Two Columbia County students earned two of four top honors at the 2008 Augusta Symphony Youth Competition.
Emily Roberts, 17, a senior at Evans High School, took second place in the Jan. 13 competition, earning herself a $100 prize and the right to appear as a featured performer with the symphony April 27.
"I'm really excited," Emily said of performing with the symphony during one of its Family Concert series. "I'm very nervous. This is a new experience for me."
Emily performed on flute Concerto, Opus 107, by Chaminade. She will perform that piece with the symphony.
"We give them a small monetary reward," said Jennifer Witcher, the symphony's director of outreach and education. "The real prize is performing with the symphony. That's the one (prize) that is awesome to them."
The symphony started the competition in 1994 to provide opportunities for young, dedicated musicians to perform with the symphony.
Witcher said 10 area students from eighth through 12th grades competed by playing the piano, flute or violin. Competitors in the program played an entire movement of a classical piece of their choice. They were judged by the symphony's music director, Donald Portnoy, and its assistant conductor, Neil Casey.
Emily and MiEl Jang, who shared third place, faced stiff competition.
"These children are a cut above," Witcher said. "They are so talented."
MiEl, 17, also an Evans High senior, shared third place for the second straight year. She performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto, No. 2, Opus 18 on the piano.
MiEl intends to pursue music at the college level.
"I'm going to major in music," she said. "Maybe double-major or minor in biology to be a doctor."
Emily said she also performs with the Augusta State University Conservatory Wind Ensemble. She is considered a double-major in music and management.
"So maybe I could manage a symphony or something," she said.
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