Guse, Zhou to perform at Mike Dewey Concert

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Junior Jonah Guse and freshman Ellen Zhou were selected to perform with the MHS Symphony Orchestra at the Mike Dewey Concerto Showcase on Thursday, March 12 based on their performances as the 20th annual Concerto-Aria-Ballet Competition held this week.

Guse performed on the piano and Zhou performed on the violin. The competition took place on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at the Performing Arts Center. In all, 21 young musicians displayed the results of hours and hours of work and dedication, MHS orchestra teacher Steve Kurr said.

Musicians selected to perform at a Fine Arts Week spotlight concert are violinists Mia Chapman, Kaitlyn McIntosh, Julia Zhang, and Ethan Ewer, saxophonist Amanda Roesch, and baritone vocalist Michael Chiaverini.  

Guse performed Grieg's Piano Concerto Mvt. 3, while Zhou performed Tchiakovsky's Violin Concerto Mvt. 1. Guse wil also perform during Fine Arts Week.

MHS students who auditioned included Erin Caldwell, Mia Chapman, Michael Chiaverini, Janice Chung, Abigail Evans, Ethan Ewer, Flynn Ewer, Mia Garber, Henry Gruett, Mateo Guiao, Jonah Guse, Thomas Hsu, Clara Landucci, Sai Mallannagari, Kaitlyn McIntosh, Amanda Roesch, Grace Rosholt, Daria Rudykh, Julian Westerlund, Julia Zhang, and Ellen Zhou. 

Erica Miller, the band and orchestra teacher at Madison West High School, Erica Ruppert, the program director for the Wisconsin Schools Music Association, and Aaron Baldauf, a musci teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School, judged the event.

“Without question, it is wonderful to hear an evening filled with so many excellent performances by students at MHS. All of the participants in this year’s competition are to be commended for their dedication and hard work — every one of them should be proud of his or her accomplishments,'' Kurr said. "Middleton High School and your community are honored to have you here. The MHS Music Department extends our congratulations to all performers — you are all winners!”

The Mike Dewey Concerto-Aria Concert honors the memory of Mike Dewey, an orchestra teacher at MHS from 1982 to 2000. Dewey was known as a dedicated orchestra teacher who adored his students and loved teaching. Current MHS orchestra teacher Steve Kurr fondly remembers Dewey's "wonderful sense of humor, Star Wars, and jovial nature.''

The concert showcases the Concerto-Aria winning performances with the MHS symphony orchestra, under the direction of Kurr. Also joining the MHS symphony will be the MHS sinfonia, its newest curricular orchestra, performing several works, including Vivaldi's "Spring" with violinist Nathan Giglierano.

The concert is free and open to the public.