WSU Symphony concert features student soloists

Six student soloists appear in concert with the WSU Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14 in Miller Concert Hall. The program will be led by Mark Laycock, director of orchestras, and Clem Pearson, graduate student conductor. Tickets are available from the Fine Arts Box Office at 316-978-3233 or from the Fine Arts Box Office.

The annual Concerto-Aria concert features soloists selected by a competitive audition. Ottorino Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, a colorful tone poem depicting beloved Italian landmarks, will conclude the program.

  • Nicholas Welicky, hornist, from Goddard, will play the finale of Richard Strauss’s horn concerto no. 1. Nick has performed with the Wichita Symphony, Wichita Regional Ballet, Wichita Youth Symphony and the Kansas All-State Orchestra. He received WSU’s 2022 Presser Scholar Award.
  • Singing “Depuis le jour” from Charpentier’s opera “Louise,” Ashley Ruckman is originally from Overland Park. She is the 2022 soprano winner of the Rondelli Vocal Competition and most recently performed the role of Hester in Laitman’s “The Scarlet Letter” at WSU.
  • Performing the final movement of Dvorak’s cello concerto, Mengielly Diaz Cortes is a cellist from Apizaco, Tlaxcala, Mexico. She began playing in 2014 and two years later, she entered the Preparatory Cycle of the Music School of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • Husband and wife duo Brandon and Sarah Rodriguez play “Tarantelle” by Camille Saint-Saëns. Sarah Rodriguez is a flutist from Brandon, Florida. In 2015, Sarah had the honor of leading the Bicentennial Rosary Processional for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. In spring 2021, Rodriguez completed her bachelor’s degree in flute performance at the University of Southern Mississippi. Brandon Rodriguez is a clarinetist from Chalmette, Louisiana, specializing in jazz and classical performance. Brandon is currently pursuing his master’s degree in clarinet performance with Rachelle Goter at WSU.
  • Elyssa Astegiano, clarinetist, presents Donato Lovreglio’s “Fantasia da Concerto su ‘La Traviata,’” based on melodies from Verdi’s opera. Elyssa is from Arkansas City, and has performed with the South Kansas Symphony, Friends Symphony Orchestra and Delano Chamber Players.