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Young Musicians Invited to Apply to Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Competition

Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra on Jan. 26, 2020 - Maestro Brian Dollinger in the front
Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra
Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra on Jan. 26, 2020 - Maestro Brian Dollinger in the front

The opportunity to be a part of the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra on Hawaiʻi Island is opening this season. The deadline for the youth competition is about a month away.

Because of the pandemic, auditioning remotely has never been so easy, says Maestro Brian Dollinger who is into his sixth season as conductor. He is a busy man. He divides his time between Hawaiʻi and the mainland where he conducts two other orchestras.

Young musicians up to age 18 are eligible to compete in the annual Madeline Schatz-Harris Youth Concerto Competition. Applications are due by Oct. 29 — this year the competition will focus on string instruments.

"I want (young musicians) to reach out through technology and find their inspiration for whatever kind of music that they love," Dollinger said. "Most of us who are in music — yes, making money in a career is amazing — but we do it because we love music, it inspires us."

The first concert of the season on Oct. 3 will feature last year's winners, two young pianists Aimee Okagawa and Crystal Ferreira. Age group winners are selected to perform their piece during one of the season concerts with the entire Kamuela Philharmonic.

"I just want students to embrace music and not be embarrassed by it. Just know that it will always be there for them no matter where they are in their life. And it is just a truly magical experience," he added.

The orchestra holds an “open audition” call every fall for adult musicians.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Sept. 27, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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