Three of the winners of the Carroll Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composers Competition for 2017-1018 have been orchestrating their winning compositions under the tutelage of Conductor Terry Lowry and, along with all those in attendance, will hear the CSO perform their original works at the Sounds of Liberty Concert, July 4, on the grounds of the Carrollton Elementary School, beginning at 8:15 p.m.
Tonight the Carroll Symphony will debut “Sieger Symphony” by seventh-grader Zack Lester, who resides in Rome, Georgia. The son of Joe and Samantha Lester, Zack enjoys playing the viola as well as the piano. He also enjoys participating in children’s theater programs and was most recently seen in Rome Shakespeare Festival’s productions of “Macbeth” and “Much Ado About Nothing.” Zack has been a winner of the CSO Young Composer Competition in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Around 30 students from across the state entered the competition, which is the only competition in the world for K-12 students that has as its prize a performance by a professional symphony orchestra.
Winner of the Elementary Age Group (K-5th grade), Annika Joshi is 12 years old and will attend Autrey Mill Middle School in Johns Creek. She is the daughter of Anu and Vivek Joshi. She has entered and won the competition for her age group the past four years. She plays both piano and violin, and her other activities include reading, playing tennis, and swimming.
The audience will also be treated to music by two winners in the High School Age Group, Michael Solomon, age 15, from Marietta, and Annalysa Cagasan, who has recently graduated and lives in Villa Rica. Both are home-schooled students. Michael is the son of Patrick and Christine Solomon. He enjoys composing, coding, and jiu-jitsu. This is his third year to enter and win the Young Composers Competition. He commented, “I am honored to have been chosen again for this competition. I really enjoyed orchestrating the piece and am thankful for the opportunity. Thank you to Mr. Lowry and the CSO.”
Annalysa, the daughter of Dawn and Teddy Cagasan, has entered and won the competition for two years. In addition to piano, she plays violin, cello, flute, ukulele, accordion, harp, and guitar. Her hobbies and activities include competing in the National Bible Bee, studying the Bible, reading, drawing, painting, writing songs, decorating cookies, working with children, making cards, smash journaling, and singing with her mom and sisters.
She exclaimed, “Being able to work with Mr. Lowry on composition has opened up a whole new world to me! Last season I didn’t know very much about composing a piece and had to be walked through the whole process. This year I was able to do so much more! The YCC has shown me that orchestrating can be much more achievable than I realized, and I look forward to composing more in the future!”
Photos: High-school winners of the Carroll Symphony’s Young Composers Competition, Michael Solomon and Annalysa Cagasan, have composed and orchestrated works which the CSO will debut at The Sounds of Liberty Concert.