Salisbury Symphony celebrates young musicians

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 1, 2018

 Teenage soloists and the Rowan County 5th Grade Honors  Chorus to be featured at the annual family concert

By James Dane Harvey, Executive Director Salisbury Symphony

The Salisbury Symphony announces the program for its annual Family Concert, which will take place this year at Varick Auditorium on the campus of Livingstone College on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.

The concert is a celebration of young musicians and will feature 14-year old violinist Caroline Smoak in the first movement of Barber’s Violin Concerto, 16-year old cellist Kevin Agner in Elgar’s Cello Concerto, the Rowan County 5th Grade Honors Chorus in “Gloria Tibi” from Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, and “Somewhere” from Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Livingstone alumnus baritone Dairon McGraw joins the Honors Chorus in “Gloria Tibi” and will also perform solo in Bernstein’s Simple Song. Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, Turkey Trot, and further selections from West Side Story round off the bill.

Caroline Smoak, a ninth grader from Charlotte, began studying violin at age 5. In the summer of 2016, Caroline was one of the youngest students at the Heifetz International Music Institute, and studied with Itzhak Perlman at this past summer’s Perlman Music Program in New York. In 2016 she won the junior division of the Peter Perret Youth Talent Search and in 2017 won the Charlotte Symphony Young Artist Competition-Junior Division, won the state round for the MTNA Junior Division competition, and won the senior division of the Peter Perret Youth Talent Search.

Caroline Smoak

Kevin Agner, a Salisbury native and eleventh-grader at Gray Stone Day School, is a member of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra and will participate in the 2017 North Carolina All State Honors Orchestra. He has played solo with the Salisbury Symphony at the 2016 Pops at the Post and has been a member of the Salisbury Symphony orchestra for two seasons of The Nutcracker.

Kevin Agner

Dairon McGraw returns to Salisbury, having graduated from Livingstone College in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in music. He has since gone on to perform the principal role of Archangel Gabriel in Gloria at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town in Williamsburg, Va.

Dairon McGraw

The Rowan County 5th Grade Honors Chorus is comprised of approximately 120 students from 20 schools across Rowan County. Music teachers select students to represent their school in this ensemble.

The Salisbury Symphony Orchestra is under the direction of Music Director David Hagy.

This concert has been generously sponsored by Bill and Nancy Stanback.

Tickets range from $2-$20 and are available at or 704-216-1513.

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