All City Music

And the winners are…


[Originally posted by Josh Yarden at, January 13th, 2017]

Congratulations to Hannah Silverberg, First Place Winner of this year’s All City Orchestra Concerto Competition.

Hannah will be performing a Mozart Concerto for Flute, as a featured soloist at the All City Music Festival, on the evening of March 8th, 2017, in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. It promises to be a wonderful concert, including performances by the All City Orchestra, Concert Choir and Concert Band. Admission is free and open to the public.

Music isn’t a sport, and no one goes home in defeat after a great performance. When it comes to auditions, however, a musician can be just as competitive as any athlete in town. Even simply entering the competition is big decision, requiring dedication to musicianship, a commitment to work on your weaknesses and grow in your strengths. And it takes courage too. The competition is held at the venerated Curtis Institute of Music, where students perform on stage for a panel of judges, including members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. It is a rare opportunity and a great achievement.

Twenty one members of the orchestra competed for this coveted honor. That’s more than in recent years, and more of the All City musicians made the cut for the PMEA (PA Music Educators Association) District  Orchestra and District Band. We’ll find out soon who is going on to the PMEA Region ensembles, and then on to the state music festival. Stay tuned, and watch our stars shine bright!

Congratulations to all 21 members of the All City Orchestra who took part in the competition. Here are brief bios of all of this year’s performers, including some of Philadelphia’s finest young musicians:

HannahSilverberg is a senior at GAMP (Girard Academic Music Program). She has studied with Ilya Ovrutsky and David Cramer. Hannah’s musical honors include: POA Fellowship, PYO (Principal Flute), Settlement Music School Weinstein Advanced Woodwind Chamber Ensemble, PMEA District 12 Band, Curtis SummerFest, PIMF, Peabody Marina Piccinnini Masterclass, 1st Place (Junior Division) Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia


Runners-up (in alphabetical order):


Rei Chiu, Violin, Masterman, Grade 12, Teacher: Lee Snyder, Settlement Music School





Akili Farrow, Violin, String Theory, Grade 11, Teacher: Jennifer Lee, Kim Fisher; PYO, Sinfonia, Marian Anderson Scholarship Award, POA Fellowship, Primavera Artist, Play On Philly




Tristan Hall, Marimba, CAPA, Grade 12,  Teachers: Wes Rast, Nicholas Hall; PMEA District 12 Band, North Ridge Music School



Nathan Kim, Cello, Masterman, Grade 11, Teacher: Gloria De Pasquale; PYO, PYAO, POA Fellowship, PMEA District 12 and Region 6 Orchestra

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Gia Angelo, Viola, String Theory, Grade 12, Teacher: Daniela Pierson; PYAO, Primavera Artist

David Hiester, Bassoon, Central HS, Grade 11, Teacher: Colleen Hood; PYAO, POA Fellowship, District 12 & Region 6 Band, Temple CMSP, District 12 & Region 6 Orchestra

William Klotsas, Clarinet, CAPA, Grade 12, Teachers: Sam Caviezel, Sean Bailey; PYO,   Temple CMSP, PMEA District 12 & Region 6 Orchestra, PMEA District 12 & Region 6 Band.

Marquise Lindsey-Bradley, Clarinet, CAPA, 10th Grade; Teachers: Sean Bailey, Brian Ewing, Nanette Foley; PYAO, Temple CMSP, PMEA District 12 Band, Primavera Artist

Kynoebi Simpson-Hankins, Flute, Central HS, Grade 12, Teacher: Stephen Wilensky; Temple CMSP

Dotan Yarden, Bassoon, CAPA, Grade 12, Teacher: Mark Gigliotti; Primavera Artist, PYO, PMEA District 12 & Region 6 Band, PMEA District 12 & Region 6 Orchestra, PMEA All State Wind Ensemble

Participants of Merit (in alphabetical order):

Corinna Brueckner, Violin, GAMP, Grade 10, Teacher: Scott Wagner, Dara Morales, POA Fellowship

Megan Chui, Violin, Masterman, Grade 10, Teacher: Scott Wagner; Sinfonia, PMEA District 12 Orchestra

Rose Keenan, Violin, Central HS, Grade 12, Teacher: Adelya Shagidullina; Temple CMSP

Sophia Kelsall, String Bass, CAPA, Grade 12, Teacher: Mary Javian; PYO, Temple CMSP; PMEA District 12 & Region 6 Orchestra, Philadelphia All Star Jazz Band

Shannon Lanier, Violin, Rush, Grade 12, Teacher: Celina Velez; Temple CMSP, PIMF Soloists Ensemble, PMEA District 12 Orchestra

Waner Mei,Violin, Girls HS, Grade 10, Teacher: Xuan Yao, Sergei Nuissl; Temple CMSP, PMEA District 12 Orchestra

Brae’Lynn Norris, Cello, CAPA, Grade 12, Teacher: Gozde Tinkaz; Sinfonia, Nelly Berman School of Music, Rose Tree Pops Orchestra, Bucks County Youth Orchestra

David Ortiz, Trumpet, Central HS, Grade 10, Teacher: Jake Hernandez

Derrick Pondexter, Violin, CAPA, Grade 11, Teacher: Dara Morales; PYO, Temple CMSP, PMEA District 12 Orchestra, POA Fellowship

Sofia Rabaté, Cello, Central HS, 12th Grade, Teachers: Sydney Lee, Matthew Roberts