April 18, 2019  

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Future Stars Award Winners Showcase Talents With Symphony Orchestra

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The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Future Stars winners include, from left to right: Romina Monsanto, Pablo Sotomayor and Kathleen Westfall (Submitted photo).

Three winners of the William T. Gower Awards Competition will be featured as part of the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s concert set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17 in Bennett Auditorium. 

Showcasing exceptional student talent of the School of Music, this annual concert has become an audience favorite. The 2010-11 winners and “Future Stars” include Romina Monsanto of Venezuela; Pablo Sotomayor of Peru and Kathleen Westfall of New Orleans. 

The three competition winners will perform the music that earned them distinction among their peers including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor featuring pianist Sotomayor; Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor Opt. 4 featuring cellist Monsanto and “I Want Magic” from A Streetcar Named Desire by André Previn and “Manon's Gavotte”from Manon by Jules Massenet featuring soprano Westfall.

Guest conductors include Southern Miss students Nathan Lambert and Ivan del Prado.

Ongoing for more than 23 years, the competition was renamed four years ago in honor of William T. Gower, former professor of music at Southern Miss and a widely respected woodwind musician.  

Gower, who passed away in July 2003, was an inspiration to many budding musicians through his multitude of career performances at music conventions, high schools, colleges, and universities -- often performing on a variety of instruments. 

The competition itself is highly competitive within the ranks of the Southern Miss School of Music and quite rigorous. “These very talented students will be our stars of tomorrow,” said Dr. Jay Dean, music director of the Symphony.  “Later in life, we will be able to say that we knew them when they were students here at Southern Miss.”

The Symphony’s 2010-11 season is sponsored by BancorpSouth.Tickets for the concert are $16/$18/$20 and may be purchased at the Southern Miss Ticket Office by calling 601.266.5418 or 800.844.8425.