Utah Valley Symphony features young artists

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The soloists featured at the Young Artists Concert. Back row, left to right, Dru Daniels, Ethan Sherman, Adrienne Williams. Front row, left to right, Jasmine Weiss, Faith Nixon, Camille Balleza, Amanda Hofheins. (Photo courtesy of Covey Center for the Arts)
The soloists featured at the Young Artists Concert. Back row, left to right, Dru Daniels, Ethan Sherman, Adrienne Williams. Front row, left to right, Jasmine Weiss, Faith Nixon, Camille Balleza, Amanda Hofheins (Courtesy of Covey Center for the Arts)

Utah Valley Symphony held the final performance of the Young Artists Concert Thursday evening at the Covey Center for the Arts, featuring soloists ranging from junior high students to recent college graduates.

Many of the artists who performed were already accomplished musicians, having won national competitions and scholarships in their respective disciplines. The seven soloists demonstrated their skill with string instruments, piano and vocals. The Utah Valley Symphony accompanied them, conducted by Bryce Rytting.

Dru Daniels, a 23-year-old soprano opera singer, performed a moving rendition of “Je dis, que rien” from Bizet’s “Carmen.”

“I just have a love for music, and I know that it touches other people,” said Daniels, who recently graduated from BYU. “When I get to do what I love and other people get to enjoy that, (it) just makes my heart so happy.”

On average, the artists prepared their individual performance pieces for nearly a year. Jasmine Weiss, a 17-year-old pianist, stressed both the mental and physical preparation that goes into each performance. She closed the concert with the elegant third movement of Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto no. 2 in C Minor.”

“Practice, practice practice,” Weiss said. “(Before performing) I tell myself, ‘This is what you’ve worked hard for; leave it all on the stage.’ Then I just do the best I can.”

Several of the artists are currently part of the BYU music program and mentioned how much they enjoyed immersing their lives in music through their BYU experience.

“(The program is) tons of fun and lots of hard work,” said Ethan Sherman, 17, who plays the viola in the BYU Philharmonic and BYU Chamber orchestras. “It’s really motivational because you get to meet other good players.”

An intense passion for music motivates these young artists to continue studying and performing.

“The viola is my one true love,” said Sherman. “I don’t watch funny YouTube videos; I watch viola performances. That’s what I like doing.”

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