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High school student shines in MU concert

Mar. 05, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Christianna Dixon may have put countless hours of practice to become a musician who is fluent with multiple instruments, but she picked up a special affection for the piano at an early age.

"My brothers all were playing instruments, and I wanted to play too," said Dixon, a junior at Huntington High School. "I just picked the piano, and it was what really stuck the most."

The piano certainly fit Dixon well as she sat in front of the Marshall Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday during the annual Young People's Concert series at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center during the afternoon and Smith Recital Hall on Marshall University's campus during the evening.

Dixon was selected as the soloist during the 2013 Young People's Concert Competition, now in its 52nd year, which is sponsored by the Women's Club of Huntington, said Elizabeth Reed-Smith, a Marshall music professor and conductor of the orchestra.

"I think the fact that Marshall and the Women's Club come together for this is what is so special about Huntington," she said. "It's organizations coming together and people working together to make something that, in this case, is educational but also entertaining."

Tuesday's programs included Verdi's Sicilian Vespers Overture and the final movement of the Mozart Piano Concerto in B Flat Major, K. 595. Each performance also included Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and the Sea Songs Quick March by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was narrated by Larry Stickler, a music professor at Marshall.

During the daytime performance at the Keith-Albee fifth-grade students from Cabell and Wayne counties were treated to the show while Tuesday evening's concert was an open concert for families.

"You know, most of these kids are going to grow up to be music educators themselves, so it's exciting for them to get that experience of the theatrics that are involved in music," said Reed-Smith. "It's rewarding as a music educator to see them enjoying doing it."



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