BY OLIVIA POOLE —
Competing against over 200 other musicians in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Metropolitan Symphony, Maya Lawnicki, sophomore, took home an honorable mention in MYSO’s concerto competition on January 9.
“This is my tenth year playing violin, and it has been a constant in my life and a passion that I’ve had since I started playing,” Lawnicki said.
Lawnicki plays in the first violin section of the Metropolitan Symphony, the most recent addition to MYSO.
“I have played in MYSO for seven years, and was moved out of Philharmonia this year. Being sixth chair in Metropolitan right now, there’s a high probability that I will move up to Senior Symphony next year, so I am very excited about that,” Lawnicki said.
Ever since she began playing violin, Lawnicki has worked hard to accomplish her goals and improve as a player. She recognizes now that it is a long process to become a better musician, requiring large amounts of time and determination.
“This year I played the third movement of the Bruch Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, which I have been preparing for about ten months,” Lawnicki said.
Spending ten months on perfecting a single piece takes not only passion from the student, but a great teacher.
“I started private lessons with my current teacher, Sigrid Gullickson, at the [Wisconsin Conservatory of Music] originally, but now she is separate from them. I absolutely love her,” Lawnicki said.
This is Lawnicki’s fourth year competing in MYSO’s concerto competition.
“My first year in string orchestra I didn’t place, then the next year I won the competition and got to perform as a soloist for the Symphonic Spectacular concert, and then I got runner up last year in Philharmonia,” Lawnicki said.
The competition works the same way every year. There is an individual competition for each of the MYSO levels, String Orchestra, Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Metropolitan and Senior Symphony, where typically the majority of the students from each ensemble compete.
The students then perform in front of a panel of judges: one from the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, one from the Skylight Opera and another from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
“You receive results the night of the competition, there’s a runner up, who for Metropolitan this year was a cellist, and then seven honorable mentions, which I was one of,” Lawnicki said.
Lawnicki plans to continue studying with Gullickson and playing in MYSO for the rest of high school.
“Now I’m working on the first movement of the Mozart Concerto No. 3 in G Major, and I will for sure compete in the concerto competition again next year, hopefully as a part of Senior Symphony,” Lawnicki said.