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Granada Music & Arts Conservatory to Showcase Young Soloists

Seven local students have been selected to perform during Sunday's program

For more than a quarter-century, a tradition has been building in Santa Barbara. The Granada Music & Arts Conservatory, the legendary program founded by visionary Lana Bodnar, is about to celebrate the accomplishments of some exceptional young musicians at the 27th Annual Young Soloists Showcase at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10 at The Granada, 1214 State St. in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara-area students, who spend each Saturday at the conservatory studying a wide range of the arts, audition for an opportunity to solo with a professional orchestra each spring. Only a handful is selected to perform.

This year’s Young Soloists are John Etsell, Michael Sikich, Daria Etezadi and Grace Stanton on piano; and Joshelle Conley, Camille Miller and Sofiya Prykhitko on violin. The musicians will play works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Wolfgang Mozart, Henryk Wieniawski, Edouard Lalo and Charles Auguste de Bériot.

This year’s showcase will be conducted by Gary Sheldon, principal conductor for the Miami City Ballet and 2010 winner of the American Prize for Conducting in the Professional Orchestra Division. Included in this concert will be short performances by the conservatory’s own Virtuoso Strings, Junior Virtuosi and the Junior Choir.

“What makes this conservatory more special than others I have worked with is the remarkable level of maturity the students exhibit in their interpretations and in the way they rehearse and perform,” Sheldon said. “The outstanding teachers impart musicality and artistry on the highest level and in such a way that the students grasp something far beyond the mere notes on the page.”

The conservatory’s artistic director, Nina Bodnar, an internationally acclaimed violinist in her own right, attests to the struggles of young artists, and young people in general.

“This program is about creating a safe environment where students appreciate and encourage each other,” she said. “As much as we want our students to succeed, we focus on playing together.”

Tickets are $25 for Patrons, $20 for general admission, $10 for students/seniors and free for children age 12 or younger. To order, click here, call 805.899.2222 or visit the box office at 1214 State St.

— Sarah Ettman-Sterner is a parent volunteer for the Granada Music & Arts Conservatory.

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