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Young Artists' orchestra concert is Saturday in Willmar

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WILLMAR — The Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra presents its Young Artists' Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at WEAC in Willmar.

The concert features the winners of the orchestra's Young Artist Competition, Ellie Hu, violin and Jeremy Pierskalla, voice.

Jeremy Pierskalla is a senior at Willmar Senior High School. He will be singing "Ombra mai fu" from Xerxes by Handel. He is the son of Mark and Diane Pierskalla of Willmar.

He studies voice with Cheryl Schmidt, and plays both the cello and French horn in Willmar Senior High School's orchestra and band programs. He received consistent superior ratings at the Minnesota State High School League Section 8AA Solo and Ensemble Contests for band, choir and orchestra. He attended All-State Choir as a baritone in the 2018-2019 TTBB choir.

This is his fourth season as a cellist with the Willmar Area Symphonic Orchestra. He will be attending Ridgewater College next year and plans to transfer to a four-year school when he finishes at Ridgewater.

Ellie Hu is 16 and an exchange student from Taipei, Taiwan. She will be playing the first movement of Bruch's "Violin Concerto, No.1." Hu has been living with Heidi Redepenning and Joey Marquardt in Atwater and attending ACGC High School.

She is the daughter of C.T. Hu and Sharon Hsieh of Taiwan. She started playing the violin when she was 6 and joined her school orchestra when she was 8.

Her immediate goal when she returns to Taiwan is to finish high school. She isn't sure what her plans are after that, but she does know that she "loves listening to all kinds of music, especially jazz and classical."

The orchestra will open the program with Franz V. Suppe's "Light Cavalry Overture". It was written as part of a two-act operetta in 1866. The operetta is rarely performed but the Overture has taken on a life of its own. It is often played by bands and orchestras and has been used in films and cartoons.

Closing the program, the orchestra will play Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5." It was written between 1804 and 1808 and is one of the best known compositions in classical music. The famous four note pattern used at the beginning of Beethoven's Fifth has had tremendous appeal outside of the world of classical music.

Concert tickets are available in advance at Whitney Music in north Willmar, online at www.willmarorchestra.com or at the door. Adult tickets are $10, ages 5-18 are $5, under 5 are admitted free, and a family pack of two adults and unlimited children is $25.

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