Annual Concerto Competition Finals

Concerto Competition Finals 2014
2014 Concerto Competition winner Yolanda Tapia.

The Colorado State University Sinfonia Orchestra hosts the 2014-15 Concerto Competition Finals featuring Colorado State’s finest soloists. Three soloists will compete for the title of best solo performance in collaborative performances with the orchestra.

Tuesday, March 3
7:30 p.m.
Griffin Concert Hall
University Center for the Arts
1400 Remington St.

The soloists, chosen through an audition process that begins in the fall semester for this annual competition, will each perform a piece of their choice, accompanied by the CSU Sinfonia Orchestra, under the direction of Wes Kenney. This year’s finalists, chosen from 35 original applicants, are Ji Hye Chung, violin; Julie Park, clarinet; and Ben Justis, percussion.

“There is prestige in being recognized as one of the top players in the department,” said CSU’s director of orchestras Wes Kenney. “I’m always amazed at the extraordinary level of performance by our Concerto finalists. They play with energy and passion.”


Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at 970-491-ARTS (2787), or online at

Youth tickets must be purchased in person at the Ticket Office. All tickets are subject to a $1 ticket fee for both online and at-the-door purchases. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended to avoid lines and further at-the-door fees.

  • $7/CSU students
  • $1/youth (under 18)
  • $12/public

Musical selections

The soloists’ musical selections come from a diverse background, including Concerto for Vibraphone and String Orchestra by Emmanuel Séjourné, Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major, and Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Beginning his work in musical theatre, Emmanuel Séjourné composes in a way that transcends era and style. The modern French composer and percussionist was heavily influenced by classical and pop music.

“The beauty, emotions, and technical challenges of the work appealed very strongly to me,” said percussion contestant, Ben Justis. “The lyricism and jazz vocabulary exhibited in the first movement make it a suave and captivating opening to the concerto.”

Much like Séjourné, Carl Maria von Weber, another European artist and composer, sought to push boundaries in composition. Matching Séjourné‘s eclectic style, Weber helped Europe usher in the new era of Romanticism. A generation later, Europe was pushed even further as Camille Saint-Saëns sent shock waves through the continent as he, at a time where Baroque was all the rage, championed new and innovated works like the German composers Liszt and Wagner.

Colorado State University’s Director of Orchestras, Professor Wes Kenney.

Join this year’s soloists and enjoy the great musical works of composition pioneers Séjourné, Weber and Saint-Saëns at CSU’s 2015 Concerto Competition.

Conductor Wes Kenney

The 2007 Grand Prize Winner of the Varna (Bulgaria) International Conducting Competition, Wes Kenney is now in his tenth season as Music Director of the Fort Collins (Colorado) Symphony. Named in 2004 to an additional post as Music Director of Opera Fort Collins, he currently conducts three professional operatic productions as well as numerous orchestra concerts and dance performances each season throughout Northern Colorado.

Soloist Ji Hye Chung

Ji Hye Chung, originally from Seoul, Korea, started playing the violin at the age of four. Ji Hye is currently working toward her second master’s degree, focusing on both performance and pedagogy at Colorado State University, studying with Dr. Ron Francois and Leslie Stewart. Ji Hye finished her Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University as a student of Christian Teal, and her first Master’s degree from University of Colorado at Boulder as Lina Bahn’s student. She is currently the first violinist of the Zinnea String Quartet.

Soloist Ben Justis

Ben Justis graduated from Colorado State University with an undergraduate degree in music education in 2013. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in percussion performance at CSU where he is also a student in the composition program. His primary instructors include Eric Hollenbeck, Shilo Stroman, and James David.

Soloist Julie Park

Julie Park received her undergraduate performance degree from Columbus State University, while studying under Dr. Lisa Oberlander. She is currently studying clarinet performance under Dr. Wesley Ferreira as his graduate teaching assistant at Colorado State University.

The University Center for the Arts

The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.
For more information, visit

Event contact: Carrie Care,, (970) 491-5891