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IHS senior to perform solo with Marshall Symphony Orchestra

Ironton High School senior Lena Williams is this year’s winner of an open competition for a soloist to perform with the Marshall University Symphony Orchestra.

Williams is the 54th winner of the competition sponsored by The Women’s Club of Huntington in cooperation with Cabell County Schools and Marshall University School of Music and Theatre and will play the clarinet in her solo with the orchestra.

“I had to pick a piece to play and memorize it,” Williams said. “Each person that auditioned had to play their piece by memory. This is the fourth year that I’ve participated in the competition, but the first year I won.”

Williams played the second movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto K. 622, which she has been working on since August, she said.

Playing orchestral music is something Williams is familiar with, as she has been playing the clarinet for eight years and has been a member of the Marshall University Symphony Orchestra since eighth grade.

“I started out playing the cello in the orchestra then went to oboe,” she said. “Right now, I’m playing the second oboe in the orchestra, although I’m not playing in the orchestra this semester because I won the competition.”

Williams, along with five other competition participants, played memorized pieces in front of judges at Smith Music Hall at Marshall University in early January before Williams was selected as the winner.

“I’m looking forward to the experience of playing a solo with the Marshall University Orchestra,” she said. “It’s something that I want to do in college.”

Along with the opportunity to perform a solo with the orchestra, Williams also received $150 for winning.

Williams and the orchestra will perform the Family Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3 at the Smith Music Hall and the Young People’s Concert at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 5 at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center.