After three exceptional performances by Landon, Paola, and Rachelle, Landon Adams was declared the 2016 Concerto Competition Winner. "The competition was extremely close and all of our contestants played with style and bravura," Maestro Wes Kenney stated. "The judges had a tough time making a decision."
This year's judges were Karen Kinzie, violinist with the Colorado Symphony, John Kinzie, head of percussion for the Colorado Symphony, and Ian Wisekal, oboe faculty at the University of Denver.
Feb. 9, 2016: The annual Concerto Competition is just around the corner, and the Spring 2016 finalists – percussionist Landon Adams, flutist Rachelle Crowell, and violinist Paola Zamario – are working hard to prepare for the Feb. 10 concert. During the concert, each musician will perform a piece of their choosing with the Colorado State University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Wes Kenney.
The Concerto Competition is one of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s premiere events during the school year. Special Assistant Professor Adam A. Torres described the competition in-depth in a recent interview. “The Concerto Competition is open to all members within the woodwind, brass, percussion, keyboard, and string divisions, and consists of a series of rounds,” Adam explained. “In the opening divisional round, each area will hear soloists and select a handful of participants to compete in the semifinals round. From there, the CSU School of Music brings in outside adjudication to determine which three performers will have the opportunity to collaborate with the University Orchestra in the Finals Round of the Concerto Competition.”
The opportunity to perform in the 2016 Concerto Competition means a great deal to the three participants. Each student has expressed genuine excitement about performing with the University Symphony Orchestra, and are humbled to have been selected for the final round, stating that the performance matters far more than the competition itself. For Paola Zamario, being on stage with people she knows in the orchestra enhances the joy of performing. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to perform one of my favorite concertos and share the stage with such an amazing group of talented musicians and close friends,” she said. “My goal is to make music at the highest level, have fun, and simply enjoy the moment!”
Advancement to this stage of the competition is no small feat. Preparation started months ago, and the monumental task of mastering an intrinsically artistic piece took a tremendous amount of dedication. In addition to the hours spent practicing the absolutely essential fundamentals, each student analyzed their piece in different forms to better understand the composer’s intent. For instance, Rachelle Crowell dissected the piece aurally in multiple facets. “When I was away from my flute, I would listen to recordings of the work while also studying the score so that I could better familiarize myself with the ways in which the flute and orchestra parts fit together,” she said. “I also spent time listening to some of Rouse’s other compositions as a means of getting to know his compositional style.”
An incredible amount of thought was put into selecting the pieces, with careful consideration for the magnitude of the event and venue, the amount of time required to master the piece, and the possibility of artistic growth while studying it. For some, the desire to perform their selected concerto has been years in the making, while another pictured who would be in the audience. For Landon Adams, it was the latter. “I chose this piece specifically because of how accessible it is to an audience,” he said. “It is extremely fun and exciting to play and listen to…I picked it in order to play it for my friends and family.”
When it comes to the night of the performance, audience members can expect an exceptionally high caliber performance by some of Colorado State’s premier talent. Each performer has dedicated an incredible amount of time to this competition, and there is no better stage in Northern Colorado than Griffin Concert Hall for them to share their passion. Whether young or old, the final performance of the 2016 Concerto Competition will undoubtedly be a treat for the entire family.
Landon Adams is a Colo. native and has always been involved in music. He started private drum lessons at age six and continued with the same instructor until he joined the CSU percussion studio in 2009. Landon has performed at Carnegie Hall with the Mountain Vista High School Wind Ensemble and in Dublin, Ireland with the CSU Marching Band in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. He received his B.M. at CSU and currently working on his M.M. in Performance.
While studying percussion at CSU with Dr. Eric Hollenbeck, Landon has had many wonderful performance opportunities, including performing at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, as well as countless performances with the CSU Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Marching Band, and Percussion Ensembles. Landon is a fully qualified percussion educator, performer, composer, and arranger. While focusing his sights on the Denver metro area, Landon teaches and performs all over Colo. Landon specializes in a wide array of percussion instruments including marimba, concert snare drum, accessory percussion, hand drums, and marching percussion. After finishing his Master’s at CSU, Landon plans on building his own private studio in the Denver area.
Mexican violinist Paola Zamario Acosta began her studies at the age of seven in her hometown of Jalapa in the state of Veracruz. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music form the Universidad Veracruzana, with additional courses in Philosophy and Communication Sciences rounding out her professional and personal studies. Due to her proficiency as an artist, she has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, both locally and nationally.
Paola has participated in many music festivals around the world including Mexico, Switzerland, Brazil, and France. As a violinist she has frequently been part of chamber music projects in her country including two of Mexico’s most important youth orchestras where she was assistant Concertmaster in the Youth Orchestra of Veracruz State and the Youth Orchestra “Eduardo Mata” put on by the National University Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM). She has often been invited to play in the Philharmonic Orchestra of UNAM, one of the most important Mexican professional orchestras.
Currently, she is a student of Dr. Francois at Colorado State University where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Performance and is in the Graduate String Quartet “Polaris.”
Acclaimed for her glorious sound, demanding stage presence, and captivating performance style, flutist Rachelle Crowell celebrates a zealous career as a distinguished solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. Ms. Crowell has won several prestigious competitions, most recently the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition, the Arapahoe Philharmonic’s T. Gordon Parks Memorial Concerto Competition, and the Colorado Flute Association’s First Annual Collegiate Competition. Additionally, she was selected to perform as one of twelve finalists for the Jefferson Symphony International Young Artist Competition. A prominent young artist, Ms. Crowell also pursues numerous professional engagements including her position as principal flutist of the Colorado State University Symphony Orchestra and instructor of flute at Magnolia Music Studio.
Ms. Crowell is currently pursuing her Master’s of Flute Performance at Colorado State University where she was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship. She recently graduated with highest honors from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned both a Bachelor’s of Flute Performance and a Bachelor’s of Music Education. In addition to her work with flutists Christina Jennings (University of Colorado), Brook Ferguson (Colorado Symphony Orchestra), and Michelle Stanley (Colorado State University), Ms. Crowell has also studied with Carol Wincenc (The Juilliard School), Leone Buyse (Rice University), Marianne Gedigian (The University of Texas at Austin), Amy Porter (University of Michigan), Jim Walker (University of Southern California), Jennifer Keeney (University of Houston), and Joshua Smith (The Cleveland Orchestra).