Temecula musicians win Sunrise Rotary music competition

TEMECULA – The Temecula Sunrise Rotary Club has named the winners of its 14th Annual Music Competition held on Feb. 12 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Temecula. There were three categories of musical presentations: vocal, piano, and other instrumental, and nine high school students from the Temecula Valley area competed for cash prizes.

The first, second and third place winners were pianists, with vocalists coming in fourth and fifth. The first place prize of $400 went to Anthony Agbay, a sophomore at Temecula’s Great Oak High School, who performed “Rigoletto de Verdi” paraphrased de Concert by Franz Liszt. Anthony studies under Cecelia Unpingco.

The second place prize of $250 was presented to Devin Crookshank, a home-schooled junior, who performed “Scherzo” by Felix Mendelssohn and “Fig Leaf,” a rag by Scott Joplin. Devin studies under Martha Ojeda. Third price of $100 went to Jennifer Koong, a sophomore at Temecula Valley High School, who performed Rhapsody Op. 7912 by Johannes Brahms. Jennifer also studies under Cecelia Unpingco.

The first vocalist chosen to go to the finals was Christopher Vecchione, an Elsinore High School senior, who sang “What Do I Need with Love” from Thoroughly Modern Millie by Tesori and Scanlan; and “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Shőnberg. Chris is a student of Lori Ascani. The second vocalist was Natalie Hanson, a Great Oak High School freshman who performed “Con Te Partiró” (Time to Say Goodbye) by Francesco Sartori, and “Pie Jesu” from Requiem by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Natalie is a student of Jessica Pellé.

All five winners will be sent to compete in the Rotary District finals at the University of Redlands, where the top prize in each category is $1,000. Second place winners will receive $500, and third prizes will be $250. The first place winners in the Rotary District 5330 finals will be invited to show off their talents at a special Rotary district show in June.

Adjudicators this year were Al Ball, David Musgrove, and Bruce Workman, who are all talented performing musicians in their own right.

Out of the 61 Rotary clubs in District 5330, encompassing all of Riverside County and much of San

Bernardino County, about one third are participating in this year’s competition. In addition to Temecula Sunrise, the Rotary clubs of Temecula, Murrieta, and Lake Elsinore are also having their competitions during February.

Founded in 1905 in Chicago, Rotary International will celebrate its 108th birthday this month and is the oldest service organization in the world. For information about membership in Rotary, call (951) 698-6116.

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