🎶Fabulous article in The Lance today – 2016 WMC McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the WSO
Soloists hoping to be on song at prestigious competition
By: Simon Fuller
There will be a strong southeast Winnipeg connection at the Women’s Musical Club McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
The Fri., April 22 concert at Jubilee Place auditorium at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute will feature three finalists who will compete for a share of $20,000 scholarship money — $10,000 for first place, $6,000 for second place and $4,000 for third.
The finalists include Jaena Kim, a flutist who grew up south St. Vital; Gregory Lewis, a violinist from Thunder Bay currently living in Southdale; and Caitlin Wood, a soprano who was raised in Alberta.
The competition’s adjudicator Valdene Anderson, an internationally-renowned soprano, also lives in Southdale.
Kim, 19, is studying flute performance at the University of Montreal and said she’s thrilled about making to the final round in the competition.
“I feel very humbled and very honoured,” said Kim, who was speaking to The Lance from Montreal in the run-up to the event.
“When I think about the support I’ve always had in the musical community and all the hard work I’ve always put in, something like this makes it all worthwhile.”
Kim, who has been playing the piano since the age of six, said she knows she will have a few butterflies moments before she takes the stage.
“Curiously enough, I started playing the piano at an even younger age and when I first picked up a flute, it just felt natural. I knew it was my calling in life. Of course, sometimes practising isn’t fun but performing makes it all worthwhile because with the flute I can communicate with the audience,” Kim said.
Lewis, 19, who is staying with Jeff and Shannon McNeill in Southdale, is studying violin performance with Oleg Pokhanovski at the University of Manitoba. He called it an incredible honour to be performing in the final of the McLellan competition.
“Ever since moving to Winnipeg, I’ve heard students and professionals talk about how prestigious the biannual competition is,” Lewis said.
“I was too young to enter the competition in 2014, so this year was my first time entering. I had low expectations of making it far in the competition, given that I was competing alongside so many incredibly gifted and accomplished musicians, some of whom were as much as 10 years older than myself. I’m very excited to be advancing through to the final round and thankful for the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful people throughout this competition.”
Tickets for the show are $30 for adults and $5 for students (at the door only). Adult tickets can be purchased in advance at 204-944-9431, the WSO box office or McNally Robinson Booksellers. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.