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Young artists win opportunity to perform with Boston Pops

Young artists win opportunity to perform with Boston Pops
Young artists win opportunity to perform with Boston Pops 04:20

BOSTON - The stage is set for one of the best nights of the year inside Symphony Hall in Boston! The concert on June 6 will feature the winners of the 15th Annual Boston Pops Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition. 

The competition is free and open to all Massachusetts High School students ages 13-19 who are invited to upload an audition video to YouTube. 

A panel of judges then selects four winners who get the chance to perform with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops as well as receive musical coaching from Pops professionals. 

This year, the talent pool was so impressive, five winners were chosen for this priceless opportunity instead of the usual four! 

The winners gathered on a Zoom call to hear the good news - vocalist Simona Karadoneva, a student at Newton North High School, says she was overwhelmed with excitement. "All of us sat there with our hands like this and we were like what?" Simona said. 

The talented winners range in terms of their level of experience, but each of them is bursting with passion and excels at their instrument. 

Here are the 2023 Boston Pops Fidelity Investments Young Artists: 

William Ge, 17
Phillips Andover Academy

"The performance opportunity is what I really want to get at here and being able to collaborate especially with so many great musicians," William said.

Jack Haroutunian, 18
Billerica Memorial High School

"I'm so excited and so nervous it's going to be so fun! I think that the end goal of me performing on the Symphony Hall stage with the Boston Pops was such a cool idea that I thought I should go for it at least," Jack said.

Simona Karadoneva, 16
Newton North High School

"I definitely want to start making music - the dream is arenas for me! singing the big venues," Simona said. "I hope to have so many opportunities like this, but this is the first time I'm doing something this big so it's a dream yeah." 

Brian Lee, 18
Belmont Hill School

"It will be by far the biggest audience I will play for and to have an opportunity to share a part of me that I'm so passionate about... I've always dreamed about soloing on the stage one day, I'm just super excited I'll get the chance to do that," Brian said.

Aiki Oki, 15
Brookline High School

"It will be extraordinary, I think! It's just wonderful being in Symphony Hall being able to perform in front of so many people this historic stage and I'm really looking forward to working with the Boston Pops and Keith Lockhart and making such a wonderful performance," Aiki said.

Sam Liu, the Associate Director of Corporate Sponsor Relations for the Boston Pops says the goal is to attract as many different entrants as possible for the Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition next spring. 

He stresses that students should not hesitate to enter if they're concerned that they don't have the perfect classical music background - every aspiring musician is welcome. 

"We've had winners who are just singers in their church choir," Liu says. "We've had winners that have had some lessons, but you definitely don't have to have formal training you just have to have talent and the willingness to compete and apply." 

Click here for more information. 

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