Madison teen wins top prize in Young Artist Festival

January 20, 2009

Hong-En Chen, a junior from Madison, is the winner of the 2009 Fox Valley Symphony Young Artist Festival, which was held Jan. 17 at Lawrence University.

During the competition, Chen played Rachmaninoff’s "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini Opus 45" on the piano. She will perform the piece with the Fox Valley Symphony during the Kids’ Classic Concert on March 24 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. Tickets for this concert are currently on sale at the P.A.C. ticket office or by calling (920) 730-3760 at a cost of $10 each.

The Kids’ Classic Concert is the culmination of the FVS’ Partners in Education Program, which sends musicians to area schools and provides teachers with a curriculum to help educate third-graders on specific music concepts. Students are then invited to the March 24 concert to complete their learning experience.
Monica Chou of Neenah and a member of the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Symphony took second place in the YAF soloist competition for her violin playing while Robert Doerr of Eagle River took third place for his piano performance.

In addition to the YAF soloist competition, there were four junior competitions. In piano competition for grades 6-7, Aaron Hungerford of Hortonville took first place and Elizabeth Edsell of Oshkosh took second place. Sarah Heywood of Neenah took first place in the piano competition for grades 8-9 while Don Verkuilen of Appleton took second. In the junior string competition, Paige Erickson of Appleton took first place and Alicia Mose of Kaukauna and also a member of the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Symphony took second. In the junior voice competition, Emily Ament of Neenah took first place and Sarah Heywood of Neenah took second place.

The Fox Valley Symphony’s mission is to enrich and nurture the human spirit through symphonic music and educational opportunities than enhance the cultural development of our community. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is the 2008-09 season underwriter and Time Warner Cable, DMiNTERACTIVE and WBAY-TV are season media sponsors. The season is also sponsored in part by funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and by grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. The FVS sponsors two youth orchestras, the Youth Symphony and Philharmonia Strings, who perform fall and spring concerts. In addition to the season concert series, the orchestra performs an education concert for students enrolled in the Partners in Education program. For more information, please visit the FVS online at

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