She’s participated in various competitions and festivals, earning the highest ratings of Superior Plus and Outstanding Performer. In 2012, Ashley won 2nd Alternate at the Georgia Music Teachers Association’s State Audition and 1st Place Recitalist at the Atlanta Music Teachers Association’s Romantic Competition. Last year, she had the honor of playing in Peachtree Presbyterian Church’s “Benefit Concert for Jamaica.” Ashley especially loves sharing her passion for piano with assisted living center residents in the greater Atlanta area. She is a member of Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. Her love for volunteer work has motivated her to earn the Presidential Service Award the past three years, completing 200+ hours in various areas of community service.
Alois Cerbu is a junior in high school at Athens Academy where he has been a student for five years. Alois began his musical training at the age of four in the piano studio of Peggy Randolph where he remained for several years before continuing his studies with Liana Embovica at the University of Georgia Hugh Hodgson School of Music. He remained her piano student until her untimely death in 2010. Alois has furthered his piano training with Dr. William Ransom, Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory University. Alois has participated in summer music programs at the Brevard Music Center (2010 and 2011) and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (2012). In addition to his piano studies, Alois began playing cello at the age of eleven. Alois has been a member of his school orchestras all these years and is in his fifth year with the Athens Youth Symphony where he currently sits first chair. Alois was first alternate in cello for the Georgia All State Orchestra this year. Alois was the first place winner of the Calhoun Prodigy Scholarship through the Atlanta Steinway Society last year. He also won the Athens Youth Symphony Concerto Competition in 2010 and was the youngest soloist ever to win and perform with the orchestra. Alois was the first prize winner in the Billy Shephard Composition Competition in 2005. He was first place for his age group in the GMTA State Auditions in 2009 and 2011 and performed at their conferences. He has also performed twice in the Emory Chamber Series at the Carlos Museum.
Ethan Shen started piano lessons at age six. At age eight, he won first place in the IMTA Hoosier Auditions in the early elementary section. He has also competed in the GMTA/MNTA Junior Performance Competition and earned an Honorable Mention in 2011. Through the years, Ethan has made exceptional progress, jumping from a technically easier Mozart sonata one year to a technically challenging Chopin scherzo the next year. His musical interpretation has improved so greatly that he can understand the meaning behind the notes and rhythms. Ethan successfully completed the requirements for Level 10 Piano Practical (Performance) (First class honors) as administered by The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in October 2012.
Sylvia Tang is a 6th grader at River Trail Middle School in Johns Creek. She was born near Rochester, NY and began piano lessons when she was three years old. She won a piano scholarship in 2008 as a student of Stephanie Jacobs at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. With her parents and brother, she moved to Georgia in 2009 and started lessons with Shirley Irek. She has been awarded a Superior rating in piano solo and concerto in the NFMC festival every year for the past three years. In addition to playing the piano, Sylvia studies violin with Ronda Respess and plays in her school orchestra. She was awarded an Award of Excellence at the GMTA audition in 2011. Sylvia also enjoys her classes at the Atlanta Ballet, and is a very good swimmer. Finally and importantly, Sylvia is among the top ranked students in her school. She has been in the Talented and Gifted Program since elementary school, is a member of the school's National Junior Beta Club, and is a member of the Academic Bowl Team and the Mathcounts Club.
Kelsey Yao started studying piano when she was 5 years old, under the guidance of Vera Soukhojak. She has been active in local and state piano competitions and auditions since 2007, after winning first place at the NDMTA Bach competition. Her recent achievements include receiving first place in the 2011 NDMTA sonata competition, outstanding performance in the 2012 state auditions, and second place in the 2012 Atlanta Romantic Festival competition. Kelsey enjoys music selections varying from Baroque and Romantic periods to Contemporary and Jazz, working with her teacher to bring out the best artistic essence of each performance piece. She is a student at Chamblee Middle School and plays flute in the school band.
Julie Xiang started playing piano when she was about 4 or 5 years old. Piano has been her hobby since then. She won her first competition in 2007 at the Bach competition, and has also earned the ranking of Conference Recitalist at GMTA for 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. In the upcoming months of March and April, she will be competing in the annual GMTA competition once more. She has also been a Masterclass player in 7th grade at the GMEA competition. Music has filled her life full of joy and happiness. It's something that she enjoys doing and she can motivate herself to reach her goals. Piano, brings her the most wonderful and thrilling adventures.
The recital is free of charge. After the concert, there will be a reception with refreshments.
The Atlanta Steinway Society was established as a non-profit organization in 1980 by a group of individuals united in their devotion to fine music and its performance. The purpose of the Society is to afford young pianists the opportunity to further their musical education by awarding scholarships and to offer music advocates special musical events throughout the year. For more information about the recital and the presenting organization, please visit their website at: www.atlantasteinwaysociety.com.
Peachtree Presbyterian Church is located at 3434 Roswell Road NW in Atlanta’s Buckhead area. For information concerning Sunday morning service times and locations, sermon schedule, directions to the church, musical recital and concert dates & times and other points of interest, please visit www.peachtreepres.org or call us at 404-842-5800.