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Jan. 16, 2009
Contact: Erin Curtis-Dierks, School of Fine Arts, (785) 864-9742.

KU students to perform Feb. 14 in Hays Symphony Orchestra Competition

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas music students will perform with the Hays Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Fort Hays State University Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

Christopher Nichols, doctoral student in clarinet from Allentown, Pa., and Alec Tauscher, a sophomore in piano from Overland Park, are performing as finalists in the fifth annual Hays Symphony Orchestra Young Artist’s Competition. Top prizes in the competition will be awarded at a public ceremony immediately following the performance.

Nichols and Tauscher were selected for the final competition performance during the November regional competition at Fort Hays State University. Alyssa Marie Boone, a KU senior in flute from Wichita, received honor mention in the regional round.

Nichols studies clarinet under Stephanie Zelnick, assistant professor of clarinet, and Tauscher studies piano under Jack Winerock, professor of piano.

In the regional competition, Nichols performed Mozart’s “Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A Major.” Tauscher performed Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 18.”

“Clarinetists practice Mozart’s ‘Clarinet Concerto’ throughout their studies in preparation for a career as a professional musician,” said Nichols. “I am privileged to have the opportunity to perform it with an orchestra.”

“Playing piano has been a passion all my life and the opportunity to perform with a full orchestra fulfills this passion,” added Tauscher.

The KU students honored at the regional competition of the Fifth Annual Hays Symphony Orchestra Young Artist’s Competition are listed below by their hometowns.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Overland Park 66209
Alec Tauscher is pursuing degrees in piano and music education. He is the son of David Tauscher. His numerous awards and performances include winning first place in the 2007 Crescendo Music Awards Pre-College Piano Competition. He was a semifinalist in the 2008 Crescendo Music Awards Young Artist Competition. He was a finalist in the 2007 Schimmel International Piano Competition. In 2006, he was one of seven national finalists in the Music Teachers National Association Yamaha Senior Piano National Competition, representing the West Central Division. He also won the 2006 Kansas City Symphony Young Artist Competition and performed in two concerts under the direction of the Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern and former resident conductor Timothy Hankewich. In addition, in 2006, Tauscher won the piano division in the Topeka Symphony Young Artist Competition and was also one of six finalists in the International Institute for Young Musicians International Piano Competition.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Wichita 67212
Alyssa Marie Boone, who received honorable mention in the regional competition, is the daughter of Janis N. Arnold and a Wichita North High School graduate.

PENNSYLVANIA
From Allentown 18102
Christopher R. Nichols is a graduate teaching assistant at KU. He received a master’s degree in clarinet performance from Kansas State University and graduated with highest honors from the Boston Conservatory. Nichols is the principal clarinetist of the 312th Army Band of Lawrence. He formerly was the principal clarinet and concertmaster of the 1st Infantry Division Band at Fort Riley, with performances in Europe and the United States. He has also performed with the U. S. Army Europe Band, the Salina Symphony and the Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, among others. He has served on the faculties of the Ottley Music School, Hyattsville, Md.; the Boston Arts Academy in Massachusetts and the Berkley College of Music Preparatory School in Oakland, Calif. He is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the International Clarinet Association, Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

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