This post is the third in a series featuring the outstanding young musicians who will perform at the South Coast Botanic Garden Music Fair II Outreach concert on October 21. To see the full lineup of musicians, review the schedule of performances, and to purchase tickets online, click here. Adult tickets at $10 may also be purchased at the door. Youth 18 and under are free.
Pre-concert activities begin at 12:00. Come early to visit the Music Mobile van, and purchase a gourmet sandwich from Twist Burger. To preview the menu, click here. Ticket price does not include admittance to the Garden.
Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra, directed by Elmer Su
The Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra, directed by Elmer Su (front row, 2nd from left), is a community orchestra sponsored by the Palos Verdes Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The orchestra members come from widely diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The orchestra exists to provide a setting where musicians of all ages, nationalities and experience can create beautiful music for the enjoyment of our community. The Orchestra utilizes a mentoring concept where experienced adults share their talents, knowledge and expertise with younger members. Performances by members of the orchestra at this event will include:
Violin Soloists Lillian Liao and Leonard Chong
To watch a video of Lillian and Leonard performing Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, click here.
Lillian Liao, 17, a senior at Palos Verdes High School (PVHS), is the concertmistress of the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra (PVRSO). In addition, she is serving her second term as president of the PVHS Tri-M Music Honor Society, as well as concertmistress of the PVHS Full and String Orchestra. Lillian has studied violin with Mr. Elmer Su since the age of four and has achieved countless awards, including first prize at the America String Teachers Association (ASTA)-Greater Los Angeles Final, first prize in the junior division of the Southwestern Youth Music Festival Young Violinists Competition and second prize in the senior division the following year, winner in the Music Teachers’ Association of California Artists of the Future Concerto Competition, and second prize in the Bellflower Symphony Young Artists Concerto Competition. Her greatest experience was when she advanced to the ASTA State Finals Competition. She is very grateful to have had the opportunities to guest solo with the Bellflower Symphony, Beach Cities Symphony, PVRSO, and the PVHS Full and String Orchestra. She would like to thank her teacher, Mr. Elmer Su, and her family for the guidance and inspiration that they have given her for the past thirteen years.
14 year old Leonard Chong is a freshman in Mira Costa High School. He has been studying the violin since age 7 with Mr. Elmer Su. Leonard is the honoree of multiple awards and competitions, including 1st place and top prizes in the SYMF open solo competition during the last several summer festivals. He also placed 1st in the junior California VOCE in 2010, as well as junior state champion in the 2010 California ASTA. Other awards include: Young Artist of the Future 1st place winner with the Bellflower Orchestra, Edith Knox Concerto Competition 2nd place winner; Parness Young Artist Concerto Competition winner, Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra winner, Brentwood Symphony, as well as the Elizabeth Holburn scholarship. In addition to music, Leonard has appeared in the hit movie ‘Eagle Eye’ acting in Sam’s school orchestra playing the violin. Leonard’s life-long goal is to touch people’s heart with music.
Cello Duet with Kristi Kim and Justin Cheung
Kristi Kim, age 12, is an eighth grader at Bert Lynn Middle School. Kristi has studied cello for 4 years with Mrs. Dorothy Muggeridge. Kristi has won several prizes at SYMF and ASTA. In 2011, Kristi won the Beach Cities Symphony’s middle school scholarship, Grand Prize at the Junior Korean Times Competition, and the Cello Award at the MTAC Scholarship Audition. Earlier this year, Kristi was a winner of the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, and the Intermediate Instrumentalist Award at the MTAC Scholarship Auditions. Most recently, Kristi won the MTAC Artists of the Future Competition and soloed with the Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra. Kristi is an active member of the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra.
Justin Cheung is 12 years old and will be an 8th grader at Richardson Middle School in Torrance this fall. He has been taking cello lessons with Mrs. Dorothy Muggeridge for five years and has won several competitions, including first places in the 2011, 2010 and 2009 SYMF, the Junior Bach Festival in 2012, 2011 and 2009, and the ASTA in 2011. He has been a member of the Palos Verdes Regional Orchestra for two years. He also plays clarinet in his school band for the past two years and just started alto saxophone this summer. Besides music, he likes playing video games, reading and drawing.
Violin and Viola Duet with Rebecca Lester and Karen Su
To watch a video of Rebecca and Karen performing the Theme from Schindler’s List, click here.
Rebecca Lester, 17, is a senior and has been homeschooled all her life. She is an excellent student and is currently attending classes at El Camino, getting a jumpstart on college courses. She started playing the viola at the age of nine and has been studying with Michele Nardone for five years, serving as her assistant for the past two years. Since 2009, Rebecca has been a part of the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra as the associate principle violist. In 2011, she participated in the Los Angeles Orchestra Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Earlier this year, she also performed as a soloist in Zipper Hall at The Colburn School in Downtown Los Angeles. After graduation, Rebecca plans to pursue a degree in either music performance or music therapy.
Karen Su, age thirteen, started studying violin with her father, Elmer Su, at the young age of four. Currently, she is a freshman at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in the prestigious Palos Verdes Peninsula School District. In the short span of six years, Karen has acquired eighteen awards (sixteen first places) in the Open Category of the Southwestern Youth Music Festival. She also took first place in the Greater Los Angeles American String Teachers Association Competition in 2009. In January 2011, she was awarded with the Music Teacher’s Association of California Scholarship Audition award. She also won first place in the South Bay Branch MTAC VOCE Competition, advancing to the state finals in both 2011 and 2012. Karen was named as one of six finalists in the 2011 Edith Knox Concerto Competition. Soon after, she received 3rd place at the 2011 Music Teacher’s Association of California VOCE State Finals Competition. In January 2012, Karen won the MTAC Artists of the Future Concerto Competition. This competitive teen has also performed with numerous times with orchestras, including the Bellflower Symphony in April 2011, the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra in December 2010 and December 2011, and the Beach Cities Symphony in May 2012. Not only is she a rising soloist, she enjoys playing orchestral music as an active member of the first violin section in the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra.
Violin Duet with Kevin Chen and Robert Hu
To watch a video of Kevin and Robert performing Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor by J. S. Bach, click here.
Kevin Chen began his violin studies with Mr. Elmer Su at age 9. Now an 11-year-old 6th grader at Bert Lynn Middle School in Torrance, Kevin is already a very active member of the first violin section in the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his passion for violin, Kevin has also been enjoyed playing piano since the age of 6. His awards in violin and piano competition include four first places and two third places at Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF), three times winner of the Southern California Junior Bach Festival branch and regional level competitions. Kevin is a straight-A student, an active participant in his school academic pentathlon team, and 4th place winner at spelling bee contest. In his spare time, he likes to play basketball and enjoys reading.
Robert Hu, age 12, is an incoming seventh grader currently attending Ridgecrest Intermediate School in Palos Verdes. Since the age of six, he has studied the violin under the guidance of Mr. Elmer Su. Robert frequently competes in violin competitions and has been awarded numerous SYMF trophies. In 2012, he placed second at the regional level of VOCE. This year, he received first prize at the ASTA Area III competition and advanced to the Los Angeles Finals, where he was awarded Honorable Mention. As an active member of the first violin section in the Palos Verdes Symphony Regional Orchestra, Robert has also soloed with the orchestra in many chamber concerts. In addition to the violin, Robert plays the piano. Since the age of four, he has studied the piano under Mr. David Wu. When he was only ten, he completed the advanced level of piano CM test with excellence. Besides violin and piano, Robert enjoys reading, doing math, playing basketball, swimming, and traveling with his family.