2011-2012 Philharmonic Featured Soloists
Hunter Brons, age seventeen, is a homeschooled and Fine Arts Center senior. He was born in Nashville, TN; and, at the age of one, he and his family moved to Easley, SC.
For six years, Hunter has studied the trumpet with Charlie Parker of Greenville, SC. Since 2009, he has attended the Fine Arts Center and studied Music Theory/History with Dr. Jon Grier and Jazz Studies with Mr. Steve Watson.
Hunter is in his second year of Greenville County Youth Orchestra’s Young Artist Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Gary Robinson. He has also had the pleasure of performing under Mrs. Kathleen Robinson in GCYO’s Philharmonic and under Mr. Brian Gencarelli in GCYO’s Sinfonia Orchestra. In addition, Hunter is in his second year of the Carolina Youth Symphony’s Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Les Hicken. He has also performed under the direction of Mr. Jim Kilgus in CYS’s Concert Orchestra.
Hunter has participated for three semesters (2009-2011) in North Greenville University’s Big Band under the direction of Charlie Parker. In addition, he has played in jazz combos at restaurants, hotels, business functions, and retirement homes in the Greenville and Clemson areas.
Additional activities include performing in a regional orchestra in Brevard, NC, with Mark O’Connor, prominent American classical and multi-genre violinist and composer, and assisting the American Legion in Pickens County with its Memorial Day service. Further studies have included participation in Furman University’s Band and Orchestra Camp and USC’s Summer Music Conservatory.
Hunter plans to continue his music studies by pursuing a trumpet performance degree in Jazz Studies.
YAO violinist Hayden Wilson will be performing Wieniawski’s Legende Op. 17. Hayden, age sixteen, is a sophomore at Wade Hampton High School and the Fine Arts Center, where she studies strings chamber with John Ravnan. Her interest in playing the violin began when she was in preschool watching her father play the violin, who was also a former member of the GCYO when he was a teen. Hayden began private lessons at the early age of six. She currently studies with Deirdre Hutton.
Hayden has been a member of the GCYO since the age of eleven, when she began playing in the Philharmonic. She joined the YAO in 2009, and during the 2010-2011 orchestra cycle she was awarded Outstanding Strings Player. Hayden was also one of the recipients of the scholarships the YAO awarded this past spring. She has served as concert mistress for the YAO, Western Region, and South Carolina All-State Orchestra.
Hayden enjoys performing in the orchestra as well as a soloist. Hayden would like to thank her parents, her current teachers Deirdre Hutton, John Ravnan, and Dr. Robinson, and former teachers Lucie Fink and Dr. Suzanne Nelson for all of their instruction and encouragement
Jonathan Simmons is a homeschooled Junior. He has played the cello for 6 years. His studies began at the age of 11 with Sharon Gerber. Since then he has been priveledged to study with Dr. Suzanne Veiga, a graduate of Eastman School of Music, and Christopher Erickson. He currently studies with Martha Brons.
Jonathan has had the opportunity to take masterclasses with both Robert Jesselson, Professor of Cello at USC, and Leonardo Altino, Assistant Professor of cello at the University of Memphis. During the 2010-2011 school year, Jonathan participated in Region and Allsate orchestras, placing 1st chair in Region and 3rd chair in Allstate.
Jonathan attends the Fine Arts Center where he studies Chamber Music with John Ravnan and Music History with Jon Grier. He has been a member of the GCYO's Young Artist Orchestra for 3 years. Other venues that Jonathan perform's in include weddings and his church orchestra. In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys singing and gardening.
Jonathan would like to publicly thank his parents and all his teacher for their investment in developing his God-given abilities.