WSU Symphony concert features student soloists

Six student soloists will perform in concert with the WSU Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13 in Miller Concert Hall. The annual Concerto-Aria Concert will be led by Mark Laycock, director of orchestras.

The featured performers, selected by competitive audition, are among the finest upper division and graduate majors in the School of Music. The program will also include the world premiere of Labyrinth, a short work for chamber orchestra by retiring faculty composer Dean Roush.

Soloists Josephine Barstad, soprano; Aria Beert, violin; Luis Gomez, clarinet; Karla Lugo, cello; Grace Stringfellow, oboe; and Anne Yap I-Shyuen, piano, will perform works by Richard Strauss, Henryk Wieniawski, Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Wolfgang Mozart and Oscar Navarro.

  • Minnesota soprano Barstad is lauded for her “glorious and expressive” voice. Her authentic artistry has most recently been displayed in the title role of “Suor Angelica,” where she was described as “having a voice made for verismo.” Upcoming in the 2024 season she will perform La Contessa in “Le nozze di Figaro” and hold her Graduate Recital at Wichita State.
  • Aria Beert, originally from Rockford, Illinois, has won numerous awards for her violin playing, including the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Scholarship competition, the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra, the American Federation of Musicians Scholarship Award, Rockford Area Music Industry Scholarship Award and Budding Artist Musician from the Kiwanis Club of Rockford.
  • Luis Enrique Gomez is a graduate student at WSU completing his master’s in clarinet performance in the clarinet studio of Professor Rachelle Goter. He can currently be seen directing the WSU Shocker Sound Machine at various sporting events, as a student conductor of the WSU Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. Timothy Shade, and playing clarinet and bass clarinet in the WSU Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and Clarinet Quartet, as well as the Wichita Wind Symphony.
  • Karla Lugo was born in Pachuca Hidalgo, Mexico, where she learned to play the cello at age 12 in the humanitarian project Sinfónica Azteca. She has won awards for second place in the National Cello Competition of La Superior de Musica y Danza de Monterrey and the scholarship Creadores Escénicos 2022 of the Support System for Cultural Creation and Projects in Mexico.
  • Grace Stringfellow is an orchestral, chamber and solo performer based in Wichita. She joined the Boise Philharmonic as second oboe in September 2021 and the Wichita Symphony as second oboe in September 2022 and has been principal oboe of the Dad Village Symphony Orchestra (a virtual symphony) since March of 2020. In 2020, she won the Undergraduate Concerto Competition at the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Anne Yap I-Shyuen, a native of Malaysia, is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Music in piano performance at WSU under the tutelage of Dr. Warren Kim. She earned her Bachelor of Music in piano performance and pedagogy in May 2023, having been guided by Dr. Julie Bees. Throughout this period, Anne garnered notable accolades, including the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award 2023 and the Thurlow Lieurance Outstanding 2023 Senior and 2022 Junior Awards.

Tickets are available at the Fine Arts Box Office or by calling 316-978-3233.