Saxophone player earns top honors in Young Artist Auditions

Local News

Brennon Cavanagh, a senior at West Carroll High School in Savanna, has been awarded top honors in the Clinton Symphony Orchestra’s annual Young Artist Auditions. Cavanagh won the auditions with a performance of the “Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra” by American composer Robert Ward, a news release says.

In addition to the $250 in prize money from the symphony, the honoree is usually given the opportunity to perform their solo piece with the orchestra on one of their concerts. Because of the pandemic, that may not be possible.

Brennon is the son of Timothy and Kyong Cavanagh, and has been a saxophone student of Emily Bressler since fifth grade. He has been a regular participant in regional honor bands throughout his school years, and for the past two years has been selected for the Illinois All-State Concert Band.

He is enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard as a musician in the 144th Army Band, and will attend a 10-week training at the Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, Va., this summer.

The Young Artist Audition program also awarded honorable mention status to violinist Clara Ashdown of Fenton, and to clarinetist Aubrey Charles of Mt. Carroll. Each will receive a monetary award as well as counsel, suggestions, and encouragement from the panel of judges from the symphony.

The auditions, held each January, are open to any high school musician in the symphony’s service area. This is the symphony’s 67th year, and the auditions have been a service to music education in the area for much of that time.

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