Winners of Ninth Annual Concerto/Aria Contest to Perform During Feb. 26 Concert

PHOTO: Audrey Zybura and Ashley HeilweilMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Soprano Ashley Heilweil and flutist Audrey Zybura will be the featured soloists during the SUNY Orange Community Orchestra’s Feb. 26 concert at Middletown’s Paramount Theatre. The two performers were selected as winners of the orchestra’s ninth annual Concerto/Aria Contest.

Under the direction of Dr. Hilarie Clark Moore, the orchestra will take the stage at 8 p.m. to perform Bedrich Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride Overture,” Wolfgang Mozart’s “Concerto No. 2 in D Major, K. 314,” George Handel’s “V’adoro, pupille” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21.” Zybura will perform a flute solo in the Mozart concerto and Heilweil will sing during the performance of Handel’s “V’adoro, pupille.”

Heilweil (at right in photo) is a music performance student at SUNY Orange where she performs with the Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers under the direction of Christa Damaris. From early in her elementary school years, she has played clarinet and sung soprano. As a student at Goshen High School, she participated in Advanced Concert Choir and Women’s Choir. Her first appearances on stage were in the high school musicals “42nd Street” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

At SUNY Orange, Heilweil performed the role of Ainsley in “Back Story” and participated in last year’s Student Recital sponsored by the Arts and Communication Department. In the past three years, while working with the Hudson Opera Theatre, she has appeared in “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” “Orpheus in the Underworld,” “Sex and Violence: The World of Grand Opera,” and most recently performed in concerts of the Mozart Requiem. She is currently studying with Ron DeFesi and plans to audition for major conservatories to further her music career.

Zybura, a senior at Washingtonville High School, serves as section leader of the school’s Wind Ensemble. She began her flute studies with Nicole Jones when she was a fifth grader. She has participated in several music festivals including the All-County, All-Area All-State, NYSBDA Honors Band, and was an alternate for the 2009 and 2010 All-State conferences.

She also performs with the SUNY New Paltz College-Youth Symphony Orchestra (and Wind Ensemble) and the Hudson Valley Honors Youth Wind Ensemble. She plays nearly every Sunday morning with the Praise Band at the Monroe United Methodist Church and has attended the Crane Youth Music Summer Camp. In 2009, Zybura visited Germany and Austria during the summer with the American Music Abroad Empire Tour and was featured in a master class given by Claire Chase, an accomplished professional flutist.

Zybura also sings in her church choir and with Washingtonville High School’s Chamber Choir. Last year, she completed her Girl Scout Gold Award with a project that was focused on inspiring young flutists. She plans to pursue flute performance and possibly music therapy in college.

General admission to the Feb. 26 concert is $5. For additional information, contact the Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787. In case of inclement weather, the College has established 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 27 as the snow date for the concert. The Paramount Theatre is universally accessible.

SUNY Orange students, as well as Orange County high school students, are eligible for the concerto/aria contest, designed to provide a featured musical performance opportunity for outstanding young instrumentalists and vocalists from within Orange County. Details regarding the College’s 10th annual contest will be released this coming fall. Contact the SUNY Orange Arts and Communication Department or any of the Orange County high school chorus, band or orchestra directors for more information.

Previous winners of the contest include:

2010: Kaitlyn Mesic (Goshen H.S.), violin; Erica Moore (Warwick Valley H.S.), french horn

2009: Stephen Gorgone (Monroe-Woodbury H.S.), viola; Justin Randolph (SUNY Orange), vocalist

2008: James Rose (Warwick Valley H.S.), trumpet

2007: Rachel Conklin (home schooled, Washingtonville), violin

2006: Clare Herceg (Warwick Valley H.S.), flute; Emily Moore (Warwick Valley H.S.), viola

2005: Lucie Jaronowski (Monroe-Woodbury H.S.), violin; Tim Takagi (Middletown H.S.), French horn

2004: George Courtsunis (Newburgh Free Academy), piano; Radhika Shah (Warwick Valley H.S.), violin

2003: Sarah Tusch (Monroe-Woodbury H.S.), violin; Valentina Ponochovnaya (SUNY Orange), piano

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940