March 29, 2014

Oskaloosa Symphony to present Young Performers Concert April 13

The Oskaloosa Herald


The Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Tony Chang will present its annual Young Performers Concert at The George Daily Auditorium, Sunday, April 13, at 4 p.m. Please note that this date is one week later than was originally scheduled.

This Year's Concert will feature three outstanding soloists performing with the Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra. Members of the orchestra will also include some very talented young players along with the very talented and more experienced regular members of the Oskaloosa Symphony.

The first soloist for this year's performance will be Miss Shana Liu, performing the first movement of the famous Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.16. This will be the second time that Shana will perform with The Oskaloosa Symphony. Shana performed as a solo violinist at last year's Young Performers Concert.

Shana Liu, age 14 is a freshman at Roosevelt High School and Central Academy in Des Moines. She has loved music from a very young age. Shana started piano lessons when she was 5 1/2 years old with Mrs. Karen Langstraat in Indianola. Currently, she studies with Dr. Ted Reuter at Wartburg College in Waverly and Dr. Mei-Hsuan Huang at Iowa State University in Ames. Shana won first place in level A(2008), B(2009) and F(2013) of the Iowa Music Teachers Association state piano competition. She also won first place in level E(2012) and F(2013) in district piano competitions. Shana was also the 2012 "Sprout Champion" and a 2013 semifinalist in the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair. In addition, Shana won Junior Performance Honorable Mention at the 2013 Music Teachers National Association competition. Most recently, in January of 2014, Shana was one of two winners at the Des Moines Symphony Young Artists Concerto Competition.

Shana has served as an accompanist at The Des Moines Heartland Youth Choir, Roosevelt High School varsity show choirs, and Roosevelt orchestra and chamber orchestra. In December of 2013, she accompanied Central Iowa Symphony at Ames on their "Christmas Dreams" concert as a substitute.

Besides piano, Shana started violin lessons with Dr. Sarah Plum at Drake University when she was 8 years old. She plays in the Des Moines Youth Symphony and was a 2013 member of Iowa All State Music Festival.

Shana and her older sister, Nina, volunteer at St. Johns Lutheran Church Chamber Orchestra in downtown Des Moines and at neighborhood retirement centers. Shana volunteers at the Des Moines Symphony Academy, Heartland Youth Choir and The Des Moines Art Festival. Shana's other interests include rock climbing, biking, reading, movies, art, traveling, and just hanging out with her school and neighborhood friends.

The second soloist performer for the April 13th "Young Performers Concert" will be violinist Nina Liu, performing two movements (Winter and Spring) from the famous "Seasons" Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi. This will be Nina's first appearance as a soloist with The Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra. She was scheduled to perform with the Oskaloosa orchestra in the Fall of 2013 for a concert that was cancelled.

"We are especially pleased to have both Nina and her younger sister Shana perform on this same concert," stated Executive Director, Bob Auld.

Nina Liu, age 19, is a sophomore student at Drake University pursuing degrees in Finance and Music. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Rose Lorenz Schwartz fine arts scholarship from the Des Moines Women's Club. She has been a string scholar for the last six years at St John's Lutheran Church in downtown Des Moines. She has been a substitute violinist with the Des Moines Symphony for three years. Nina graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2012, where she was a valedictorian and a member of the National Honor Society. She has played the violin for 13 years and has led as the concert mistress of the Drake University Orchestra, the Roosevelt High School Orchestra and the Des Moines Youth Symphony. In 2011, Nina won the Des Moines Symphony Young Artists Concerto Competition where she performed as a soloist with the Des Moines Symphony in the Civic Center. During high school, she was a four-year Iowa All-State Orchestra musician.


Nina is very involved with the Drake University Orchestra as well as several chamber groups that perform in many venues around the Des Moines area. Nina has also participated in many music festivals across the nation and internationally, including The Northern Lights Music Festival, the Midwest Young Artists Summer Music Festival, and The Interharmony Music Festival in Germany.

Nina's non-musical activities have included being an intern as a page in the Iowa Senate, an intern at United Way of Mahaska County Special Events, a financial analyst intern with MUSCO in Oskaloosa, and an internship with Waddell and Reed Financial Advisors. Nina is an active member of Drake University's chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity. She is also an avid rock climber, and serves as the founder and President of Drake's Climb Iowa Drake Club. Nina enjoys giving back to the community and has been a volunteer with so many organizations in the Des Moines area that in 2011, she was a recipient of the Governor's Individual Volunteer Award.

The third guest soloist for the Oskaloosa Symphony's April 13th concert will be Dr. HaoHuang, an accomplished tenor singer and currently a Visiting Professor at The University of Iowa, in Iowa City. Dr. Hao Huang will be forming three very famous tenor arias including: Nessun dorma from Puccini's Turandot, Dein ist mein ganzes herz from Das Land des Lachelns by Franz Lehar, and Una furtive largrima from Ll'Elisir d' amore by Donizetti.

Hao Huang, a tenor singer, received his doctorate of arts from Stuttgart Conservatory of Music, Germany. He is a professor and associate director for the graduate program at the Vocal Music Department of Wuhan Conservatory of Music. He is a member of Chinese Musicians Association, Director of Hubei Overseas Students Sodality and honored volunteer of the 8th China Art Festival.

Since 1998, Hao Huang has attended several international vocal music master classes in Italy, taught by world-known soprano singer Katia·Riccialleli from Italy and baritone singer Sherrill Milnes from America, with whom he performed. He has held 15 concerts in different cities in Italy, France, Hungary and Germany having successfully created numerous figures, including Rudolph in “La Boheme,” Tannhauser in “Carmen” and Faust in "Faust.” He has also performed Verdi's "The Requiem," Rossini's "Stabat Mater," for which he has received good coverage in local media. He also participated in the orchestras with Desenzano Symphony Orchestra of Italy, Chiari Symphony Orchestra of Milan, Bordeaux Symphony Orchestra of France, Symphony Orchestra of Budapest’s State Opera House, Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart, Heidenheim Symphony Orchestra and Halle Symphony Orchestra.

Hao Huang took part in the 4th Budapest International Opera Competition in 1998 and won the third place in tenor. In 2002, he was shortlisted as the Top 10 best singers of Germany and his songs were collected in CD “2002 Collection of German New Singer.” In 2004, he successfully held a recital in Wuhan after returning to Wuhan Conservatory of Music.

Hao Huang is well published in vocal CDs and academic journals. He currently teaches Italian Pronunciation, German Pronunciation, and Ensemble of Western Operas.

The final selection to be performed by the Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra on April 13 will be the Last movement of “The New World Symphony,” by Anton Dvorak.

The New World Symphony is probably Anton Dvorak's most famous composition. Although Dvorak was a Czech composer, The New World Symphony has deep roots in America as much of the content comes from American musical styles including, spirituals, native American rhythms and folk songs. This Symphony is extremely popular in Iowa since it was completed during his three month stay in the small town of Spillville in Northeast Iowa before its very successful premier in New York. Dvorak deeply moved this country and was deeply moved by it. He encouraged Americans to create their own style from their own music. Dvorak taught the teachers of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Aaron Copland and Duke Ellington, composers who ended up obeying his command that Americans be American.