Portland, April 10th.  A Gala Concert spotlighted the ten winners of the 18th annual Young Artists Debut contest. MetroArts Inc. organized the competition. The 10 soloists were selected from an initial pool of 51 entrants. Winners performed with Neil DePonte and an orchestra drawn from the ranks of the Oregon Symphony and Oregon Ballet Theatre orchestras at the Newmark Theatre. (Photo Credit, John Rudoff, M.D.)

Sherry Liang of Happy Valley, Oregon is a 16 year-old pianist and studies with Barbara Parker. Sherry is a junior at Clackamas High School and will perform the first movement of the Prokofiev Concerto in C Major, No.3.

Sherry Liang of Happy Valley, Oregon is a 16 year-old pianist and studies with Barbara Parker. Sherry is a junior at Clackamas High School and performed the first movement of the Prokofiev Concerto in C Major, No.3.

 
Rachel Graves of Vancouver, Washington is a 14 year-old violinist and studies with Clarisse Atcherson. Rachel is a freshman at Mountain View High School and will perform Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.

Rachel Graves of Vancouver, Washington is a 14 year-old violinist and studies with Clarisse Atcherson. Rachel is a freshman at Mountain View High School and performed Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.

 
Kayla Wilkens of Salem, Oregon is a 21 year-old soprano and studies with Gwen Leonard. Kayla is a senior at Linfield College pursuing a BA in Vocal Performance and is now a two-time winner of the Young Artists Debut! Competition having also performed in the 2008 concert.

Kayla Wilkens of Salem, Oregon is a 21 year-old soprano and studies with Gwen Leonard. Kayla is a senior at Linfield College pursuing a BA in Vocal Performance and is now a two-time winner of the Young Artists Debut! Competition having also performed in the 2008 concert.

 
Niel DePonte, artistic director and conductor of the Young Artists Debut!

Young artists applaud Niel DePonte, the artistic director and conductor.

 
The event was at the Newmark Theater

The event was at the Newmark Theater

 
Nikolaas Top of Salem, Oregon is a 17 year-old pianist and studies with Harold Gray. Nikolas is a junior at the Veritas School and will perform the first movement of Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2.

Nikolaas Top of Salem, Oregon is a 17 year-old pianist and studies with Harold Gray. Nikolas is a junior at the Veritas School and performed the first movement of Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2.

 

The concert was sponsored by Mr. John VanBuren in support of the children of the Portland, Vancouver communities in pursuing their musical goals.

After this year’s competition, Niel DePonte, who is also music director and conductor for Oregon Ballet Theatre and who has been nominated for a Grammy Award as a concerto soloist himself said, “This is an exciting class of young artists and, on average, one of the youngest we’ve ever had. I look forward to working with them for the next few months and having them make appearances in schools and other venues along the way. They are terrific role models for other children, showing what hard work and determination can achieve.”

 About MetroArts Inc.:

MetroArts Inc’s mission is to teach creative and critical thinking processes through innovative arts education programs and curricula.

MetroArts mission consists of three fundamental objectives to support the ideal:

  • To inspire every participant in the programs to contribute to the culture of their times by doing their life’s work in a creative, artistic, joyful and disciplined manner.
  • To educate about the arts of all cultures, provide insight into the process of creative thought and experiences with creativity itself. To promote access to the arts through participation, creation and reflection for all.
  • To create partnerships that enable arts education to thrive in the public schools.
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