Music competition winners to perform April 5

Posted: February 26, 2014

Young winners of the annual Gail Newby Concerto Competition and AVSOMC Bach Competition, sponsored by the Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale, will perform at 8 p.m. April 5 at the Antelope Valley College Performing Arts Theatre, 3041 W. Ave. K, Lancaster.

As the first place winner of the Gail Newby Concerto Competition’s piano division, 16-year-old Phoebe Pan of Irvine will perform the first movement of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor.

Pan will share the program with instrumental division first place winner K.J. McDonald, a 16-year-old violinist and student from Castaic. He will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, first movement.

Joining the Newby competition winners is Cameron Alan-Lee, winner of the Junior Chamber Music Competition. Alan-Lee will perform a movement from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor.

Pan and McDonald each received scholarship awards of $400 for their accomplishments.  Other top competitors not performing are second place winners Alexa Constantine of Ventura and Matthew Gustavson of Long Beach, who received awards of $200 each, and James McFadden-Talbot, third place instrumental.

In a 7 p.m. recital prior to the concert, two winners of the AVSOMC Bach Competition will perform.  They are Nia Darbeau, age 16, of Palmdale (first place, Level 2 Instrumental) and Amy McKeown Green, age 15, of Palmdale (second place, Level 2 Instrumental). Darbeau and Green received scholarship awards of $200 and $100 respectively. Violinist Mechtilde Zehnder of Tehachapi received an honorable mention.

The Bach competition was started 15 years ago to promote achievement in the arts by young people, according to Dr. David Newby, AVSOMC artistic director. The Gail Newby Concerto Competition is in its eleventh year and is open to young musicians under the age of 25. Gail Newby, the late wife of David Newby, was the principal keyboard player for the symphony for many years and an adjunct instructor at Antelope Valley College.

Scholarship underwriting for AVSOMC’s youth programs is provided by the Lancaster-West Rotary Club.

Tickets for the April 5 concert are available at the Antelope Valley College Performing Arts Theatre box office, (661) 722-6580 or online at The box office will be open Friday, April 4 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, April 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.