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Concerto winners worked hard for solo gig
Monday, November 27, 2006

By Colin Herzog, '07

Phil Servati

Sipkje Pesnichak

Scott Horsington

Three students have stood out among the 16 finalists that performed at the School of Music concerto competition held in September.

Sipkje Pesnichak, a junior, and seniors Phil Servati and Scott Horsington were judged by a panel of faculty to be the concerto winners. An oboist, a pianist, and a clarinetist, respectively, the three instrumentalists will be featured soloists during three concerts in the spring semester.

“Ever since I heard a live orchestra I was amazed,” said Mr. Servati, a music composition major who also studies piano as an applied piano major under Professor Nathan Hess. A native of Rochester and the technical manager for Ethos New Music Society, he said, “I have always wanted to be featured as a soloist.”

And the path to being featured soloists with the College Symphony was not easy.

On top of the juries that all music majors are required to go through just to continue on in their major, these three and dozens of others had to grit their teeth and work their appeal on an additional series of juries during preceding semesters in order to compete for the concerto. Once there, they had to outshine the other musicians who had strived for the same goal in front of a panel consisting of their professors.

Judging by their excitement today, the long hours of practice in Mason Hall were all worth it.

“It’s kind of been my goal since I’ve been here,” said Mr. Horsington, a music education and performance dual major who hails from Rochester. A member of the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha, and clarinet student of Professor James East, he admitted that he avoided looking at the results of the competition when they were first posted due to nerves.

“It’s a great experience to be able to perform,” said Ms. Pesnichak, a music education major who came to Fredonia from Cincinnati, Oh., to study oboe under Professor Sarah Hamilton. An active member of MENC music educator’s club, she said, “Most people don’t get the chance to play with an orchestra until later in life.”

Unlike most people, these three will be the featured soloists this coming spring.

Ms. Pesnichak will perform with the College Symphony on April 25, Mr. Servati with the College Symphony on March 3, and Mr. Horsington with the Chamber Orchestra on April 18.

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