Fidelity Investments® and the Boston Pops Announce Winners of the 2010 Fidelity Futurestage Music Competition

Boston Public School Students to Perform with the Boston Pops on May 26 at Symphony Hall

Fidelity Investments® and the Boston Pops today announced the winners of the second annual Fidelity FutureStage 2010 Music Competition, a city-wide competition for Boston and Cambridge Public High School student musicians to perform at the Boston Pops concert at Symphony Hall on Wednesday, May 26 at 8:00 pm. The competition is part of Fidelity FutureStage, a national arts education initiative created by Fidelity Investments in 2006 to support middle and high school students in public schools and communities.

The four winning musical acts, including soloists and small ensembles, represent musical styles that range from jazz to bluegrass to international. In anticipation of their big night on the Symphony Hall stage, the student musicians will work directly with professional coaches including Keith Lockhart and musicians of the Boston Pops, who will help them prepare for their performances on May 26.

Winners of the 2010 Fidelity FutureStage Music Competition:
    LaWanda Hector (Dorchester), an 18 year-old senior vocalist from Roland Hayes School of Music; T. Davis Dillon of Roland Hayes School of Music, mentor.
    Muhan Zhang (Boston), a 17 year-old senior from Boston Latin School playing the erhu (two stringed bowed instrument); Chi-Sun Chan of Greater Boston Chinese Cultural Association, mentor.
    Copley Place from Boston Latin School, featuring:
        Ian Haines (Jamaica Plain), a 15 year-old sophomore banjoist
        Christopher Nguyen (Roslindale), a 18 year-old senior playing the cello
        Annie Osborn (Charlestown), a 18 year-old senior violinist
        Sherry Wu (West Roxbury), a 17 year-old senior violinist
        Paul Pitts of Boston Latin School, mentor
    Charlie Brown Blues Band from Boston Arts Academy, featuring:
        Gregory Groover Jr. (Roxbury), a 16 year-old junior saxophonist
        Gustavo Hernandez (Roslindale), a 18 year-old senior percussionist
        Nicolas Perez (Boston), a 17 year-old junior pianist
        Max Ridley (Boston), a 16 year-old junior playing the double bass
        Matt Clauhs of Boston Arts Academy, mentor

“It's an absolute delight to work with these talented young performers from our public schools and to showcase them at one of this season's Boston Pops concerts,” said Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart. “I imagine that nearly every musician who performs on the Symphony Hall stage remembers the great joy and satisfaction that came from exploring music in their student days. Whether these students go on to professional music careers or become regular concert goers, the opportunities provided by Fidelity FutureStage are sure to inspire a life-long love of music.”

Three of the student musicians who will perform this year are repeat winners of the competition, though as part of new ensembles. Gustavo Hernandez, a senior percussionist from Boston Arts Academy, made his Boston Pops debut last spring as part of the jazz ensemble “The Underground Trio.” He cites his 2009 performance onstage with the Boston Pops as his biggest accomplishment to date and is thrilled to return to the Symphony Hall stage. “This experience has taught me that I can achieve anything,” said Hernandez.

That sentiment matches with Fidelity’s goals for the FutureStage program. “Fidelity created the FutureStage program to provide more opportunities for students to participate in the arts and encourage them to explore and share their talents,” said Jennifer K. Brown, executive vice president at Fidelity. “The winners of the 2010 Fidelity FutureStage Music Competition represent some of the great talent in our local classrooms, and we look forward to their performances at Symphony Hall on May 26.”

The ten student musicians who make up the musical acts that will perform with the Boston Pops are part of the FutureStage Class of 2010, joining winning student musicians of Fidelity FutureStage Music Competitions also held this spring in Chicago and Houston. The competition winners in those two cities are now preparing for concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Symphony, respectively. Fidelity FutureStage will host a similar competition in Los Angeles, this fall, where students will compete for the opportunity to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In the meantime, students from one of Fidelity FutureStage schools in Los Angeles, Renaissance Arts Academy, will perform at opening night of the Hollywood Bowl, an annual event that celebrates music education.

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