Five prestigious music performance major students showed off their expertise for their respective instruments or voice at the Music Department’s Scholarship Winners’ Concert in the McKay Auditorium on Oct. 4. The finalists were chosen from last Spring Semester when the Music Department carried out an undergraduate research competition.
The students were selected from among music majors at a competition earlier this year in May. Three students received scholarship awards and two received honorable mentions: Koko Ohira, saxophone; Kaitlyn Bourne, soprano; Sydney Nemrow, mezzo-soprano; Ayaka Kinjo, piano; and David Kinikini, piano.
Lizzy Wiley, a senior from China studying TESOL, and her husband Christopher, a senior from Oregon studying music, agreed that the performers displayed great talent.
Ohira, a senior from Japan and recipient of the honorable mention, started off the concert performing “Saxo-Rhapsody” by Eric Coates with Jennifer Duerden, special instructor, accompanying her on the piano. Wiley said, “I loved Koko’s saxophone playing. It was so smooth, like a Jacuzzi and smoothie put together.”
Bourne followed with Gounod’s French song “Je veux vivre” from “Roméo et Juliette.” Bourne, a senior from Utah and recipient of the honorable mention, said, “I guess my big goal for tonight was I wanted to do pieces that spoke to me, pieces that were enjoyable for me and the audience.” She then sang the Rachmaninoff’s “Oh, never sing to me again” and Leonard Bernstein’s “Glitter and be gay” from “Candide.”
“When I am on stage and performing, it’s a release. It’s just fun,” Bourne continued. “I really feel like I am doing what God wants me to do. I feel very humbled to have that ability and to be able to share it with people.”
Nemrow performed next with her mother Stacy McCarrey, special instructor of piano, accompanying her. A senior from Laie in her third trimester of pregnancy and third place winner of the scholarship, Nemrow performed “Gretchem am Spinnrade” by Schubert, “Gretchem am Spinnrade” by Lee Hoiby, and “Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" from Camille Saint-Säens’ opera “Samson et Dalila.”
Lizzy said she enjoyed Sydney Nemrow’s singing performance. “Sydney made my heart feel warm and happy,” she said. A short intermission followed Nemrow’s last song.
Kinjo, a junior from Japan and second place winner, dismissed the intermission with Beethoven’s “Sonata in C Major (“Waldstein.” Christopher said, “It was super fun to see Ayaka play Sonya in C major... to see her play with such passion.” Lizzy said of Kinjo’s skill, “She plays really complicated pieces every time she plays, and she makes them look so easy.”
Kinikini, a senior from Laie and first place winner, concluded the concert with three sonata excerpts: “Sonata in D Minor, K. 141” by Scarlatti, “Sonata no. 2 in B-flat Minor, op. 35, Movement I” by Chopin, and “Sonata no.7 in B-flat Major, op. 83, Movement III.”
Cassidee Elquist, a freshman from Idaho studying exercise science, said she enjoyed David Kinikini’s performance in particular. “He just really brought passion to the performance, and watching him play looked like the piano wouldn’t hold up. He was playing with so much heart,” she said.
Of the concert as a whole, Elquist “I thought [the concert] was very unique. All of the performers brought something special, and it was really well done.”