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IVSO Young Performers competition winners to perform March 8

OTTAWA — The 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra concert in the Ottawa Township High School auditorium will feature the winners of the 2020 IVSO Young Performers Competition, which was held on Jan. 4.

Twenty-seven musicians from grades 6-12 competed for the honor of performing a solo with the IVSO. The winner of the junior division (grades 6-9), vocalist Nora Maier, will perform "Pie Jesu" from Faure’s Requiem, and senior division winner (grades 9-12) Emma Anderson will perform the first movement of the "Hummel Trumpet Concerto."

The concert will also feature music from “Far-Off Places,” including: Mendelssohn’s haunting "Hebrides Overture," composed after a visit the composer made to the British Isles; selections from the rarely heard "Gayene Ballet Suite No. 1" by Russian composer Aram Khachaturian; and the exciting "Danzón No. 2 for Orchestra" by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez.

Maier is an eighth grader at Parkside Middle School in Peru. Her parents are Michael Maier and Brandi Anderson-Maier of Peru. Her private instructor is Jenilyn Roether, with whom she has studied for one year. She has enjoyed taking the stage in musical theater at Stage 212 in LaSalle, Parkside Middle School, Mendota 3M and Illinois Valley Community College. She was cast at Stage 212 in "Mary Poppins Jr." as the Bird Woman, Take a Bow kids ensemble, "White Christmas" as Susan Waverly and Edwina Spoonapple in "Dear Edwina Jr." She was also cast in "High School Musical Jr." as Gabriella Montez at Parkside Middle School and Alice in "Matilda the Musical" at Mendota 3M. Recently, she participated as a soloist in "Broadway Backwards" and in "Elf! the Musical" ensemble at IVCC. She will also be playing Peter Pan in "Peter Pan Jr." at Parkside Middle School in March.

Maier's honors and musical experiences include being selected for ILMEA in both 2018 and 2019 for singing and participation in choir all four years at Parkside Middle School. In addition, she has been a part of Singing Raiders at Parkside Middle School in seventh and eighth grades.

Anderson is the daughter of Todd and Doreen Anderson of Oglesby, and is a senior honor student at LaSalle-Peru Township High School. She is a member of the L.P.H.S Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble. She also participates in spring musicals and pit band. In addition to playing piano and trumpet in the high school bands, she has also been a member of the Illinois Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra since 2016, the Spring Valley Municipal Band and the Princeton Community Band. She also plays piano regularly for a local church. She is currently a piano student of Delle Vercimak at Music Suite 408 and trumpet student of Dave Peterson at Maestro & Mi Music Academy. She also studied piano under the guidance of Carol McConaghie for over seven years.

Anderson was recognized as a Division I soloist at Band-O-Rama for four years, where three of which she was awarded most outstanding soloist. She was selected to perform in the ILMEA District 2 Junior Band in 2014, 2015 and the District 2 Senior Band in 2017, 2018, and 2019 with first chair appointment. She qualified to perform in the All-State Honors Band at the Illinois Music Education Conference held in Peoria in January 2020. Additionally, she was recognized by the NCI ARTWorks as Outstanding Student of the Arts in 2019.

Anderson loves music and sharing music with others. She believes music is the perfect way to bring people together. She also enjoys reading, running, and spending time with family and friends. After graduation, she plans to go to a university to study music education.

Musicians honored as runner-up or honorable mention in the 2020 Young Performers Competition performed in a recital on Feb. 7 at the Westclox Fine Arts Factory in Peru. The IVSO also performed the Far-Off Places program for nearly 800 elementary students from the Ottawa area Feb. 21.

The concert is sponsored by Miller Group Charitable Trust and season sponsors Ottawa Radio and Regional Media. Admission is by season membership or individual ticket, available online at or at the door. Adult tickets are $20, students K-12 free and College with an ID is $5.

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