Ada Zhang, a senior at Eastern Mennonite School, will perform the first movement of “Carmen Fantasy” by Pablo de Sarasate as the featured soloist of the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony's spring concert on Sunday, March 17, at Eastern Mennonite University. (Photo by Joaquin Sosa)

Youth symphony spring concert features soloist from EMS

The Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony’s spring concert is Sunday, March 17, at 4 p.m. in EMU’s Lehman Auditorium.  A donation of $7 is requested that will benefit the Youth Symphony program. A reception follows.

The concert will begin with the Junior Strings ensemble performing a selection from “Fiddler on the Roof,” followed by the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. This intermediate-level group is conducted by Sharon Miller and is often the first orchestra that developing students have the opportunity to play in. It has 14 members from Rockingham and Augusta counties.

Then the 40-member Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony will perform “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius and“Highlights from Wicked” by Stephen Schwartz, as well as one more work.

Each year, a member is chosen by audition to perform a solo with the orchestra. Ada Zhang, a senior at Eastern Mennonite School, will perform the first movement of “Carmen Fantasy” by Pablo de Sarasate.

Ada is the daughter of Cecilia Chen of Harrisonburg, Virginia. She has played the violin for 11 years and been a member of the symphony for five years. She currently studies with Wanchi Huang and Jacob Roege. Some of Ada’s other orchestral experiences include participating in the Virginia All-State Orchestra, Senior Regional Orchestra, EMU Orchestra, EMHS Orchestra and the Waynesboro Choral Society. She has attended Eastern Music Festival and participated in the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival as a fellow. She was also accepted to the Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School for the Visual and Performing Arts, and in July 2018 played in a public masterclass with violinist Jeffrey Multer.

In addition to playing, Ada teaches violin in the EMU Preparatory Music Program and volunteers in the after-school violin program at Bluestone Elementary School.

The symphony, conducted by Yi-Ping Chen, is an auditioned ensemble of high-level middle and high school players from Page, Shenandoah, Rockingham and Augusta counties.  It is the final concert of the group’s 29th season.


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