From left to right: Vincent Bartiromo, cello; Jane Paknia, trumpet; Gerald Kim, violin; Alex Zhang, violin; Acadia Hall, oboe, Vincent Packer, clarinet
GBYO Concerto Competition Showcase for Finalists of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras Finals January 6th, 2 pm Pequot Library
Jane Paknia wins GBYO Concerto Competition. Over 150 in the audience braved the very cold temperatures and were warmed by the incredible music played by these six accomplished finalists.Congratulations to all the finalists and to the winner Jane Paknia who will play in the Spring GBYO concert.
Carrie Mascaro, Jane Paknia and GBYO music director Christopher Hisey
About the Finalists: Vincent Bartiromo is 17 years old and studies cello under the direction of Enkelejda Nani. He started playing the cello at age 8. He is currently a senior at Fairfield College Preparatory School, where he is principal cellist in the Fairfield Prep Symphonic Orchestra. In addition to being assistant principal cellist in the Principal Orchestra of GBYO, Vincent is a member of the Corona String Quartet, a youth ensemble directed by Asya Meshberg. Last year, the Quartet participated in the Skidmore College Chamber Music Festival. Vincent has also participated in the Western Regional and All-State Competitions over the past three years. He volunteers at the KEYS program (Kids Empowered by Your Support), where he teaches cello and music theory to students in Bridgeport.
Acadia Hall is a senior at Guilford High School. She has played piano since age six and oboe since age eleven and currently studies oboe with Heather Taylor. She has participated in regionals and all-state festivals throughout middle school and high school, and has been in wind ensembles and orchestras at her school. She has also volunteered for numerous organizations such as the Neighborhood Music School and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, helping mentor music students at NMS and usher concerts for NHSO. Acadia hopes to continue music throughout college while pursuing a degree in materials engineering.
Gerald Kim, 14 years old, a freshman at Fairfield Ludlowe High school, is currently studying violin with Wendy Sharp. He started playing violin in 1st grade at Westport Suzuki Music School. Gerald joined GBYO in 5th grade and is in his 3rd year in Principal Orchestra. In addition to GBYO, he plays in a string quartet coached by Fiona Murray and in a string sextet coached by Asya Meshberg. He has participated in the Chamber Music Central since 2nd grade as well as Chamber Music Institute for young musicians last summer. Besides music, he has a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a member of the Fairfield World Champion Tae Kwon Do Demo Team. He loves teaching younger kids as a junior instructor in Tae Kwon Do and as a volunteer at McKinley Elementary School.
Jane Paknia, a junior at Weston High School, began piano lessons as a 5-year old, and eventually began trumpet as a fifth grader. Since then, she has participated in festivals on the regional, state, and national level in both jazz ensembles and concert bands. She is a part of GBYO's principal orchestra, GBYO Jazz Ensemble, her school jazz and wind ensemble, as well as a club that she founded in Weston called "Share the Music," which takes musicians around the community to play for different groups of people--last year, they had many performances including Circle of Friends and other public events in their town. Jane also teaches piano and trumpet, something she is very fond of doing.
Vincent Packer is a senior at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury, CT. He has been an instrumentalist since 4th grade, getting his start on the viola and then transitioning to the alto saxophone in middle school and finally to the clarinet in high school. He has been a member of the CMEA Regional and All State Concert Band for the past two years. He has studied privately with Terrance Griswold since 2016. Recently, he performed at a master class led by renowned clarinetist Ayako Oshima, which was part of the Hartt School of Music’s Oboe and Clarinet Day, and had a solo recital at Naugatuck Valley Community College. His summer music activities have included participation in Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute Clarinet Workshop under Dr. David Martins, and the Worchester Chamber Music Society’s Summer Program. In addition to his musical activities, Vincent is an honor student, a member of the National Honor Society and an avid canoer. He has enjoyed traveling and competing nationally in whitewater slalom competitions. Vincent plans to major in Clarinet Performance in college. Alex Zhang is a 16-year-old Junior at Hopkins School in New Haven, CT. 2018 will mark his 9th year of studying violin with his teacher, Shan Jiang. Through these years, Alex has developed a love for music and has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including an honorable mention in the 2014 American Protege competition, a seat in the Connecticut All-State Orchestra as a freshman, and the first-place prize in the 2017 American Protégé competition. Alex has performed in several renowned venues for recitals and concerts such as Carnegie Hall in Manhattan, New York, and Lincoln Center, both as soloists and as the concert master of New England Youth Symphony (NEYS). This is Alex's sixth year in GBYO. At school, Alex is the concert master of the Hopkins School Orchestra, and enjoys playing tennis and squash competitively on the varsity teams.