Arts and Entertainment

Bellevue students to perform at Ten Grands concert

Seven students from Bellevue will perform at the Ten Grands concert event April 1 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The seven were among the winners from more than 100 entries in the 2011 Young Artist competition.

They have been invited to play perform before the Ten Grands event and also during intermission and on stage. They will join the Ten Grands pianists in performing a special arrangement of “Exodus,” by Michael Allen Harrison, the founder of Ten Grands and The Snowman Foundation.

The “Ten Grands” concert is a benefit for The Snowman Foundation. Proceeds fund music education programs and activities for youth, with a particular focus on at-risk and underserved children. The concerts sold out and 2009 and 2010, and only a few hundred tickets remain for this year’s event.

Winners from Bellevue include Billy Huang, age 13, Chinook Middle School; quintet (piano, cello, violin, viola) from Interlake High School consisting of Audrey Chen, 14; Jenny Jin, 14; Aaron Lai, 15; Darren Leung, 15; Christopher Lu, 14; and David Zhao, 12.

The concert showcases some of the Northwest’s most accomplished musicians. Ten concert pianists will play simultaneously, as soloists and in various combinations. The “something for everyone” concert on April 1 includes classical, jazz, blues, gospel, boogie woogie, pop, and contemporary music. The program features a John Williams medley, tributes to Michael Jackson and The Beatles, classical favorites by the Great Composers, and original compositions.

Among this year’s featured “Ten Grands” artists is 11-year-old Alexander Lu, who was the 2010 grand prize winner of the Young Artist competition. He subsequently won first prize in his age group in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings competition 2011, which drew competitors from more than 20 countries.

Lu, who attends Bellevue Children’s Academy, plans to perform Khachaturian Toccata as his solo.

Bellevue resident and longtime music educator Kathy Fahlman Dewalt, the executive producer of the Seattle concert, said the concerts at Benaroya Hall have generated more than $100,000 in grants funds.

Seventeen groups in Washington state have received financial support of their musical activities and programs. Last year, the Seattle organization added the “play it forward” component to its giving by donating a piano to a nonprofit organization. The recipient of the inaugural gift was The Salvation Army Eastside, located in Bellevue’s Crossroads neighborhood. The piano is used for its after-school music program.

Since inception, The Snowman Foundation has raised more than $2 million, primarily through the annual Ten Grands concerts in Seattle and Portland, but also from recordings, theatre productions and direct contributions. Direct donations to The Snowman Foundation may be made online at Recipients of the Snowman Foundation’s “Ten Grands” grants are selected based on need through an application process.

A limited number of tickets for the April 1 concert in Seattle, are priced from $42 to $120. They may be purchased at the Benaroya Hall Box Office, or by calling 206-215-4747.

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