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Orchestra Concert Scheduled for Feb. 25

The SUNY Orange Community Orchestra will welcome cellist Natalie Davidson, a senior at Monroe-Woodbury High School and winner of the orchestra’s 16th annual Concerto/Aria Contest, during a Sunday, Feb. 25 concert at the Paramount Theatre in Middletown. The music will begin at 3 p.m.

The orchestra’s afternoon program will feature music from Ludwig van Beethoven and Bed?ich Smetana, as well as Davidson’s solo performance of the opening Adagio from the Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E Minor.”

A cellist who studies under the tutelage of Greg Phillips, Davidson was chosen from a number of candidates by a panel of music faculty from SUNY Orange and professional musicians from the Hudson Valley. She performed in December with the 2017 NYS School Music Association All-State Orchestra at Eastman Theatre in Rochester, N.Y.

In addition, she was principal cellist at both the Area All-State Music Festival in November and the All-County Music Festival this past January. She has been cello section leader in the Monroe-Woodbury Chamber Orchestra since her sophomore year, and was cello section leader at the 2017 WorldStrides Heritage Inaugural Concert in Washington, D.C., where the Monroe-Woodbury Chamber Orchestra received numerous first place awards.

Davidson mentors fifth graders with Central Valley Elementary Orchestra teacher Michele George, who first taught Davidson the cello. She has studied cello privately with Phillips for six years. She has studied classical piano for 11 years and will play string bass in Monroe-Woodbury’s upcoming high school musical. She plans to study both neuroscience and music in college this fall.

General admission tickets are $10. Senior citizens and all other students (with valid ID) will be admitted for $5. SUNY Orange students, active duty military personnel and children under the age of 12 will be admitted for free.

The orchestra, under the direction of Richard Milan Simons, is comprised of SUNY Orange students and members of the community.

The Concerto/Aria competition provides a solo opportunity for talented young local instrumentalists and vocalists from within Orange County. Applicants are invited to audition before a panel comprised of music faculty from SUNY Orange as well as professional musicians from the Hudson Valley.

For more information, contact the SUNY Orange Arts and Communication Department at (845) 341-4787. In the event of inclement weather, the concert’s snow date will be at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 4. The Paramount Theatre, 17 South Street in Middletown, is universally accessible. Tickets are available at the theatre box office.

Past winners of the Concerto/Aria Contest include Sarah Tusch, Valentina Ponochovnaya, George Courtsunis, Radhika Shah, Lucie Jaronowski, Tim Takagi, Clare Herceg, Emily Moore, Rachel Conklin, James Rose, Stephen Gorgone, Justin Randolph, Kaitlyn Mesic, Erica Moore, Ashley Heilweil, Audrey Zybura, Eric Bjorkman, Michael Kolb, Julia Rupp, Jared Silbernagel, Nathan Sander, Olivia McCartney, Brianna Reed, Yena Lee and Angela Prictoe.

Event date, time and location.


Kathy O'Dell
Arts and Communications