High school students compete by playing music from memory

POTSDAM, NY – The public is invited to watch six high school students from northern and central New York compete for a $500 first prize and the opportunity to solo with the region’s only professional symphony orchestra on Saturday, February 16th. The Orchestra of Northern New York hosts the 13th Annual James and Katherine Andrews Young Artist Competition at 10:00 a.m. in SUNY Potsdam’s Hosmer Hall.

Students perform works from memory. Each student has seven to fifteen minutes to play a required piece.

This year’s competition participants are:

Grace Cicchinelli, 16, from St. Regis Falls Central will perform on flute. She is the
daughter of Nicholas and Kelly Cicchinelli, St. Regis Falls.

Katie Lamica, 17, from Franklin Academy will perform on clarinet. She is the daughter of Alan and Lynn Lamica, Malone.

Daniel Severtson, 16, from Potsdam Central High School will perform on oboe. Mark Severtson, 16, also from Potsdam High will perform on tuba. They are sons of Kirk and Josie Severtson, Potsdam.

Peter Spinelli, 18, from Fayetteville-Manlius High School will perform on the piano. He is the son of Stephen and Pauline Spinelli, Manlius.

Carole Wilay, 15, from Carthage High School will perform on violin. She is the daughter of Douglas and Heyoung Wilay, Black River.

Second and third place prizes of $300 and $150 respectively are also awarded.

Judges for the competition include members of the Crane School of Music faculty.

The competition was established in 2007. Mr. and Mrs. Andrews were great supporters of various activities for young people and were especially fond of those involving music.

Upon the death of James, his wife Katherine and family members decided that all donations in his name would be used to establish this event.

The mission of the competition is to inspire the young musicians of Northern New York and beyond to reach their highest level of artistry. The competition is one of a few of its kind in the U.S. to offer both a cash prize and the opportunity to solo with a professional orchestra.

The winner of this year’s competition will perform at the Harry Potter Spectacular
concerts on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Jefferson Community College’s Sturtz Theater in Watertown and on Sunday, March 24 at 3:00 p.m. at SUNY Potsdam’s Hosmer Hall.