Minnesota Varsity: Showcase Concert

John Birge and the Showcase ArtistsCourtney Perry for MPR

2015 Minnesota Varsity Showcase Concert


April 20, 2015

The fifth season of Classical MPR's Minnesota Varsity closed on April 19th with a vibrant Showcase Concert at the Fitzgerald Theater! Five Showcase Round artists performed, and the two Showcase Round composers had pieces premiered.

Hosted by John Birge, the evening was broken into two parts: performance artists and composition artists. The first part of the evening featured Trio Tesoro (Sarrah Bushara, Luca Tallarini, and Cole Thompson), marimbist Max Melin, cellist Caroline Paulsen, vocalist Scottie Schwefel, and pianist Collin Jinks.

The second part of the event, featuring the composition artists, premiered the works of Louisa Byron and John Kuntz. Both students composed works for clarinet, horn, and piano, which were performed by University of Minnesota music graduate students Jennifer Runck, clarinet; Ann Kezar, French horn; and Francesca Tortorello, piano.

Showcase Round Artists

Collin Jinks, 16, Piano (Bayport)

Max Melin, 18, Marimba (Excelsior)

Caroline Paulsen, 16, Cello (Minneapolis)

Scottie Schwefel, 17, Voice (Minnetonka) – Audience Vote Winner

Trio Tesoro: Sarrah Bushara, 16, Oboe (Eden Prairie); Luca Tallarini, 16, Clarinet (Inver Grove Heights); Cole Thompson, 16, Piano (Falcon Heights)

Showcase Round Composers

Louisa Byron, 17, (Waseca): "The First Snow" for clarinet, French horn, and piano

John Kuntz, 18, (Eagan): "As the Day Unfolds" for clarinet, French horn, and piano

New this year: Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Play It Forward instrument drive will have a collection site in the Fitzgerald Theater lobby for the duration of the Minnesota Varsity Showcase Concert. Starting at 3:00PM on Sunday, April 19, the lobby site will be open to receive donations of gently-used musical instruments. Viva Musica is our partner for this April 19 instrument collection. You can drop off your no-longer-needed instrument in the lobby, then stay for the Showcase Concert at 4:00!