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Youth performers needed for Annual Bach Festival; Applications accepted till Sept. 19

By Staff | Aug 28, 2008

The Bach Ensemble, a Naples-based classical music group, is accepting applications from students in Lee and Collier counties to perform in the First Annual Bach Festival on Oct. 25.

All voice and instrumental students, ranging in ages from 5 to 18, are encouraged to register for the festival by Sept. 19.

“This is an event to encourage young musicians,” said Valarie Milazzo, organizer of the festival. “They will receive an evaluation from music experts acting as a judge.”

According to the music group, each student will receive a judge’s detailed rating, comments and a certificate for participating. The festival is designed for vocalists and musicians to perform any piece of music composed by Bach.

“It is for vocalists, pianists and students of other instruments,” she said. “He (Bach) wrote for a lot of orchestral instruments.”

Those students rated “outstanding” by judges will have a chance to perform at a concert with The Bach Ensemble.

Milazzo said the festival is based on a model used in other parts of the country. The other events are competitions that encourage students to learn music from the Baroque era, but the First Annual Bach Festival will not be competitive, she said.

“We are just getting started. Part of our mission is to provide public education. It is a new way to reach out to youths in the area,” said Milazzo. “It’s great to have an event like this to give them recognition for their efforts.”

The festival will be hosted by the First Academy of Music at the First Presbyterian Church of Bonita Springs.

“We are hoping it is a nice central location between Naples and Fort Myers,” said Milazzo.

Entry forms are available at: www.thebachensemble.org. A non-refundable fee of $17 must accompany each entrant and auditions will be private.

For more information, call 653-9159.