Many of you who are familiar with the Pittsburgh classical scene know or have heard of Antoinette Tuma. She is a passionate advocate of the arts and classical music and has been heavily involved with the Pittsburgh Concert Society for years now. PCS's main function is to reward the musical talent of the area, young and old, in annual competitions. Winners get $ and also the chance to perform in concert. One of those concerts for Young Artist Winners is happening this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Carnegie Mellon University's Kresge Recital Hall. $10-$15.
In the name of time, I am just going to let Antoinette relate (with a little editing for privacy's sake) the newest development at the long-standing organization. The Hilal Quartet, by the way, is an outstanding quartet comprised of four young siblings from Fox Chapel.
I am not sure that I told you about our project with the Laredo Philharmonic in Laredo, Texas. Last year they got in touch with me regarding their "rising stars" program which was in its fifth year. They wanted someone from the PCS to featured on that program. They described the program in quite superlative terms promising an audience of 1500 children and royal treatment for the musicians. Their choice was the Hilal Quartet. All six Hilals and I trekked to Laredo. As soon as we got there, TV newsmen were waiting to interview us and that interview was on the local news that same evening. The day of the concert, there were over 1,500 school children in the hall as well as every teacher, superintendent of school, notable...in Laredo. I served as an MC of sorts introducing PCS and Pittsburgh to the audience.
The reaction of the audience was one that I have only glimpsed if I ever saw a report on a rock concert. After the concert, over 100 children lined up to come up to the stage and ask questions, then they all lined up in the lobby to get the Hilal's (mine as well!) autographs and picture. We were then invited to lunch at an exclusive club with the mayor and invited guests in attendance. The day after the concert, the event was prominently featured on the front pages of two Laredo newspapers.
They were so please with our program that they decided that the PCS will be the sole "purveyor" of musicians for their yearly Rising Stars concert. This year, I am taking two percussionists who won the PCS Young Artists auditions last year: Jeremy Malvin and William DeLelles. I am sure, they will enjoy the same rock star VIP treatment. They will play a "teaser" ten minute program during the LPO's Sunday, January 24 concert and they will have their own concert Monday, January 25.
Also, one concert of the Johnstown Chamber Music series is reserved, as of this year, to winners of the PCS Major auditions.
I thought that the above would be of interest to you and you might like to write or "muse" about it!
Consider it mused, congrats to PCS on the development and good luck to Jeremy and William. Oh, and the deadline to apply for the 2010 Major Auditions is March 27. Go to the PCS website for applications.