February is upon us, and for music students at Williams, this means preparing for the annual Berkshire Symphony Student Soloist Competition. The winners of this competition perform as soloists with the Berkshire Symphony, the regional orchestra that is in residence here. Conducted by Ronald Feldman, the Berkshire Symphony includes Williams students, faculty members, and professionals from the region.
The competition is open to all Williams students who have completed required instrumental or vocal studies, are enrolled in qualifying courses, and are recommended by their instrument or vocal teachers. Students prepare with two pre-competition recitals and lots of practice.
Here, first-year student Robert W. Yang tells us why he wants to be a part of the competition.
A panel of judges selects the winners. The panel is composed of professional musicians from outside the Williams community and this year includes Joel Pitchon, associate professor of violin and chamber music at Smith College; Clarinetist Jorge Montilla, Principal Clarinet of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and Professor at the Latin-American Clarinet Academy of Venezuela; and pianist and choral conductor Joe Rose, director of the Berkshire Singers and music director at St. Charles Church in Pittsfield, Mass.
For more information on the Berkshire Symphony and concert details, visit the music department’s website.