Two Wimberley Students Selected as Winners of the Starlight Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Solo Competition
Ria Hodgson and Malcolm McLean perform in the Young Artist Showcase, March 8th and 9th, 2008.

Ria Hodgson and Malcolm McLean, two students from Wimberley, have been selected to perform as soloists at the Starlight Symphony Orchestra's spring concerts, the annual Young Artist Showcase.  The concerts take place March 8, 7:30 P.M. at the Hays Performing Arts Center in Kyle and March 9, 4:00 P.M. at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Dripping Springs.

Last November the two musicians competed, as part of the 4th annual SSO Young Artist Festival, for the opportunity to perform this spring.  Both students will receive scholarships to further their music studies.

Ria will perform the Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor (1st movement) by Max Bruch.  She is seventeen years old and has played the violin since she was six.  Ria began her studies in the Suzuki violin studio of Deanna Badgett of San Marcos.  She has also studied with Quinton Morris and is currently with Pasha Sabouri of Austin.  A versatile musician, Ria also plays the viola.  She is home-schooled and currently is applying to universities.  She hopes to major in violin performance with a focus on chamber music and improvisation. Ria has played with the Starlight since 2004.

Malcolm is also seventeen and is a senior at Wimberley High School.  He plays French horn in the WHS band and is active in band leadership.  Malcolm began playing the horn in 6th grade at Wimberley Junior High School where he also studied chess.  He started playing with the SSO in the fall of 2006.  He currently studies with H. Stephen Hager, Professor of Horn at Texas State University and plans to pursue his music study at university in the fall.  Malcolm will perform the Horn Concerto No. 3 in E Flat Major, K.447 (2nd and 3rd movements) by Mozart.

The competition for solo performance is open to any student having played one or more concerts with the SSO and/or having performed 8 hours of community service for the SSO. Students participated in the solo competition on a variety of instruments including horn, marimba, piano, and violin.  Three judges evaluated each student individually on a point system and offered comments to the students.  The festival took place at the Chapel in the Hills in Wimberley.

In addition to the solo competition, the Young Artist Festival is open to serious student musicians everywhere, grades 4 - 12, who wish to audition for a place in the Starlight Youth Orchestra.  Students come together in February and March for rehearsals.  The Youth Orchestra will perform two pieces at the concerts in March.

The Starlight Symphony Orchestra performs under the direction of Cina Crisara.  As part of the Young Artist Showcase and Celebration of Youth, the SSO will play the Dance Bacchanale from Samson and Dalila by Saint-SaŽns and the Symphony in C Major by Bizet, who wrote the symphony when he was sixteen years old.

The SSO is based in Wimberley, with members from a 700 square mile area that includes Blanco, Boerne, Buda, Canyon Lake, Driftwood, Dripping Springs, Kyle, Lockhart, Oak Hill, and San Marcos.  There are approximately fifty-five members ranging from Jr. High students to senior citizens. The orchestra has presented four programs a year in various Central Texas communities including Wimberley, Blanco, Kyle, San Marcos, Austin, and Dripping Springs since 2003.

Admission to both concerts is free.  However, donations are greatly appreciated, and are tax-deductible under the non-profit charter of the Wimberley Players. All donations go directly to the orchestra.  Additional information can be found at the Orchestra's web site,, or by contacting Pat Surguy, SSO Concertmaster, at (512) 858-0324.


Starlight Symphony Orchestra

Bruch Performed at YouTube:
Sarah Chang Performing the Third Movement of
Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No1 Opus 26