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Local Youth Musicians Receive State Honors

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Sonora, CA — Tuolumne County performers represented strongly at a Young Musicians Competition with the winners being announced this past Saturday in San Jose.

It was part of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs state convention.

The information below was provided by the local Aronos Research Club:

Camryn Smith from Jamestown won the award for Best Vocalist for Fifth through Eight Grade students for performing “Batti, Batti, o’bel Masetto” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and “Lullaby of Birdland” by George Shearing and George Dave Weiss.

Jasmine Hwang from Sonora won the award for Best Instrumentalist for students in Grades Nine through Twelve by performing Antonin Dvorak’s Sonatina in G Major on violin and the traditional hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” on viola.

Also competing were Kai Haugen of Sonora singing “How Great Thou Art” by Carl Boberg and “Lascia Ch’io Pianga” by George Frederic Handel.  And Cora Smith of Jamestown performing “The Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig van Beethoven and “You Stepped Out Of A Dream” by Nacio Herb Brown and Gus Kahn on piano.

“We are so pleased to have these talented young performers represent us,”  Elena Linehan, a volunteer with the Aronos Research Club, said.  “And since there were only seven awards given out for the entire state, Tuolumne County certainly made a strong showing by taking two top honors.”

Aronos Research Club President Shelly Stewart and First Vice President / Treasurer Cathie Hollins attended the CFWC Convention and accepted the awards for the students.

“The competition coordinators told us that Camryn Smith’s two performances were clearly the best of any other student in her age category,” Linehan said.  “And Jasmine Hwang’s performance had them in tears.  She played as if she were one with her instrument.”

All four of the youth study with Louise McPeeters, a local music instructor.  Jasmine Hwang also studies violin with Brook Moes composition with Michael McLean.

Camryn Smith is studying vocal and piano music and plays alto and baritone saxophone.  She has sung at the Sonora Bach Festival for four years and has performed with the Columbia Kicks Big Band.  She was a member of the Tuolumne County Honor Band.

Jasmine Hwang was Concert Master with the Suzuki School of Northern California.  She is a teaching assistant with the Sierra Strings Music School.  She performed at the Suzuki String Honors Recital and the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute. She plays violin, viola, piano, guitar, ukulele and performs vocally as well.

Kai Haugen first performed a vocal solo at age five in his church.  He has studied voice for eight years.  He has sung at the Sonora Bach Festival for three years and has participated in Steve Green’s Children’s Choir.  Kai plays trumpet in the Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy Band and also plays ukulele and guitar.

Cora Smith is passionate about music and plans to continue to study music in college.  She has studied piano for five years and shows an affinity for jazz.  She played clarinet in her elementary school band and performed with the Tuolumne County Honor Band.

The local Aronos Research Club has the opportunity to compete in a variety of programs on the state level.   The club is affiliated with both the California Federation of Women’s Club and the national General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

The Aronos Research Club, which has both men and women members, has served the community since 1915.  The club’s emphasis is on education and provides a variety of services to the community.

Local youth studying music in Grades Five through Twelve can submit performances for the CFWC Young Musicians Competition.  Students compete in the categories of Vocalist, Pianist or Other Instrumentalist.  They need to prepare two performances in two different musical genres – Classical, Folk/Traditional, Pop/Broadway, Jazz/Blues.

“This a great opportunity to showcase their musical abilities,” Linehan said. “We have such a vibrant arts community.  It is wonderful to have our young people recognized on a statewide level.”

The Aronos Research Club appreciates the help from Gail Johnson as an accompanist and Carolyn Woodall for her skills as a videographer in helping the students prepare their entries for the Young Musicians Competition.

Linehan said she hopes more students will enter the Young Musicians Competition next year.

“We will do everything we can to support them,” she said.

For more information on the Aronos Research Club or the CFWC Young Musician Competition contact Shelly Stewart at 209-770-1144.