10 Extremely Talented Finalists to Compete for Scholarships Awards on May 27
The Loudoun Symphony Orchestra will hold the Loudoun’s Got Talent! Finalist Competition Concert at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 27 at Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville, Virginia. Loudoun’s Got Talent! gives Loudoun County high school-aged student musicians, both vocal and instrumental, the chance to compete for $1,750 in scholarship awards. In the initial round of auditions held on May 5, 2012, a panel of judges selected ten finalists to compete in a Finalist Showcase concert from the 35 entrants.
The Loudoun’s Got Talent! 2012 Finalists are: Nicholas Brown, Annie Franks, Jacob Kelsey, ‘Dominic Mann, Luke Ratcliffe, Matthew Scultheis, Lydia Sohn, Andrew Tufano, Jennifer Turner and Benjamin Yehle.
The Finalists will compete for the following awards: A scholarship of $1000 and a live performance in a Loudoun Symphony concert for the first place winner and Scholarships of $500 and $250 for the second and third place winners. Tickets are $22/Adults, $18/Seniors, $10/Students, and Under 12—Free. Reserve your tickets by calling 540-338-7973 or you can purchase at the box office on the day of the event.
About the finalists (8 of the 10 finalists contributed bios):
I love playing guitar, piano, saxophone, accordion, or whatever I can get my hands on. Performing is one of my favorite parts of music and I gig as much as possible. I also enjoy playing ice hockey and ultimate Frisbee. My dream school is Berklee School of Music. I have a 4-song EP called Right Where We Should Be that should be available on iTunes in approximately 2 weeks (hopefully by May 27th).
I am currently a senior at Stone Bridge High School and next year, I will be attending James Madison University for performance on the horn. I am the principle horn for the Stone Bridge High School Wind Symphony as well as the Loudoun Symphony Youth Orchestra. I have played in the Reston Community Orchestra, McLean Symphony, International Youth Orchestra and the Virginia District Band (principle 2012), Regional Orchestra and All State Band. I am also an Eagle Scout in Troop 1154. When I am not practicing horn, I play Frisbee and soccer, fish, hike, play Super Smash Brothers Melee or scooter with my friends.
Luke Ratcliffe is a 15 year old home-schooled student who lives in Sterling with his parents and two younger brothers. He’s been playing the piano since he was 8 years old, and currently studies with Lisa Emenheiser Sarratt. Luke performs and competes around the DC metro area as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral pianist, including performances on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and at Strathmore Hall for the Performing Arts. This summer Luke will be attending the Southeastern Piano Festival in South Carolina, and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute. He is passionate about music and loves to study the history of the composers and works they created. His favorite composer is Liszt, and Chopin, and Bach, and Beethoven, and Mozart, and Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin, and Prokofiev, and well, you get the picture. When he’s not practicing the piano or listening to music, Luke enjoys spending time with friends and family, participating in his church youth group, reading about world history, and mowing lawns to make money to support his iTunes habit.
Nicholas Brown is a homeschooled fifteen year old who made his solo orchestral debut at the age of nine and was featured on Fox News at that time. He has won many competitions in the past two years and has had many performances this year, including performances in New York City, on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, at the Strathmore Music Center, and at the Bulgarian Embassy. Nicholas enjoys playing solo, as well as performing chamber music and playing in the McLean Bible Church Orchestra. In addition to his love of the violin, Nicholas loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and outdoor survival. He is also an avid photographer who especially loves capturing the many facets of nature. He plans to attend a Music Conservatory when he is older, and he hopes to become a professional violinist one day.
Matthew, 14, is a very passionate and enthusiastic musician. He currently studies piano with Lisa Emenheiser Sarratt and has recently received awards in various Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association and Washington Music Teachers Association competitions. Matthew enjoys a variety of music and his favorite composers include Beethoven, Chopin, John Cage, and George Crumb. In addition to piano Matthew is a talented and creative composer. He currently studies composition with Dr. Frances McKay at the Levine School of Music, and recently completed and performed his first work for solo piano. While piano is Matthew’s primary instrument, he also enjoys playing guitar, bass, and trombone. He performs in his school’s Symphonic Band and is also very active in his church where he accompanies the children’s choir, plays drums during services, and frequently plays piano. Playing music and studying music in all its forms are Matthew’s consuming passions but he also enjoys participating in Boy Scouts, Latin, reading, and spending time with his family and friends.
Jennifer Turner is an 18-year-old senior, a Virginia resident for almost her entire life. She intends to attend Liberty University in the fall, studying piano performance. She has enjoyed music from a very early age, having participated in choirs and drama programs since elementary school and having played the piano for eight years. In addition to her musical pursuits, Jennifer loves reading just about anything, goofing off with her 10 siblings, and organizing anything within reach.
Jake Kelsey is a senior at Loudoun County High School and is in the advanced guitar program at LCHS under the direction of Jon Signorelli. He also studies privately with William Hart Wells. Jake is a member of the LCHS Guitar Quartet, as well as the Loudoun County Youth Guitar Orchestra under the direction of Miroslav Loncar. Jake has been playing guitar for 8 years and has been studying classical guitar for 3 years. Following high school Jake is continuing to study music at Cleveland Institute of Music under the direction of Jason Vieaux.
‘Dominic Mann is a home-schooled High School student in eleventh grade. He has been studying piano for 13 years and is a returning finalist from Loudoun’s Got Talent, 2010. Dominic is a music teacher with two young students and enjoys teaching piano as much as he enjoys playing it. His favorite music to listen to is music from the Romantic period (especially Rachmaninoff!), and movie soundtracks. When not at school or work, Dominic enjoys: football, artistic photography, hanging-out with his friends and family –and good food! Dominic is considering a career in film directing. He dedicates his performance to all his loving supporters, but four people in particular: his amazing parents, John and Gina; his wonderful music teacher, Lisa Emenhieser Sarratt; and, his good friend, Rachmaninoff.’