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Con Brio Competition offers students a chance to shine

MATT JAMES, Of the Record staff

Some competition will come to town this weekend, but the events won’t take place on a court, a field or even a hill. Instead, the Utah Conservatory will host this battle royale.

All day Saturday, the Con Brio Music Competition will run at the conservatory located next to Suede in Kimball Junction pitting musicians against each other in a battle of notes to see who is superior.

Running for its second year, the event saw a few changes.

"The biggest difference is, we added a composition category," said Mike Vermillion, the event’s organizer and chairman. "As long as they could write it down on paper, they could enter it."

Otherwise, this year featured a slightly broader field.

"We opened it up to all of Park City and Summit and Wasatch counties," Vermillion added. "Last year it was only open to conservatory students."

This year, Utah Conservatory students will be only a portion of the group.

"The conservatory is sponsoring it," said Dr. Fredric Cook, who operates the organization.

After the event’s scheduled kickoff a recital by Dr. Bryan Stanley, the piano chair at the conservatory last night at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church, the competition will run today.

Vermillion said 60 competitors will match up in three different categories, including, in addition to composition, piano and voice. Two categories that were scheduled to compete, guitar and violin, did not draw enough competitors, so they were cut from the program.

However, Vermillion said the three remaining categories have grown in size. Overall, he noted, the competition has drawn about the same number of competitors as it did last year. About 10 of the participants are not conservatory students.

"We have some people, but not many [from outside]," said Cook.

Vermillion said most of the competitors are between grades three and seven.

The competition itself is closed, but the honors recital, which will feature the contest’s winners, will be open to the public.

"It’s going to be held at 7:30 p.m. at the conservatory," said Vermillion.

While the event remains small this year, he said he intended to continue with the Con Brio competition.

"As long as I’m here I’ll keep doing it," Vermillion said.

He noted the event’s uniqueness.

"It’s the first one in Park City," he said. "It’s the first student music competition."

According to Cook, the conservatory is happy to have the event.

"It was wonderful last year," he said, "and we’re really looking forward to it again this year."

Tickets to the honors recital are $10 for the general public and are available at the door. Admission is free to Con Brio competitors. For more information, call 649-6292.


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