This year’s three soloists competing for scholarship awards are Jennifer Pfieffer (flute), Abigail Leidy (cello), and Kelsey Payne (violin). 

In addition to providing the community with musical events throughout the year, the members of the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra are dedicated to educational outreach. 

One of the most popular concerts focused on budding talent is the Young People’s Concert and Young Artists’ Competition, which will be held this Sunday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m. at Highland School in the Michael A. Hughes Center for the Arts.  

“This concert features our Young Artists' Competition, where three gifted instrumentalists perform with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra and compete for scholarship awards,” said PSO Executive Director Kate Garretson. The three soloists are Kelsey Payne (violin), Jennifer Pfieffer (flute) and Abigail Leidy (cello).  

To date, nearly $50,000 in scholarships has been awarded through this competition. This year, the scholarship funds are being matched by the Phillip A. Hughes Foundation, allowing PSO to double the awards.  

In the second half of the concert, the PSO will perform selections from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliette" while artwork from the Carol M. Hertz Student Visual Art Contest is projected on a screen above the orchestra. The art will also be displayed in the atrium and the winners will be announced at the concert. The three soloists will be brought back on stage and awarded first, second and third place.   

Local business woman and mother Amelia Stansell works and lives in Warrenton. She’s active on a number of boards and is an advocate for promoting Warrenton and Fauquier County. With two young daughters, her schedule is packed.  

“We love going to the PSO as a family. Our daughters (5 and 7) love listening to and watching the performers. They love that they have personally met several now and feel like they know celebrities,” said Stansell, noting that being able to stay in the county for entertainment is important to her. This annual concert fits the bill.  

“Everything about this concert is specifically geared towards students … it stars three student musicians as soloists, the art contest features artwork by local students, and all youth [18 and younger] are admitted absolutely free [thanks to a donation from an anonymous benefactor],” added Garretson.  

Highland School is at 597 Broadview Ave., in Warrenton. Parking is free. Visit the PSO website at or their Facebook page.  

Reach Anita Sherman at 

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.