Clarinet and Violin Solos in Weekend Concert

Shen will play a clarinet solo with the student orchestra Sat. and Sun.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

This weekend, two music students will perform as soloists along with the Idyllwild Arts Student Orchestra (IAO) during their first concert of the year. Both soloists come from China, yet grew up on opposite ends of the country.

Manje, better known as “Ally” is a sophomore violinist, yet exudes an older maturity. She will be playing Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in D Major, Op. 61. The entire orchestra piece will last about 20 minutes.

“I’ve never played that long onstage before,” Alley exclaimed.

Yet, the teenager has performed many times last year with the IAO, and at different events, such as the one at Palm Springs High School, as part of a yearly outreach. Idyllwild Arts students sing, dance, and play classical and jazz numbers. The event  is hosted by the Steinway Society and Dr. Nelms McKelvain, who also teaches piano at Idyllwild Arts.

Ally was excited that her mother was coming from China to see this concert. Mrs. Yang will be among many parents attending the “Parents Weekend” events on campus this weekend.

Ally will play with the orchestra in a piece that lasts 20 minutes

Shen, the other soloist, is a clarinet player. He is very busy these days. First of all, he’s a prefect, or student leader, and has regular dorm duties. Secondly, he’s a senior, so he must submit his college applications soon and prepare for his upcoming auditions in Jan./Feb.

Last year, Shen was thinking of giving up the clarinet and studying psychology instead. However, Yahuda, his clarinet teacher from USC and Colburn, would hear none of it. He insisted that Shen continue his clarinet studies, even during the summer at Idyllwild Arts.

Those two weeks were the longest for Shen.

“It was weird being on campus and not knowing anyone,” he said.

Yet the experience of working with Yahuda in an intense program was worth it.

“I might even got better,” Shen quipped.

Just yesterday, Shen was performing with seven other Idyllwild Arts students at the Palm Springs High School.–the same one Ally had performed at last year.

Show poster

Shen played a clarinet solo by Massaje, and was accompanied by Nelms on piano. Even though there was music on the stand, Shen didn’t look at it once. He said that every time that he appears before a large audience is a good experience.

“Maybe I won’t be so nervous when I play with our orchestra this weekend,” Shen said.

For his piece, Shen will be playing Crusell’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 5. His mother from San Diego will be there, but not his teacher.

“Yahuda’s busy and Idyllwild is a long way from LA,” Shen said.

Besides the Beethoven and Crusell piece, the Idyllwild Arts Student Orchestra will be playing Haydn’s Symphony in E Flat Major, Hob. 1:99.

Like all events at Idyllwild Arts, this concert is free and open to the public. The Saturday, Oct. 15 show will be held at 4 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m.. For more information, contact Idyllwild Arts at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2200, or visit

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Oct 12, 2011 @ 20:17


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Shen Orch Poster Angle

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