Northstate violinist featured at winter concert

Celeste Pena rehearses with the Shasta Symphony Orchestra under conductor Dr. Dwayne Corbin.

Now 17, Celeste Pena has been playing with the Shasta Symphony Orchestra for five years. And while the Shasta High School senior is used to being a young performer with the veteran orchestra, she will take center stage in their next performance.

Pena earned soloist after claiming the 2017 Concerto Competition and will be featured in Concerto for Violin No. 1 Saturday night at the Shasta Symphony Orchestra's winter concert, "Mozart, Dvorak & Bruch."

"I came in and I was twelve and everyone is a really great musician, and so it felt really great to be part of this," said Pena, who began playing violin at age 4. "Everyone was really comforting, and supportive and kind of like a family."

Dr. Dwayne Corbin, Music Director and Conductor for Shasta Symphony Orchestra, has seen her grow into a force with the violin.

"Celeste has been playing with me for something like eight years," Corbin said. "It was great to see her win the competition this year and step forward out of the (violin) section as the featured soloist and just to see her kind of explode into that maturity."

Saturday night's performance also features Ian Scarfe, a Bay Area pianist who has toured and performed worldwide and is well known to Northstate audiences as the founder and director of the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival. He plays piano in Piano Concerto no. 17 in G Major, K. 453, by Mozart.

The Shasta Symphony Orchestra is a unique blend of college students and community musicians and is a cooperative ensemble of Shasta College and Simpson University.

"The beauty of orchestra music is seeing 60 people on stage, working together, kind of functioning as one, beautiful musician," Corbin said. Corbin is also a renowned musician, composer and educator. He is Associate Professor of Instrumental Music at Simpson University in Redding.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night at Shasta College Theatre in Redding. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students at the door.

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