SCO Updates

Watch our May 10, 2019 spring concert online!

Brahms, Borodin and Budding Stars!

Featuring the 2019 Concerto Competition Winners:
• Ellie Smith, cello – Youth Category
• Kristin Barrett, Violin – Adult Category

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Knoxville, TN

The concert was live streamed and then put on YouTube:

2019 SCO Concerto Competition Winners

We are happy to announce the winners of the 2019 Scruffy City Orchestra Concerto Competition!

In our Youth category (grades 1-12), Miss Ellie Smith, a 9th grade cellist from Maryville High School, won with her solo of Faure’s “Elegie”.

Ellie is currently in the 9th grade at Maryville Junior High School in Maryville, TN. She has been playing the cello for 5 years and throughout that time has taken private cello lessons and been a part of the orchestra program in her school. She has studied with Jeanine Wilkinson, her current private lesson teacher,  since her first year of playing.

Ellie has participated in many orchestral events such as the East TN Junior Orchestra Clinic, the TN Cello Workshop, the East TN Senior Orchestra Clinic, and will attend the TN All-State Band and Orchestra Clinic in Nashville this year. Along with this, she is the co-principal cellist in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra.

Ellie plans to continue to play the cello throughout high school and college and is looking forward to new opportunities that allow her to share music with others.

In the Adult category (post-high school to age 25), the winner is Miss Kristen Barrett, a violinist in the Music Department at UT, with her solo of Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole” (1st Movement).

Kristen Barrett began studying the violin at the age of three with her parents Timothy and Kimberly Barrett at the Academy of Strings in Johnson City, TN. She has also studied with Dr. David Kovac at ETSU.

Ms. Barrett has performed with several orchestras and chamber ensembles including the ETSU Chamber Orchestra, Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra, Milligan College Orchestra, the UT Symphony Orchestra, and the UT Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, she was a soloist with the ETSU Chamber Orchestra, performed with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of the Mountains Orchestras several times as a 15-year member of the “Ambassador Strings” at the Academy of Strings. Additionally, she has received special invitations to participate in elite masterclasses and honors recitals, a special guest artist recital with violinist Itzhak Perlman, and an annual music festival with Suzuki Teacher Trainer Linda Fiore.

In 2016, Kristen won the 1st place award and scholarship with the Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra division, received an “Award of Excellence”; from the Academy of Strings (2018) and was a finalist in the University of Tennessee’s Concerto Competition (2019). Ms. Barrett is currently a freshman at the University of Tennessee pursuing her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance under the direction of Dr. Miroslav Hristov. She enjoys teaching and working with young children and running in her spare time.

Congratulations to these fine musicians, and many thanks to the other competitors. We look forward to accompanying both winners during our May concerts!

Photo credit: Ellie Smith courtesy of J. Davis Photography

2018 Festival of Christmas Joy

Hosted by Johnson University
Scruffy City Orchestra and the Vox Royale University Choir
(Orchestra conducted by Ace Edewards)

What: Festival of Christmas Joy
When: Saturday, Dec. 1, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Johnson University
Phillips-Welshimer Auditorium
7900 Johnson Dr., Knoxville, TN
Admission Free (if attending music festival only)

Nov. 10, 2018
First Concert at Sacred Heart Cathedral

SCO’s first concert in the Cathedral Concert Series on November 9, 2018 was a tremendous success. Led by conductor Ace Edewards, the orchestra played to a packed house in the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on Northshore Drive in Knoxville. The concert theme was “Colors of the Orchestra” and included A Somerset Rhapsody (Holst); Romanian Rhapsody No. 2 (Enesco); Ein Morgen, ein Mittag, ein Abend in Wien  Overture (von Suppe); Mazeppa Overture (Tchaikovsky); Petite Suite (Debussy); Fanderole from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 (Bizet); and a special treat: the premier performance of Good Morning, Moon by local composer Vicki Nguyen.

Conductors Matt Wilkinson and Ace Edewards with Scruffy City Orchestra, Nov. 2018

Scruffy City Orchestra, 2018

Oct. 15, 2018
Scruffy City Orchestra Joins Cathedral Concert Series

Scruffy City Orchestra is excited to announce that as of November, 2018, they are joining the prestigious Cathedral Concert Series, a program of the Diocese of Knoxville Music Commission. This program makes free or low-cost sacred and classical music ensembles available to the East Tennessee community in an effort to support the arts and grow appreciation for sacred music.

The Cathedral Concert Series includes such notable ensembles as the Tennessee Wind Symphony, the Knoxville Handel Society and the Knoxville Opera, among many others. Scruffy City Orchestra is proud and humbled to be the sole orchestra invited to participate.

The orchestra’s first concert with the Cathedral Concert Series is the premiere performance of “Colors of the Orchestra” conducted by Ace Edewards on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at 711 S. Northshore Drive in Knoxville. Admission is free (donations welcome, with 10% being returned to the Sacred Heart Youth Orchestra).

