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Matt Kroeker Named MSO’s Young Master Composer

MARIPOSA — Matthew Kroeker, age 14, has been named the 2016 Young Master Composer Celebration winner by Mariposa Symphony Orchestra Founder/Conductor Les Marsden.

Kroeker’s composition “Matt’s Unfinished Symphony” will receive its world premiere performance on Saturday, July 2, during the MSO’s “Independence Day Spectacular!” concert at 7 p.m. at the Mariposa County Park.

Matt Kroeker 2016

The Young Master Composers Celebration is a program of the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra and its parent organization the Mariposa County Arts Council, Inc.

Created by Marsden over a decade ago, the program is a challenge to Mariposa County residents aged 8 – 18 to compose their very own “classical” music following a set of rules which will allow them to discover musical structure via sonata form.

Kroeker is a three-time winner and a member of the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra’s violin section. His goal is to be a concert (violin) soloist and he studies with teacher Thi Nguyen, practicing three to four hours each day.

Kroeker hopes to attend New York’s Juilliard School. His “Unfinished Symphony” was orchestrated by Marsden for its premiere performance by the MSO. Kroeker will receive $50, a certificate, audio CD of his orchestrated work and an orchestral score of his piece.

The Sierra Riders -- Mark Campos, Arnie Johnson, Tim Johnson and Keith Johnson -- photo courtesy Tim Johnson

The Sierra Riders — Mark Campos, Arnie Johnson, Tim Johnson and Keith Johnson — photo courtesy Tim Johnson

The MSO’s “Independence Day Spectacular!” concert will also feature popular country-western group The Sierra Riders during its second concert half. Performing such standards as “Rawhide,” “San Antonio Rose,” “Ridin’ Down the Canyon,” “Back in the Saddle,” “Ghost Riders” and other lesser-known works with the orchestra, The Sierra Riders consists of brothers Tim, Keith and Arnie Johnson and drummer Mark Campos.

From 2000 to 2007 Tim Johnson performed nationally with the Sons of the San Joaquin, including a performance at Carnegie Hall. In 2007 he was voted instrumentalist of the year by the Western Music Association. Johnson and the MSO’s Les Marsden have been friends since first performing together in 1973 as young teen-aged members of the Fresno Junior Philharmonic Orchestra.

The concert will also offer the MSO in patriotic Americana ranging from John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” and Phillip Smith’s “Armed Forces Salute” to Victor Herbert’s very rarely-heard “Irish Rhapsody” and a suite of orchestral highlights from Jerome Kern’s landmark 1927 American musical “Show Boat.”

The outdoor concert will be held at the Amphitheatre at Mariposa County Park at 4998 County Park Road in historic downtown Mariposa. Full information including secure ticket purchase will be found at the Mariposa County Arts Council’s website: http://tinyurl.com/MariposaSO or by calling the Arts Council at 209.966.3155.

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