By Chevon T. Baccus APR
Executive Editor 

Youth Share Musical Talents at Arts Center


Last updated 4/17/2019 at 7:53pm

Williamson Photography of Lake Wales

Marilyn Newell speaks to young performers at Music Festival named for her

he Lake Wales Arts Center was filled with music April 13-14 as more than 40 talented young people shared their talents in the 17th Annual Marilyn Newell Youth Music Festival.

Judging their talents were classically trained vocalist Katie Bell Lippert, jazz composer and saxophonist Zachary Bornheimer and Bok Tower carillonneur Geert D'hollander.

"The Lake Wales Arts Council was impressed by all 2019 youth music festival participants," said Arts Council Executive Director Andrew Allen, himself a master musician. "The quality of talent with youth in our community is abundant. We are so proud to of hosted these young musicians and we look forward to having them back next year."

A longtime patron of the arts, Marilyn Newell praised the young people for their dedication to music. Event sponsors included The Ruth Marchione Foundation, Marilyn Newell, Robin & Jean Gibson, The Jahna Foundation and Will Lamar.

Jacob Gmitter, a 13-year-old Lawton Chiles Middle Academy student, took first place in the Junior Instrumental category and was chosen overall winner of the Junior Division. He played Fantasy in D minor by Mozart and Prelude L Allegro ben ritmato e deciso by George Gershwin on the saxophone.

Other winners in the Junior Division included: Piano: 1st Place Wenjo Lai, 2nd Place Emma Galbraith, 3rd Place Abraham Medina; Instrumental: 1st Jacob Gmitter, Place 2nd Place Anjali Soni, 3rd Place Braden Tan; Vocal: 2nd Place Annabelle Dalov

Williamson Photography of Lake Wales

Senior Division Overall Winner Dennis Fleitz

Dennis Fleitz, a 16-year-old Harrison School of the Arts student, took first place in the Senior Instrumental category and was chosen overall winner in the Senior Division. He performed on his cello Song of the Birds by Pablo Casals and Hungarian Phapsody by David Popper.

Other winners in the Senior Division included: Piano: 1st Place Cory Johnston, 2nd Place Zilong Liddle, 3rd Place Jonathan Lee; Instrumental: 1st Place Dennis Fleitz, 2nd Place Jose Santibanez 3rd Place Jessie Thurman, 3rd Place Allison Kesler; Vocal: 2nd Place Emma Stamper, 3rd Place Grace Ellis.

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