The Concert of Soloists Competition names three winners

Sunday concluded The Concert of Soloists Competition that resulted in three Marshall music majors winning a solo opportunity with the Marshall University Symphony Orchestra.

The Concert of Soloists Competition takes place every spring on even-numbered years.

In a preliminary round, Marshall faculty selected nine finalists to represent each music section in front of the panel of judges from the community.

Kristie Contardi Finney a local flutist and music teacher, John Jones principal horn player with the Huntington Symphony and David Williams, a composer and music critic for the Charleston Gazette were on Sunday’s deciding board.

“The judges told me that they had a hard time choosing, because the performances were so good,” said Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, director of the Marshall University Symphony Orchestra.

After the final round, three musicians came out victorious.

Oboist Eric Caines, vocalist Christa Navy and trombonist John Bruce were awarded the opportunity to solo with the orchestra.

“The music students here at Marshall are really like one big family so we were all rooting for one another and congratulating each other before the results were even announced,” Caines said. “I am both humbled and honored to have been chosen as a winner from so many fine musicians.”

The students now have until April to prepare for the big performance they have been awarded.

“I’m now starting to fine tune the piece, that is, working out which things worked, which didn’t and figuring out which parts need the most polishing to take it from a good performance to a phenomenal one,” Caine said. “Along with that will come rehearsing with the actual orchestra.”

The concert featuring these winning soloists and the Marshall University Symphony Orchestra is on April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Smith Recital Hall.

Leah Cook can be contacted at [email protected].