Young talent showcased at Depot

Student musicians shine at performance

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— Sean Batson took a deep breath, readied his instrument and turned to his audience.

"I'm going to play 'Polonaise & Badiniere from the B minor Suite' by Johann Sebastian Bach," he said.

And then came the notes. Not even the loud blasts of a passing afternoon train outside the Depot could throw his fingers off course.

The young flautist capped off his solo with a relieved smile, a bow to his listeners and a high five from Dad when he returned to his seat.

Batson's flute solo was one of a dozen instrumental works performed by local youngsters Sunday at the Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts.

The Young Artists of Steamboat Springs Excellence in Musicianship Recital showcased musicians 18 and younger with a knack for music performance.

More than 30 instrumentalists auditioned last weekend for a spot in the recital. A panel of six local music teachers and musicians chose 14 young artists to play their instrument in front of family, friends, teachers and peers Sunday.

The recital featured children of all ages on violin, flute and piano. Their performance was the culmination of months of practice.

Seventeen-year-old Jessie Dettwiler treated the crowd to "Reverie" by Claude Debussy on piano. Dettwiler is no stranger to playing for an audience. She also plays cello and sings. But the opportunity to not only be heard but to hear some of her peers play was a treat, she said.

That's what music teachers in Steamboat Springs had in mind when they began planning the recital.

They wanted an event that not only would expose the community to the musical talents of its young people but would also expose the artists to the talent among them, string teacher Teresa Steffen said.

Steffen and her colleagues hope to build on the success of the event. They envision future recitals that draw on the support of the entire community and attract greater talent.

"This is an event that is going to grow," Steffen said.

Sunday's lineup also included violinists Anna Rder, Madeleine Traverse and Renee Spady, pianists Spencer Sisto, Jade Smith, Megan Hartley, Crystal M. Fry, Lauren Marias, Jena Pruett and Charlie Stoddard and flautists Katie Haberlan and Patrick Williams.

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