KSU Orchestra Student Soloists’ winners perform

Graduate student Ying Zhong takes a moment after performing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto at the Kent State Orchestra concert last night in Cartwright Hall. LESLIE CUSANO | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The winners of the Kent State Orchestra Student Soloists Competition, Kyle Baldwin and Ying Zhong, performed yesterday in Carol Cartwright Hall.

“It’s a big deal to play with this orchestra,” said Frank Wiley, who has been directing the orchestra for 12 years. “And for those who don’t win, it gives good focus to those students and it’s something for them to aim for.”

Wiley said this is an annual competition for students majoring in music at the university.

Baldwin, a third-year undergraduate music education major, plays the marimba and specializes in other mallet instruments.

“(To play) a concerto in itself is exciting,” Baldwin said. “The hardest thing for artsy people is to get an audience to play for.”

Baldwin has been playing percussion since fifth grade.

The soloists were expected to memorize a 17-minute concerto.

“It’s not hard for me because I always have to do it,” Baldwin said. “It’s hard to look up from my instrument at the music. Memorizing it is just easier.”

Zhong, graduate violin soloist, was not available for comment.

– Megan Rozsa