Picquet Music Festival Competition Scheduled During Wednesday Meeting
Since 1946, the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills has presented its annual Picquet Music Festival, named for its founder and a Sandhills area theater owner, Charles Picquet.
This year’s scholarship competition will be presented on Wednesday, April 21, at the club’s weekly luncheon meeting and will feature individual musicians from Moore County’s high schools.
Charles Picquet created the festival to showcase the choral groups in the Sandhills area. In the 1950s, the festival became a glee club competition for the area’s high schools with trophies awarded to the most impressive group. From 1960 to 1976, the festival became a combined choral event that featured singers from all over Moore County. From 1977 to 1981, the festival presented musical events, such as “Oliver,” “The Music Man” and “Brigadoon.”
As Moore County Schools increased its understanding of why music was beneficial to student learning, trained teachers were added in the curricular areas of band, chorus and orchestra. Kiwanis members recognized the benefits of music in education and dropped the festival format in 1982 in favor of a music scholarship competition. They also realized that a growing number of vocal and instrumental students could compete on a high level of artistry, even without private instruction. Thus, the intent of the festival became one of reward for talent, rather than for entertainment qualities alone.
Today, the Picquet Music Festival accepts students nominated by their music teachers at Pinecrest, Union Pines, North Moore and O’Neal high schools. Vocal and instrumental students from these schools may compete in the areas of their school study (chorus, band and orchestra), and students are required to perform selections that are technically and artistically challenging.
In the form of college scholarships, the first place winner receives $1,500, second place receives $800, and third place receives $700. The top three winners will also be awarded corresponding trophies.
Nine candidates were nominated for the 2010 Picquet Music Festival, and they include: Andrew Blanchard, Robert Edens, Cain Hall, Summer Hennings, Cynthia Hohman, Murphy Pilson, Carl Thomas, Cody Williamson and LeAnne Wilson.
Tenor Andrew Blanchard will perform “The Boatmen’s Dance” by Aaron Copeland. He is a junior at Pinecrest High School. His parents are Stephen and Charity Blanchard. Copeland is a member of the Pinecrest Chamber Ensemble and leads music worship at his church. He has been accepted into Governor’s School.
Robert Edens is a junior at Pinecrest High School and will perform on the cello and has selected “Courante Cello Suite I” by Bach. His parents are Johanna and George Edens. Edens also studies privately with Ken Ding and plays professionally with the Glissando Quartet. He has auditioned for the Eastern Regional All-State and Governor’s School.
Cain Hall is a sophomore at North Moore High School and sings baritone. He will perform “If Ever I Would Leave You” (from “Camelot”) by Frederick Loewe. He is the son of Angela Hall and is a member of the marching band and concert band, where he is the first chair trombone. He has also participated in the All-District Band. He had a leading role in the production of “Godspell” last year and is also the lead in this year’s musical. He is a member of the Community Congregational Church choir
Summer Hennings is a senior at Union Pines High School and sings soprano. She will perform “The Girl in 14G” by Tesori and Scanlan. She is the daughter of Colton and Rose Cooper. Hennings has been an active participant in the Union Pines Advanced Ensemble and has been a part of the All-County Chorus for many tours and concerts. She has held three supporting lead roles in the school’s annual musicals. She is a member of her local church choir and sings in various community events. She was nominated for Governor’s School and was selected to attend the Triple Arts Broadway Intensive Camp at Western Carolina University.
Cynthia Hohman is a sophomore at Union Pines High School and plays violin. She has selected “Sonata No. 3 in F major 2nd movement Allegro” by G.F. Handel to perform. She is the daughter of Steven and Mary Hohman. Cynthia has been studying violin for seven years and has been an active member of the high school orchestra and the Moore County Philharmonic. She participated in All-County Orchestra for four years and also provides music for services at her church.
Candace Murphy Pilson is a senior at Union Pines High School. She will perform on the trumpet and has selected to play “Hummel Trumpet Concerto (Movement D)” by J.N. Hummel. She is the daughter of Greg and Betsy Pilson. Murphy has been the drum major for the Union Pines Marching Band for the past two years and is a member of the All-County Band and is an All-District participant.
Carl Nathan Thomas plays the bass and is a senior at North Moore High School. Thomas will perform “Caballero” by John Merle. He is the son of Delores Thomas. He has participated in the All-County Orchestra for the past four years and also plays in his church choir. He has played violin for five years and the bass for four years.
Cody Williamson will be performing on the tenor saxophone. He is a senior at North Moore High School. Cody will play “Vocalise” by Sergei Rachmaninov. He is the son of Gary and Sherry Williamson. He is a member of the North Moore High School marching and concert bands as well as the jazz ensemble. He has played for the Moore County Concert Band and is a percussionist for the Bethel Church of God.
LeAnne Wilson is a senior at Pinecrest High School and plays the clarinet. She will be performing “Adagio (from clarinet concerto k. 622)” by Mozart. She is the daughter of Virginia Wilson. She has participated in the All-County, All-District, and Moore County Community Bands. She has also played with the U.S. Army Band and the UNCP Honor Band.
The judges are Danny and June Infantino, and Johnny Bradburn.
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