SCO will perform a free encore performance of “Colors of the Orchestra” at Johnson University’s Phillips-Welshimer Auditorium on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

July, 2018
Ace Edewards Named Host of “Afternoon Concert”

As of July, 2018, SCO Conductor Ace Edewards is the Host of the “Afternoon Concert” on WUOT 91.9 FM, Knoxville!

SCO Conductor Ace Edewards

SCO Conductor Ace Edewards placed 2nd in The American Prize in Conducting—community opera division! 

The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts providing cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States at the professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. Administered by Hat City Music Theater, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Danbury, Connecticut, The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually.

Classics and Concertos May 2018

Classics and Concertos

Featuring the winners of the 2018 Scruffy City Orchestra Concerto Competition:

Natalie Gregg, Flute • Nick Caux, Double Bass • Joshua Kováč, Cello

Friday, May 4, 7:30 •  First Baptist Church  Knoxville • 510 West Main St., Knoxville

Sunday, May 6, 3:00 pm •  Austin-East Performing Arts Magnet Academy, Knoxville • 2800 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Knoxville

Tickets are $5.00 at the door, cash or credit.

Nick Caux – Winner 2018 Scruffy City Orchestra Concerto Competition

Nick Caux – Double Bass

Nick Caux is a junior at Maryville Highschool. He began playing the double bass in the 5th grade orchestra
program at Maryville City Schools and has continued to play orchestral and symphonic repertoire in the program. Nick currently studies with Dan Thompson, who has been his private instructor since 5th grade, and has taken lessons from artists such as Kurt Muroki, James VanDemark, and Jon Hamer. Nick is currently the principal bassist in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has placed in ETSBOA All-East Orchestra as well as TMEA All-State orchestra each of his years in high school. Nick has also attended the Bowdoin International Music Festival and plans to attend the Boston University
Tanglewood Institute bass workshop this summer.

Outside of music, Nick participates in the Maryville High School’s Cross Country and Track Teams and has just earned his Eagle Scout rank from Troop 81. He enjoys camping, photography, athletics, and spending time with friends and family.

Natalie Gregg – Winner 2018 Scruffy City Orchestra Concerto Competition

Natalie Gregg – Flute

Natalie Gregg is a junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville studying flute under Dr. Shelley Binder. Natalie is double majoring in Flute Performance and Musicology. She is also minoring in Music Business, and Entomology and Plant Pathology. Natalie is a member of the UT Chancellor’s Honors Program and is also a Student Ambassador for the University of Tennessee School of Music.

Natalie has performed in masterclasses for many artists, including Paula Robison, Bonita Boyd, Walfrid Kujala, and Jim Walker. Most recently, Natalie was selected to perform in the Florida Flute Convention Piccolo Masterclass with Nan Raphael in January 2018 as well as the J.L. Smith and Co. Masterclass with Denis Bouriakov in October 2017. Natalie has also been chosen as a finalist in the University of Tennessee Concerto Competition in both 2017 and 2018.

Natalie is currently the Principal Flute in the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra, and she also plays piccolo in the University of Tennessee Wind Ensemble. Natalie is a founding member of the student-led UT Woodwind Quintet, coached by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra bassoonist Aaron Apaza.

In the future, Natalie hopes to play flute professionally in an orchestra while also maintaining a private studio of students. By combining her love for music and for teaching young students, Natalie hopes to have a positive impact on many young musicians in the future.

Joshua Kováč – Winner 2018 Scruffy City Orchestra Concerto Competition

Joshua Kováč, cello

Joshua Kováč, 10, from Jonesborough, TN, began his formal cello studies at the age of four as a Suzuki student of Jean Dexter. He currently studies with professor Daniel Veis from Park University in Kansas City.

At the age of 7, Joshua won 1st place and received the Laureate title at the ProBohemia International Competition in Ostrava, Czech Republic and 2nd place at the Heran International Cello Competition in Ústí nad Orlicí, Czech Republic.

During the year of 2016 Joshua won several competitions with performances at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Recital Hall in New York City. He received a 1st prize at the American Protégé competition, 1st prize at the International Grande Music Competition and 2nd place at the International Virtuoso Competition.

Joshua performed as a soloist with the Kinnor Philharmonic and ETSU Chamber Orchestra and had masterclasses with Gilbert Kalish, Matt Haimovitz, Keith Robinson, Ivan Chen and members of the Lestrange Viols.

Joshua has participated in several summer music festivals: Music@Menlo Festival, National Cello Institute in Claremont, CA, Heartland Chamber Music Festival in Kansas City and Ottawa Suzuki Institute in Kansas. In 2015, Joshua had the honor of performing for both the Czech and Slovak Ambassadors to the United States in Kansas City at the home of Benny and Edith Lee.

He is currently a member of ETSU pre-college Chamber Music Program and ETSU Chamber Orchestra.

Among other interests, Joshua enjoys science, composing, playing chess, solving rubik’s cube, reading and skiing.