Young performers earn featured spots at symphony shows

By From page B1 | February 01, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Emily Doherty doesn’t have a single weekend free from musical performances, rehearsals or auditions until the end of March.

And that’s not a problem.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said the Fairfield resident, who attends Campolindo High School in Moraga.

This weekend, she auditions at the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. Last weekend, she had three college auditions. On Feb. 22, the high school senior is off to audition at Butler University in Indiana.

While Doherty, 17, was free to choose her career path, it’s easy to understand why she wants to excel in music education. Her father, Bill Doherty, conducts the Solano Winds Community Band. Her mother, Jennifer Doherty, teaches music at Crystal Middle School in Suisun City.

In junior high, the young Doherty began playing the oboe. Within a few years, she added the English horn, a double-reed woodwind instrument in the oboe family. The English horn, not to be confused with the brass instrument the French horn, is a secondary instrument to the oboe, Doherty said.

“It’s a unique sound. It’s so beautiful,” Doherty said of the English horn. “The oboe is like the snake charmer. The English horn, I just can’t really describe it.”

She auditions with the oboe, the same instrument she plays with the Solano Community Symphony. She also plays oboe, and the English horn, with the Solano Winds.

On Feb. 8 and 9, Doherty will be spotlighted at the symphony’s annual Salute to Youth concert. She will play “Concertin0 for English Horn and String Orchestra, Opus 4,” a three-movement, nearly 20-minute piece.

Much of the time, she’s on her own. The only other instruments featured are the strings.

“It’s such an honor to work with them. Especially with the wind players,” Doherty said of the symphony members. “I grew up knowing them.”

Doherty and soprano Aerial Wernecke auditioned in October to perform at the show. Wernecke will sing “Vilja Song” from”The Merry Widow.”

While Doherty loves the performance part of music, she sees her career in music education, hopefully at the middle school level. It was a challenge for her to find colleges that placed as much emphasis on music education as on performance, she said.

“I figured out in the seventh grade I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. She wants to share what music has meant in her life. It’s benefited her socially because she met most of her friends through music.

Academically, she said, it teaches children to focus on everything at once.

“It’s a full body activity,” she said.

Gershwin and Grainger are among her favorite composers. She also likes to analyze their work.

“I tend to listen to more of the wind bands,” she said.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Solano Community Symphony: Salute to Youth

  • 8 p.m. Feb. 9, Solano Community College, 4000 Suisun Valley Road
  • 3 p.m. Feb. 10, Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre, 1010 Ulatis Drive
  • 448-6500
  • www.solanosymphony.org
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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