Plymouth South High School senior Zachary West was named the overall winner of South Shore Conservatory's 25th annual Concerto Competition.
Another Plymouth music student, Maria D’Ambrosio won an honorable mention in French horn. A student of SSC French horn instructor Megan Riccio, Maria received a trophy during a ceremony following the competition.
The competition was held Jan. 18 at the Conservatory’s Hingham campus.
West earned national recognition late last year when he auditioned and earned placement in the first clarinet section of the National Association of Music Educators All-Eastern Honors Band, according to a release from South Shore Conservatory. As a member of the All-Eastern Band, he will participate in a four-day festival in Hartford, Conn. this spring with other top musicians from around the Northeast.
“I feel incredibly grateful that I won this competition. It is an amazing opportunity to play such an influential piece in the history of clarinet repertoire,” says West. “I don’t think I could have achieved this success without the expert guidance of my instructor Gita Brown. Because of her, I have earned the chance to perform with an amazing professional orchestra right in my hometown.”
West is a student of SSC clarinet instructor Gita Brown, also of Plymouth.
"I am extremely proud of Zac's accomplishment. As a musician, it is no small undertaking to delve into the realm of a large work such as the Mozart Concerto,” says Brown, who has been his instructor for the past year and a half. “Zac approached the task with his unique combination of focused and detailed work, while still maintaining his ability to take artistic risks. He will be a delight to all who are lucky to hear him perform in March."
As overall winner, West will perform the first movement of Mozart's Clarient Concerto with the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra at its Family Concert March 10.
“I am thrilled Zac will be our Family Concert soloist,” said Steven Karidoyanes, Music Director of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra. “His competition performance of the Mozart concerto was nothing short of wonderful! I know he’ll be a tremendous inspiration to our young and impressionable audience members.”
Having taken first in his age division in Concerto Competition, Zac, a Plymouth South High senior, performed in the Winners Concert. In addition, he receives an SSC scholarship and a trophy for first place and overall winner.
Over the past few years Zac has participated in a number of South Shore Conservatory programs including Summer Music Festival and Bay Youth Symphony, a program run in collaboration with The Phil. Zac’s success is just one example of how the Conservatory’s programs help teenagers strive for excellence and growth. After his acceptance into All-Eastern Band, he was invited to act as a performance ambassador and spokesperson for the Conservatory. It is an honor he welcomed.
“I feel indebted to the Conservatory for all the opportunity I have gained there. Everyone I’ve met has been so incredible to help me through my music education,” says West. “Appearing to the community and spreading the good word about The Conservatory will inform more people about this incredible place that exists to pursue excellence in the arts close to home.”