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Linda Mah
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Norrix Students Win KSO Contest

Sava Velkoff, Alex Smith Will Perform Dec. 16

Loy Norrix High School seniors Sava Velkoff and Alex Smith were selected as the winner and runner-up to the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra 2017 Youth Soloist Competition.

Velkoff, a violist, will serve as the featured soloist in the KSO’s “Sounds of the Season” concert on Dec. 16 at Chenery Auditorium. She will perform Cecil Forsyth’s Viola Concerto in G minor, which was the piece with which she won the soloist competition.

Smith, a baritone, will lead the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus and audience in a holiday sing-along at the concert. He will also perform his audition piece, “Ein Madchen oder Weibchen” from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”

Velkoff is also a student at the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center. She began playing viola at age 9 as part of the KPS elementary school music program. She currently studies with Igor Fedotov at Western Michigan University.

She has participated in school orchestras, WMU’s SEMINAR, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, MSBOA’s Solo and Ensemble Festivals, Crescendo Academy of Music’s Ensemble Program, and the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra and the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival.

Smith studies with Dr. Kenneth Prewitt at Western Michigan University, where he is a member of the WMU Chorale. His awards include first prize in the high school men’s division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Michigan Chapter Competition, honorable mention in the Hal Leonard National Vocal Competition for High School Art Song, and first prize in the high school division of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Young Vocalist Competition.

He has been coached by opera singer Meredith Arwady-Kahrl, who is a Loy Norrix graduate who has sung with the Metropolitan Opera. Smith is an accomplished cellist and performs with the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra, and he has performed in numerous plays at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra “Sounds of the Season” concert will feature “Music of the Movies” with flutist Sara Andon.

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