Symphony concert to feature 2018 concerto competition winners

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The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra will showcase winners of the annual NSU Concerto Competition in a concert on Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $10. Northwestern State University, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D.

Dr. Douglas Bakenhus is music director of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony. Josie Gonzalez Masmela is the graduate assistant conductor.

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The concert features student soloists Luis Alejandro Gallo Qunitero of Cartagena, Colombia, on oboe, Alexander J. Butler of Bossier City on saxophone and Hassik Vasquez Navarez of Cartagena, Colombia, on flute.

The program will be “Light Calvary Overture” by Franz von Suppe, “Introduction, Theme & Variations” by J.N. Hummel, “Divertimento for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra” by Roger Boutry featuring Butler, “Colas Breugnon Overture” by Dmitri Kabalevsky, “‘Carmen’ Fantasy for Flute on Themes from Bizet’s Carmen’” by Francois Borne and edited by Galway featuring Vasquez, and “1812 Festival Overture” by P.I. Tchaikovsky.

Butler, a senior music business major with a minor in business administration, is a student of Dr. Paul Forsyth. He plays soprano saxophone in the Reed Between the Lines saxophone quartet. Butler received honorable mention for the McCutcheon Award in 2015 and 2017. He has been principal saxophonist for the NSU for Wind Symphony for the past two years after being second chair saxophone for a year. Butler plans to graduate in May.

Gallo began to study oboe at age 11 at the Escuela de Musica Comfenalco. He later was a member of the Comfenalco Youth Orchestra. A music performance and industrial engineering technology major, he is principal oboist of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and NSU Wind Symphony. Gallo is a student of Leah Forsyth. He won the 2016 McCutcheon Honors Recital. Gallo has performed with the Rapides Symphony, Monroe Symphony and Marshall Symphony orchestras.

Vasquez began his musical studies at age 11 at the Comfenalco Cartagena Music School where he was a member of the Comfenalco Youth Orchestra, Comfenalco Big Band and Charanga Comfenalco. He is a student of Dr. Dennette McDermott. Vasquez performed in the McCutcheon Honors Recital and has participated in master classes with a number of acclaimed musicians.