Student Musician Earns Recognition at Regional Competition

The Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, an organization that attracts the top student musicians from South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula, holds a concerto competition each year. While hundreds of students participate in the Bay Youth Orchestras at several levels, only a few of those dedicated students feel confident and qualified enough to audition for a coveted spot as a concerto soloist.

Norfolk Academy violinist Riley McElligott ’23 was one of the competitors this year with five other student musicians in her category. She performed the first movement of the Concerto in C major for Violin by Dmitry Kabalevsky, a piece that she had played in a chapel as a warm-up. The judges were Paul Kim, orchestra director at ODU, and Gonzalo Farias, the new assistant conductor for the Virginia Symphony.

While Riley did not win, she received an honorable mention, a notable achievement given the competitive playing field and the fact that many who choose to compete are older and more experienced.

Mr. Kelby Schnepel, who is the new director of Norfolk Academy’s Middle and Upper School orchestras, said that Riley’s performance showed her poise and commitment to constant improvement. “It is evidence of the dedication and commitment that Norfolk Academy students have towards their studies both in and outside the arts,” he said. “The Norfolk Academy Orchestras have a tradition of excellence and Riley definitely furthers and continues that tradition.”
Congratulations, Riley!