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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

Four soloists perform with orchestra in showcase concert

Jordyn Britton
The soloists were accompanied by the University Symphony Orchestra, the highest-level instrumental student ensemble on campus. Photo: Jordan Britton

The winners of Bob Jones University’s annual concerto/aria competition performed their winning pieces, accompanied by the University Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 28 in Rodeheaver Auditorium. Spectators enjoyed various musical compositions led by soloists Zach Davidson playing the trombone, Blair Carrier with the flute, mezzo-soprano Sarah Grace Johnson and pianist Taryn Johnson.  

To play in the performance, the four soloists had to win two strenuous rounds of competitions. Their long hours of practice paid off when they were selected as the winners in April 2022. Taryn Johnson, a senior accounting major, spent two and a half years learning Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert No. 1 in B-Flat Minor. Through the contest, Johnson grew in her confidence as well as from practicing alongside the orchestra. “Just seeing the process of how a soloist can make music with an orchestra, all the different pieces that takes to put that together is pretty cool,” said Johnson.  

Similarly, Zach Davidson, a senior business administration and music double major who played Ferdinand David’s Concerto in E-Flat Major, learned perseverance and determination as he reflected on how he grew through the competition. “It’s been a long process, but it’s been a very rewarding one as I’ve been able to grow along the way in preparation for now,” Davidson said.  

Bair Carrier, a sophomore orchestral instrument performance major who played Charles Griffes’s Poem for Flute and Orchestra, said she enjoyed seeing the connection that music can make between people.  

Carrier refined her technical abilities through more than a year of dedication. “I would say that I have definitely grown in my technical skills of the flute,” she said. “The piece is a fairly challenging piece, and so, when I was learning it, I really had to take time to break it apart into smaller sections, and then also memorizing it was a pretty substantial part of that too.”  

The concert also featured some opera compositions. Sarah Grace Johnson, a senior voice performance major, sang three pieces: including “Amour! Viens aider ma faiblesse” by Camille Saint-Saens, Purcell’s “When I am laid in earth” and “Una voce poco fa” by Gioachino Rossini.

Sarah Grace Johnson sang three pieces during the concert.
Photo: Jordan Britton


The audience enjoyed each composition and enthusiastically applauded after each performance. Spectators crowed forward to congratulate the soloists after the 75-minute concert was over.  

Although the competition process culminated yesterday for the four soloists, there is still an opportunity that those that have yet to participate in future contests. Carrier encourages those who would like to compete to “start working on a piece in smaller sections and to really spend time doing that.” She said the contest experience will help participants grow; “The judges’ comments, all of the different components of it, help you to become a better musician.” 

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About the Contributors
Eylan Martinez
Eylan Martinez, Staff Writer
Eylan is a sophomore multimedia journalism major who has written for the Collegian for two semesters.
Jordyn Britton
Jordyn Britton, Photo Editor
Jordyn is a senior visual studies major.
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Four soloists perform with orchestra in showcase concert