On Saturday, September 22, thirteen young artists competed in our 2018 Fall Youth Concerto Competition. Two winners emerged: Ava Kenney (pictured above, left) and Jane Story (pictured above, right). Ms. Kenney and Ms. Story will perform for their peers during the Fall Youth Concerts on Tuesday, November 13.

Ava Kenney, 8th grade

Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Mvt. 3

Ava Kenney, age 13, is an 8th grader at Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School. At the age of 3, she began her violin studies with her mom, Heidi Kenney, through the Suzuki Strings of Madison. Ava currently studies violin with Eugene Purdue and piano with Patty Ladpli.

Ava has performed in Milwaukee, Portland and Minneapolis as a member of the Sonora Strings Violin Ensemble. In 2016, the Sonora Strings Violin Ensemble were guest performers opening for Hilary Hahn and Joshua Bell. Along with other members of the Wisconsin Youth Orchestras, Ava also had the opportunity to perform with Black Violin.

Ava is in her fourth season with the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. She enjoys performing chamber music through the WYSO and Farley’s Chamber Programs. Last Spring, Ava had the honor to solo with WYSO as one of the winners of the 2018 Philharmonia Concerto Competition. This past summer, Ava attended the Heifetz International Music Institute at Mary Baldwin University, where she studied violin with Bela Horvath and chamber music with Matthew Cohen. While at Heifetz, she was featured on the Mondays on Market Series, Heifetz PEG Showcase, Community Outreach Concerts and the Saturday Hootenanny.

Along with music, Ava also enjoys exploring science, traveling and running on the SMG cross country team.

Jane Story, 6th grade

Haydn Violin Concerto No. 2, Mvt. 1

Jane Story, a homeschooled 6th grader from Stevens Point, has studied violin at the Aber Suzuki Center since the age of four. She currently studies with Jennifer Burton. Her past teachers have included Oscar Soler and Kyoko Fuller.

Jane is a member of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra-Philharmonia where she holds the position of concertmaster. She was a co-winner of the 2018 Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra Program’s Biennial Concerto Competition and was also a member of the 2018 Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas.

In addition to studying violin, Jane spends time playing piano, studying ballet and modern dance, drawing, learning French, reading as many books as she can get her hands on, and spending time with friends and her five younger siblings.