Young musicians take spotlight during recital at Whipple center

Normally, the classical musicians performing at Reed Whipple Cultural Center can’t fit inside a tuba.

Then there’s Saturday, when the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras stages “The Classics,” a recital of valley musical soloists plucked from grades 4 through 8. It’s the third and final prong of the Reed Whipple’s Young Artists Showcase series. (The first featured singers, the second dancers.)

“In the arts scene, it’s pretty frequent to find venues that showcase high school students who are exceptional,” says the organization’s executive director Bev Patton. “But it’s really hard to find a public showcasing of younger kids.”

Highlights will include violinist and Hyde Park Middle School eighth-grader Deric Pang performing Edouard Lalo’s “Symphonie espagnole,” flutist and Hyde Park sixth-grader Erin Stewart performing Joachim Andersen’s “Scherzino” and violinist and Hyde Park eighth-grader Catherine Patton performing Fritz Kreisler’s “Tambourin Chinois.”

Three of the five soloists, as well as six of the nine Vivace members, come from the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras. The rest were chosen from valleywide auditions in February.

“These are the best young instrumentalists in the valley,” says Patton, who may be slightly biased because Catherine Patton is her daughter.

Various adult pianists will accompany the young Whipple-snappers, and the evening will culminate in a pint-sized performance of Michael McClean’s “El Choclo Tango” by the Nevada School of the Arts Vivace Violin Ensemble, whose nine musicians attend grades 4 to 8.

“This is a good thing because it showcases the best and brightest to the public,” Patton says, adding that it’s also beneficial to the performers because “it gives the young, high-achieving musical child a chance to show to the public that they achieved so much in such little time.”

Contact reporter Corey Levitan at clevitan@reviewjournal. com or 702-383-0456.

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