PHOTOS: FHSU Students perform at Masterworks Concert


Hays Symphony Orchestra director Brian Buckstead opens the Masterworks II concert on Feb. 18 in Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. The program featured the winners of the FHSU Concerto/Aria Competition, previously held in October. The guest soloists included Brandon Smith, piano; Kathryn Walters, mezzo-soprano; Luis Valencia Zamora, tenor; and Ashley Vilaysing, clarinet.
Smith performs “Allegro” from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19 in F Major, K. 459. “The only thing going through my mind was that I wanted to just have fun with the piece and make it enjoyable for everyone,” Smith said. “As soon as it was done, I just remembered how much I love doing what I do, and how grateful I was to be able to play there.”
After her presentation of “Ah! mon fils!” from Le prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer, Walters sings the finale of “Di tanti palpiti” from Tancredi by Gioachino Rossini. In the opera, “Di tanti palpiti” is sung by a male character who has just returned from war. In this moment, he is boasting of his victories while simultaneously trying to regain the affections of his lover. “It was a bizarre sensation, mainly because I had to portray a male warrior— but it was a really good character boost for myself because it got me to feel extremely confident and prideful,” Walters said.
Valencia Zamora performs “Guerrier che d’un acciaro” from Mozart’s Lucio Silla. In the song, his character is repeatedly trying to give advice and is not being listened to. “I am arguing with another character telling him, ‘Hey, you need to look at all the facts before you make this rash decision,’” Valencia Zamora said. “I wanted to do it in a comedic way, because it is kind of comedic when you’re telling somebody what they need to do, and they’re like, ‘Mmmmm no, I’m not going to do that, I’m going to do something else.’ That’s what I’m feeling here.”
Vilaysing plays Concertino for Clarinet in E-flat major, Op. 26 by Carl Maria von Weber. Afterwards, she recalled pieces of valuable performance advice: “Trust yourself, and trust the work that you’ve done,” and “It’s okay to be nervous— just also be excited and have fun.”
The four soloists join each other onstage for their final bow.
The ensemble concludes the program with Symphony in D Major, Op. 11, No. 2 by Joseph Bologne and Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
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