The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music presents the 45th annual President’s Concert on Friday, February 2, and Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature the Arizona Symphony Orchestra and student soloists who won the highly competitive University of Arizona Concerto Competition.
Featured on this 45th annual President’s Concert are soprano Emily Garcia performing Giacomo Puccini’s “Mi chiamano Mimí” from La bohème; percussionist Michael Pratt, performing movement number one of Emmanuel Séjourné’s Concerto for Vibraphone and String Orchestra; cellist Juan Mejía performing the first movement of Joseph Haydn’s Concerto for Violoncello in C Major; and pianist Tyler Ramos performing the first movement of Frédéric Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in E Minor.
The students are selected from each area of the Fred Fox School of Music – strings, voice, wind and percussion, and keyboard. They represent the depth of talent at the school, shining in this performance with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Their performances will be conducted by doctoral students András Derecskei and Juan Montoya. The program will also include Prelude to “Les Vêpres Siciliennes” by Giuseppe Verdi and “Fontane di Roma” by Ottorino Respighi, under the baton of Dr. Thomas Cockrell.
About the soloists:
Emily Garcia, soprano
Emily García is a junior at the University of Arizona. She began classical training in voice at the age of 12 after playing the violin for eight years. She has performed in the UA Opera Theater’s productions of Ravel’s “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges” and Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love.” She has also participated in several competitions, such as the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition and Quest for the Best. She hopes to one day make a career singing on stage throughout the world.
Michael Pratt, vibraphone
Michael Pratt currently serves as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Arizona while pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Creative Achievement Award in recognition for his outstanding academic success, continued research and creative activities, and performance excellence. Michael’s research and professional development has been supported through numerous awards, scholarships, and fellowships, including most recently grants from the Graduate and Professional Student Council, the Daveen Fox Fellowship, and a Carpenter Endowment Fellowship. Michael teaches percussion through the UpBeat music program sponsored by UA Presents, and serves as an advisor to the Interactive Drumming Committee of the Percussive Arts Society, the world’s largest percussion organization. Michael also freelances, teaching and performing in Southern Arizona.
Michael keeps an active and diverse schedule as a performer. As a commercial drum set player, he has toured with Yenisly, Augusta Vain, Madison Hardy, Lacey Black, Todd Ganovski, and many other commercial music artists. He currently performs with the jazz/R&B group Hello Doll Face. As an orchestral and chamber musician he has performed with the Belmont University Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra, Pulse [new music ensemble], Southwest Civic Winds, San Juan Symphony, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, and has appeared as soloist with the Fort Lewis Percussion Ensemble, Woodwork Mallet Ensemble, and the Fort Lewis Wind Ensemble. With over 30 musical recordings to date, he has performed in 20 states nationally, been a feature performer at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and has performed on national television for PBS’s production of Christmas at Belmont. Michael holds performance degrees from Fort Lewis College and Belmont University, where in 2005 and 2007 he was awarded the Sophomore Musicianship of the Year and Outstanding Graduate in Music awards.
Juan Mejía, cello
Cellist Juan Mejía hails from the city of Medellín, Colombia. His early musical studies were completed at Universidad Javeriana under the tutelage of Mintcho Badev. Upon moving to the United States at the age of seventeen, he was accepted into the prestigious preparatory program at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan before matriculating at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to complete his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees under the guidance of Jean Michel Fonteneau. From 2014 to 2016 Juan was the cello teacher for the Young Musician Choral Orchestra. This non-profit organization offers high-quality, intensive musical training, academic support, and personal guidance to improve the lives of talented, low-income students aged 9-18 from throughout the Bay Area. During this time he was also part of the San Francisco Symphony’s educational outreach program, Adventures In Music. The four members of his quartet gave approximately one hundred and fifty performances in many of San Francisco’s elementary schools. In 2016 he was the recipient of one of the prestigious graduate fellowship awards at the University of Arizona. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in cello performance at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, studying with Dr. Theodore Buchholz.
Tyler Ramos, piano
Pianist Tyler Ramos is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music studying with Dr. John Milbauer and serving as a teaching assistant in the Class Piano Lab for Dr. Lisa Zdechlik. He recently completed a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Tyler’s earliest music teachers were Ellen Masaki (piano) and Nancy Masaki (cello), and from 2009 until moving to Arizona in 2017 he studied with Dr. Thomas Yee.
Tyler’s numerous accolades include winning the Hawai’i State Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competition on five occasions, and the MTNA Southwest Division competition in three different categories (piano solo, piano duet, and chamber music). Tyler placed third in the National MTNA competition in San Antonio, Texas in April 2016, and third in the American Prize Piano Competition in the college division. More recently, Tyler won the Arizona MTNA Young Artist Competition and will represent the state in the Division competition in Nevada in January 2018.
As a winner of the Aloha International Piano Competition, Tyler performed Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Hawai’i Youth Symphony. He also performed Liszt’s “Totentanz” with the University of Hawai’i Wind Ensemble, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 with the Windward Festival Orchestra, and the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra.
CONTACT: Fine Arts Box Office, (520) 621-1162 or tickets.arizona.edu
TICKETS: $10, $7, $5