Graduate student wins Reno Chamber Orchestra College Concerto Competition

Kayleigh Miller performs as featured soloist this Saturday and Sunday at Nightingale Concert Hall

1/25/2013 - By: Natalie Savidge
Kayleigh Miller main image University student and violist Kayleigh Miller is the winner of the Reno Chamber Orchestra’s 24th Annual College Concerto Competition, and she is the featured soloist during the orchestra’s weekend concerts. Photo by Sally Casas.

Not even a year after Kayleigh Miller was diagnosed with a non-cancerous brain tumor, she will grace the stage with the Reno Chamber Orchestra at the University of Nevada, Reno's Nightingale Concert Hall to perform Penderecki's Viola Concerto, a musical piece with which she won the 24th Annual College Concerto Competition.

"Winning the RCO competition is a great opportunity to perform a contemporary work with a chamber orchestra, and showcases the viola, an instrument not often featured in a solo setting," Miller said.

Miller, a graduate student working on a degree in orchestra studies and a member of the Nightingale String Quartet and the Reno Philharmonic, is proud of her wide-ranging background. She has taught special-education music, recently returning from teaching in North Africa last summer, has written and performed many musical programs that are now performed in schools, and did a residency at a youth psychiatric hospital. She has worked with many composers, as well as in other genres and styles, including traditional Indian and pop. She performs on an album of the alternative rock band Weezer, and is a yoga instructor, practicing for more than five years.

"In addition to my performance interests, I also love teaching, outreach and communicating with new audiences," Miller said. "I have great enthusiasm for contemporary classical music and I love to teach all levels and all ages."

Competitors from across the state of Nevada took part in the College Concerto Competition, which took place last fall. They each performed a piece of music of their choice, with the prizewinners chosen by a panel of three distinguished judges. Along with Miller's first prize as the featured soloist, the competition's second prize went to pianist Tian Li, and third prize to flutist Christina McHugh.

"The performance with the Reno Chamber Orchestra is a wonderfully positive event to have happen right now for me," Miller said. "The piece itself is challenging and virtuosic, demanding much of both the performers and the listeners."

Miller previously studied at the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, where she received a dual bachelor's degree in performance and music history in 2008. She has participated in numerous festivals and master classes, has soloed with the Eastman Philharmonia, and played in the New World Symphony throughout spring 2011. She was previously a member of the Boston-based Discovery Ensemble and Boston Philharmonic.

The Reno Chamber Orchestra concerts, led by guest conductor Victor Yampolsky, will also include two works by Mozart, the Symphony No. 40 and the Adagio and Fugue, and Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite. The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at (775) 348-9413 or Reno Chamber Orchestra.

More information on Miller is available on her website.


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