05 April 2013
2013 Senior Symphony Concerto Competition Winner and Carrie Rondeau Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Thomas Bagin began his musical training at the age of 4 when he started piano and violin. In third grade be began teaching himself the trombone, and soon began private lessons. He currently studies with Mark Hoelscher, adjunct professor at UW Milwaukee and bass trombonist for the Millar Brass Ensemble of Chicago.
With the encouragement of director Thomas Dvorak, Thomas auditioned for MYSO in seventh grade and earned first chair in the Jr. Wind Ensemble. In ninth grade he performed with Philharmonia and has played in the Senior Symphony for the last three years. MYSO has given him the opportunity to play side-by-side with musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, attend master classes, compete in concerto competitions, as well as compose a brass quintet and full orchestra piece as a John Downey Fellow. In 2012, Thomas led the trombone section on tour with Senior Symphony to the Czech Republic and Austria.
Thomas has experience playing in church orchestra, brass ensembles, and has played in a professional Christmas recording. He is currently involved with the brass quintet Victorious Brass. In 2011, he won the Lakeshore Symphonic Band Young Artist Concerto Competition and took third place in the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition. In 2012 he won the Menomonee Falls Symphony Concerto Competition and was chosen for the honors recital with the Civic Music Association, receiving the same honor in 2013.
In addition to being named winner of this year’s Senior Symphony Concerto Competition—an honor of which he is especially proud as he is keenly aware of the high level of competition—this year he was also named a finalist for the “President’s Own” Marine Band Concerto Competition; this honor gave him the opportunity to play in the John Philip Sousa Hall at the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC. Thomas was also named a winner of the 2013 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Auditions and will perform with the MSO at the Stars of Tomorrow Concert on June 5 at the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center.
Thomas would like to dedicate this performance to his parents and grandparents who have supported him in his musical endeavors for the past 14 years; whether it be financial, driving, or just attending a performance, his family has always supported his music!
2013 Philharmonia Concerto Competition Winner
Mercedes Cullen has been studying the violin since the age of four when she began her study with Kathy Kalfas. She now studies with Pamela Simmons. Music has long been important in her life. She enjoys improvisation and fiddling, and recently won the fiddle contest at Milwaukee’s Indian Summer. This is her fifth year in MYSO, and she is currently a member of Philharmonia. She has participated in MYSO's Chamber Ensemble Program and this year she performed in the Bach Players chamber group. Outside of music, Mercedes enjoys soccer, volleyball, training her dog, horseback riding and working with horses, showing dairy cows at State Fair, swimming at her grandma's lake in northern Wisconsin and learning other instruments, such as the piano and guitar. She would like to thank her teachers for their instructive, patient teaching over the last ten years.
2013 Sinfonia Concerto Competition Winner
Sarah May is a seventh grader at Peace Lutheran Academy in Sussex. She started Suzuki violin lessons when she was three years old with Mary Ellen Meyer and continued on with Lindsay Erickson. For the last six years she has studied with Pamela Simmons. Sarah has enjoyed singing in the Milwaukee Children’s Choir and in the musicals “The King and I” and “Seussical the Musical.” She now sings in the Academy Choir and plays in the string ensemble at her church. Before joining MYSO, she played with the Waukesha Area Youth Orchestra directed by Tim Cobb. Two years ago, she was also a winner in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Bach Double Competition and in MYSO’s String Orchestra Concerto Competition. When she’s not making music, she enjoys cooking and all sorts of hand crafts from crocheting to drawing. She would like to thank Mrs. Simmons for her patient, enthusiastic teaching and dedicates her performance to her.
2013 String Orchestra Concerto Competition Winners
Séamus La-Inju Dallman, age 10, has been studying violin with Katherine Brooks at the String Academy of Wisconsin (SAW) since age 4 and is a fifth grade student at the University School of Milwaukee (USM). He is a winner of the 2013 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Bach Double Competition. Séamus serves as a Concertmaster of the MYSO String Orchestra North led by Anne Marie Peterson and is a John Downey Creation Project Fellow. Under the tutelage of Daniel Maske, Séamus is composing his first orchestral score, entitled Hermes’ Flight, which includes parts for violin, viola, cello and bass. Séamus has been a member of SAW’s Paganini violin ensemble led by David Anderson and USM’s Middle School Orchestra led by Ligia Vascan. Séamus also studies piano with Steve Ayers at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. This spring, Séamus will perform the role of the Fiddler in USM’s performance of Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Adam Moreno. He enjoys tennis, skiing, sailing, swimming and wilderness camping with his younger brother Henry. Séamus is deeply thankful to his teachers, family, and friends for supporting his love of music.
Abigail Hanna, 10, is a fourth-grader at Tippecanoe School for the Arts And Humanities in Bay View. She has been on the honor roll several times with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Bilingual, she speaks fluent English and Spanish. She started playing cello last year in the Progressions Program, and currently plays with String Orchestra Central. She has been selected to play for several master classes, and also is part of MYSO’s Chamber Ensemble Program. She is honored to have Ms. Ravenna Helson as her private mentor and instructor and thanks her for all the countless lessons she has given her. If she is not found playing the cello, she is on stage performing on First Stage. She made her debut last season in A Wrinkle in Time and this year she performed in Mole Hill Stories. She recently was cast as Rizzo in the musical Grease. Besides cello, Abigail plays the piano which she started at age five. She has performed in countless piano recitals and won a 4th of July Talent Show. Recently this school year she started playing the flute which she has found a love for the magical sound it produces. Abigail also tap dances every week at Young Dance Academy in Oak Creek and also enjoys ice skating, swimming, gymnastics, baton twirling and reading. Abby loves school and has very high expectations for herself.
Bassist Jacob McKee, 14, is an eighth grader at Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School in West Allis.
Bradley Nowacek is a sixth grader at Wauwatosa Montessori, where he especially enjoys math and writing. He studies cello with Mr. Scott Cook at the String Academy of Wisconsin, and also enjoys playing soccer. Bradley especially wants to thank his dad for all his support.
2013 Flute Chorale Concerto Competition Winner
Neville Nazareth is a sixth grader at Maple Dale School in Fox Point. He has been studying the flute for two years with Ms. Lauren Sperry. Neville also plays the piano, viola, and piccolo, and has been given the opportunity of playing in both band and orchestra at school. He has participated in the UWM Honors Band. Neville has perfect pitch, and is enjoying his first year at MYSO. He enjoys playing duets with his brother using a combination of instruments. His favorite subjects at school are math, science, and Spanish and is also active in Forensics. In his free time, Neville loves to compose poetry, read, travel, and do woodworking and origami.