WARSAW — The Fifth Annual Young Artist Competition, sponsored by the Symphony of the Lakes and the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts, will take place Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. until about 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Warsaw Community High School. All performances are free and open to the public.
The competition, which was begun by the late Thomas Stirling, who was musical director for Wagon Wheel and conductor of the Symphony of the Lakes, features two divisions — junior and senior. The junior division competition will begin at 10 a.m., and will feature students performing on oboe, saxophone, violin, piano and cello.
At the conclusion of the junior division competition, certificates will be awarded by a three-judge panel to those who have given the best performances. After an hour-long lunch break, the senior division competition will commence at 1 p.m. Helping as volunteers for the competition will be various players from the Symphony of the Lakes and the symphony committee.
Students competing in the senior division will perform on trumpet, flute, cello, marimba, bass, viola, and piano. The top three placements in the senior division will be awarded scholarships in addition to certificates.
“The competition every year gets better and better,” said Deb Bishop, chair of the Wagon Wheel board. “This year, we have a record number of contestants and we are so pleased to help inspire and promote these young musicians.”
Terry White, chair of the Symphony of the Lakes, also commented on the skills exhibited by participants, saying “The talent level of these students is astounding. Anyone who can come out and hear these free performances will be thrilled at the maturity and competency level of these student musicians.”
The scholarships are awarded in memory of Stirling, who died this past December. A musical celebration of Stirling’s life, also free of charge and open to the public, is planned for 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the Wagon Wheel.