Concert in memory of the Johnsons

Young Stars perform at opera house

May 09, 2014
The 2014 Young Stars include, from left, Daniel Lesser, Megan Shusta and Marcos Pérez Edgar.

Rockport — For more than 50 years, Bay Chamber Concerts and Music School has awarded prizes to recognize, encourage and reward young Maine music students who are serious in their study and performance of music. The Young Stars of Maine Concert will present this year’s eight winning performers in a free concert Sunday, May 18, at 4 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St.

The concert is dedicated to the memory of Kathie and Marc Johnson, donors of the chamber music prize and longtime members of the Bay Chamber family of musicians.

The Eleanor Erdman and Diane Nixon Vocal Excellence Prize is awarded to countertenor James Brown of Scarborough. Brown is a student at the University of Southern Maine School of Music and studies voice with Ellen Chickering.

The A. H. Chatfield, Jr. Piano Prize for 2014 goes to 17-year-old Shujing Lian of Mechanic Falls. Lian has participated in many competitions throughout the state and was the first-place winner of the senior division of the Pine Tree Competition.

Daniel Lesser of Orono will graduate from Bowdoin College this spring just after his performance as the winner of the Summer Music Prize for Cello. Lesser will play the Elgar Concerto for this concert.

The Jean and Harvey Picker Senior Prize is awarded to Phoebe Durand-McDonnell of Bar Harbor for her virtuosic playing of the harp. Durand-McDonnell is home-schooled and plays in the New England Conservatory Youth Orchestra.

Marcos Pérez Edgar, age 14 from Portland, is the winner of the Elsie Bixler Junior Prize for 2014. He has been a piano student of Naydene Bowder for eight years and is the winner of many awards. For this performance, he will play a work by Debussy.

French horn player Megan Shusta of York is the winner of the Ezra Rachlin Prize for Excellence. She is in her first year at New England Conservatory where she plays in the Symphony Orchestra, among several other ensembles.

And finally, the Kathie Johnson Chamber Music Prize goes to Jacob Austin, pianist from Portland; and David Sieracki, cellist from Edgecomb. The duo will play the poignant second movement of Brahm’s Cello Sonata in D minor, Opus 40. Austin is a student at Waynflete Academy and David will graduate from Lincoln Academy next month.

Each prize carries a $1,000 award in support of the further musical studies of each winner. Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit Bay Chamber Music School’s scholarship and prize programs.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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