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Students to work music magic with LASO

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By Special to the Monitor

The April 16 Spring Concert of the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Gyurik, will feature two Los Alamos High School students who auditioned successfully for this honor back in January.  Both Alex Austell and Alisa Romero are juniors and both are studying privately in addition to playing in school ensembles.

Romero started her career in music playing piano at age 6 with Frances Naffziger. While she continues to play the piano, her viola career started with the school music program in fourth grade and in eighth grade she began private lessons with Marion Pack – her current viola teacher. In 2009, she won the New Mexico Music Teachers Association state competition. She has played in the All-State orchestra for all three of her high school years. She also plays in the Santa Fe Youth Symphony and is principal violist of its Con Vivo! String orchestra. Her future includes music, possibly as a double major with physical therapy.

Romero will perform the Ernest Bloch Rhapsodie for Viola and Orchestra.

Austell began playing the trumpet with his father, a trombonist who teaches band in the Los Lunas area.  By fifth grade he was playing in the Advanced Band at Aspen, and he has continued playing in school bands through middle school and high school.

He has played in the All- State bands for three years – first chair in the Concert band as a freshman, and in the symphonic band for the other two years.  Currently Austell studies with Jan McDonald.  

His future sees music as a centerpiece – “teaching and playing in jazz bands, like my dad,” he said. Austell will perform the first movement of the Trumpet Concerto by Franz Joseph Haydn.

The Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra program will open with the overture “The Cowboys” by John Towner Williams, pianist, composer and conductor.  This overture was taken from the motion picture “The Cowboys” and is a vivid description of a cowboy’s day on the range. Williams has composed scores for “Jaws,” and George Lucas’ “Star Wars” trilogy.  Williams also conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra and has recently composed a cello concerto for Yo-Yo Ma. The concluding number will be Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony in E minor “From The New World.”  This symphony was composed in the summer of 1893 while he was vacationing in Spillville, Iowa during his three years in America. The composition did much to fulfill a hoped for development of Original American Music as requested by his initial teaching as Director of the National Conservatory of Music, New York.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. April 16 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door at $15 for adults and $10 for students.