It was cold and rainy on April 27, 2014, but inside the Fitzgerald Theater, a fire and passion burned among seven young classical musicians. They were the showcase round for Minnesota Varsity and they were about to perform live before hundreds at the theater, and thousands on the radio.
Hosted by John Birge, the evening was broken into two parts: performance artists and composition artists. The first part of the evening featured Crystal Cheng on piano, Nora Doyle on cello, vocalist Jacob Ingbar, Sarrah Bushara on oboe, and pianist Evren Ozel.
The second part of the event, featuring the composition artists, premiered the works of Ava Heubner and Riona Ryan. Both students composed piano trios, which were performed by University of Minnesota music graduate students Can Canbolat, violin; Rosalind Leavell, cello; and Francesca Tortorello, piano.
Before the end of the event, we combined votes from the theater and the online audience, declaring Nora Doyle the encore vote winner.