WT Symphony Orchestra to Spotlight Area’s Young Musicians at Next Concert; Jazz Concert Also on Tap 

Chip Chandler

Photo provided by WTAMU Communication and Marketing

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]  


CANYON, Texas — A 14-year-old middle school student will be the featured violin soloist at the next West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra concert. 

Plus, the University’s jazz ensembles will give their fall concert Nov. 11 with an internationally touring saxophonist as a guest performer. 

Up first is the symphony orchestra’s “Celebrate Youth” concert. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall. Admission is free. 

Quan Nguyen, an eighth grader at Crockett Middle School, will perform the finale of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G Minor with the WT orchestra. 

“Quan is a prodigy, and he will blow the audience away,” said Dr. Mark Bartley, director of orchestral activities, the Lilith Brainard Professor of Music and associate director of the School of Music. “For a violinist his age to perform a concerto with such technical challenges is remarkable, and that he plays it so masterfully is astounding. Quan has cultivated his considerable talent with hours of dedicated practice, taking the instruction of his teachers to heart.” 

The young musician said “words can’t even describe” his excitement in performing with the WT orchestra. 

“When I first found out that I was given the opportunity to perform with the WT Orchestra, I burst out screaming with excitement,” Nguyen said. “This piece, by far, is the most challenging piece I’ve ever tackled so far, but part of why I love playing the violin so much is how demanding and challenging it is. Tackling a challenge you once thought was impossible and conquering it is a feeling that is so rewarding.” 

The concert also will feature a performance by the select chamber group Ensemble Next, a program for high school string students led by Evgeny Zvonnikov, Harrington lecturer in violin. High school students Aaron Arenivas of Ascension Academy; Elaina Procter, who is homeschooled; and Anna Ng of Tascosa High School will be featured. 

Then, the orchestra will team with the Amarillo Youth Symphony Orchestra for Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2 and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” 

“The substantial talent of the Texas Panhandle’s student musicians will be on full display, especially in the evening’s thunderous climax,” Bartley said. 

“I am absolutely thrilled for the young musicians of the ASYO to share the stage with the WT Symphony Orchestra on a very challenging program,” said Guglielmo Manfredi, ASYO conductor and WT professor of French horn. “Our youth orchestra members will learn so much making music alongside the collegiate players. Hopefully they will see a future for themselves performing at WT, or this will be another experience that helps to make them a lifelong lover of music and the arts.” 

After the orchestra concert, WT’s jazz ensembles will perform at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11, also in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall. The concert also will be livestreamed on Facebook. 

The free concert will feature guest artist Jeff Antoniuk, an internationally touring jazz saxophonist who was born in Canada, reared in Africa and studied music at the University of North Texas. With his bands The Jazz Update and The Mars 4-Tet, he has had several albums appear on jazz Top 40 charts, and he is an in-demand performer for an array of highly regarded bands.  

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Jeff to our campus to work and collaborate with our students,” said James Barger, assistant professor of saxophone. “In addition to performing with both jazz bands, Jeff will give private lessons, an improvisation master class, a saxophone master class and a question-and-answer session on music business and entrepreneurship. Our students will benefit immensely from having him here.” 

Jazz Band II, under Barger’s direction, will perform “All the Things You Are,” arranged by Mark Taylor; “Georgia,” arranged by Steve Sample; “Caravan” by Duke Ellington, arranged by Mike Tomaro; “Blues for Hire” by Tomaro; and “The Jazz Police” by Gordon Goodwin. 

Jazz Band I, under the direction of Doug Storey, will perform “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’” by Andy Weiner, arranged by Peter Blair; “Act Your Age” by Goodwin; “The Gatehring Sky” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays, arranged by Bob Curnow; “Flow” by Antoniuk; and “Hit and Run” by Denis DeBlasio.” 

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key tenet of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. 


About West Texas A&M University 

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.


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