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Symphony Concerto Competition Finalists Announced Public Invited to Competition Finals on Saturday, October 14

Mattie Kelly Arts Center

10/10/06 - The Northwest Florida Orchestra of Okaloosa-Walton College and the Northwest Florida Symphony Guild announce the finalists in the orchestra's annual Concerto Competition for young musicians.

The public is invited to attend the final round of competition, on Saturday, October 14 at from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Tyler Recital Hall in The Arts Center music wing on the OWC Niceville campus. At 10:00 a.m. finals for middle school and high school competitors will be held. Finalists in the Concerto Competition's collegiate category will compete at 1:00 p.m. Admission is free of charge. Students compete for prize money and the opportunity to play with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.

The NFSO Concerto Competition provides a venue for middle-school age through college-age performers of orchestral instruments, keyboard, or voice to showcase their skills. The competition has been hosted annually by the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra for nearly 20 years. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges independent of the college and are normally invited to perform with the NFSO at the symphony's annual concerts in February for all fifth-grade students in Okaloosa and Walton County. Winners may also perform with the symphony at the NFSO's evening performance for the public on February 23, 2007.

The Concerto Competition finalists are:

Middle school division:

Alex Lin, piano, of Ft. Walton Beach and a 7th grade student at Meigs Middle School; Olivia Strom, piano, of Ft. Walton Beach and a 7th grade student at Liza Jackson Preparatory School; Joseph Sung, piano, of Niceville and an 8th grade student at Rocky Bayou Christian School.

High school division:

Stephanie Bova, piano, of Gulf Breeze, and an 11th grade student at Gulf Breeze High School; S. Asher Kelly, oboe, of Pensacola, and a 12th grade home school student who is dual-enrolled at Pensacola Junior College; Patrick Melvin, tuba, of Niceville, and an 11th grade student at Niceville High School; Chad Robin, piano, of Gulf Breeze, and an 11th grade student at Gulf Breeze High School; Daniel Walley, tuba, of Niceville, and a 12th grade student at Niceville High School

Collegiate division:

Matthew Cataldi, piano, an FSU student; Randy Gruby, piano, a Univ. of Florida student; Laura Hernandez, voice, of Niceville, a Florida International Univ. student; Joanna Kim, piano, a Univ. of Florida student; Samuel Park, violin, of Pensacola, a UWF student; and Alexandros Tsilogiannis, voice, a Jacksonville University student.

Winners also receive a monetary award made possible the NFSO Guild. The competition makes awards in the amounts of $500 for Junior Division (through 8th grade), $1,000 for Senior Division (grades 9-12), and $1,500 for College Division (college undergraduates only who are 23 years or younger at performance).

For information about the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, its performance schedule and various educational programs, see or contact Lois Van Dam, conductor and music director, at 729-6023.