School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Oakland Symphony Orchestra to present 23rd Annual David Daniels Young Artists Concert

OU student musicians will join OSO for Feb. 16 performance

icon of a calendarFebruary 5, 2020

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Oakland Symphony Orchestra to present 23rd Annual David Daniels Young Artists Concert
Oakland Symphony Orchestra to present 23rd Annual David Daniels Young Artists Concert
The Oakland Symphony Orchestra's 23rd Annual David Daniels Young Artists Concert will feature solo performances by Catherine Hectman, Danielle Maurer, Gillian Tackett and Brant Ford (not pictured).

The Oakland Symphony Orchestra will present its 23rd Annual David Daniels Young Artists Concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16 in Varner Recital Hall on the OU campus.

“Named after Professor Emeritus David Daniels in recognition of his distinguished career at Oakland University and sustained commitment to teaching Oakland University’s aspiring student musicians, the concert is always an annual highlight of the OSO season,” said Gregory Cunningham, music director of the OSO and professor of orchestral and wind conducting at OU.

The Young Artists Concert program will feature four solo student performances by the winners of the 2019-2020 Oakland University Concerto and Aria Competition who were selected to reprise their performance with the OSO. They include:

• Brant Ford (saxophone) — Concerto for Alto Saxophone, I. Lento espressive, Allegro by Pierre-Max Dubois

• Catherine Hectman(piano) — Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73, III. Rondo Allegro by Ludwig van Beethoven

• Danielle Maurer (mezzo-soprano) — “Smanie implacabili” from Cosi fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

• Gillian Tackett (soprano) — “Der Hölle Rache” from Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Other works to be performed by the OSO include the orchestral suite from the ballet Appalachian Spring, the iconic Pulitzer Prize winning work of Aaron Copland, and the virtuosic Romanian Rhapsody, of Georges Enesco.

Tickets for the performance are $12 for students and $22 for general admission, and can be purchased at the Varner Box Office, by phone at (800) 514-3849 or at without service fees.

For more information about Oakland University School of Music, Theatre and Dance programs and performances, call (248) 370-2030 or visit

About the Artists

Oakland Symphony Orchestra to present 23rd Annual David Daniels Young Artists Concert
Brant Ford

Brant Ford, saxophonist from Henderson, Ky., is currently in his third year studying music performance and technology with Dr. Jeffrey Heisler at Oakland University. Ford has received many awards as a soloist, including first prize in the 2018 American Single Reed Summit Saxophone Competition, and winning the 2018 YoungArts National Competition, as well as the 2017 and 2019 Oakland Symphony Orchestra Concerto competitions.

Ford has also performed in masterclasses with numerous world-renowned musicians, including Nikita Zimin, Timothy McAllister, Otis Murphy, and Lara St. John. He intends to continue his music education and pursue a master’s degree.

Catherine Hechtman is a sophomore at Oakland University pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and is fulfilling requirements for a pre-med track. She has played piano for 16 years, and has studied with several prestigious teachers, including Mary Siciliano, Julia Siciliano, Dr. Logan Skelton, and currently, Dr. Tian Tian.

Previously a member of the Student League of the Detroit Tuesday Musicale, Hechtman has competed and participated in a multitude of competitions, festivals, and masterclasses throughout high school and college, including state and national Federation competitions, regional and state MNTA and MMTA competitions, as well as the Rochester Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition.

Hechtman also performed in Honors Recitals for Schoolcraft College and the 41st Annual Sonatina and Sonata Festival, won the Arthur Luis Award Senior Division for the Livonia Piano Teacher’s Forum, was named a 2017 Michigan Youth Arts Distinguished Scholar, and participated in the Albion International Piano Festival. Most recently, she competed in the Rosamond P. Haeberle Piano Award Auditions, and plans to compete in the Rosamond P. Haeberle Memorial Piano Award Auditions.

Danielle Maurer is a mezzo-soprano from Bad Axe, Mich. A third-year student at Oakland University, Maurer currently studies vocal performance with Dr. Edith Diggory and is set to graduate in 2021 with a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance.

She has performed roles including Madame de Croissy in Dialogues of the Carmelites and Mrs. Olsen in Street Scene during her time of undergraduate studies. Maurer is a winner of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Featured Soloist Competition where she performed at the Gala Concert held at Western Michigan University in 2017. She is also a four-year member of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association’s All-State Honors Choir and participant in MSVMA’s Solo and Ensemble in which she received two perfect scores during her high school career.

In 2015, Maurer joined world-class opera tenor, Brian Cheney, in concert performing Sartori’s, “Con te partiro.” That same year, she performed at the Palace of Auburn Hills as a soloist for the Michigan State Wrestling Finals and was invited back in 2016.

Maurer is a member of The Oakland Chorale as well as the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and has secured a spot on the Oakland University’s Dean’s List since 2017. Her plans after graduating include pursuing a career in opera.

Gillian Tackett is a senior Vocal Performance major at Oakland University studying with Dr. Alta Boover-Dantzler. Recently, Tackett performed as Blanche de la Force in Oakland University’s production of Dialogues of the Carmelites, and placed second at the Michigan National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in fourth-fifth year college women. She also competed in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions last fall, and was a finalist in Opera MODO’s aria competition.

In addition to her role in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Tackett has sung the roles of Mrs. Maurrant in Street Scene, Lady Harriet in Martha, and First Lady in The Magic Flute. Tackett also won the Dora Dawson Scholarship Award from Tuesday Musicale of Greater Pontiac, and gave a performance in a winner’s concert. She has also won first place in Michigan NATS for both junior and sophomore college women.

Tackett is a member of The Oakland Chorale, Oakland University’s elite auditioned choir, and has traveled with them on both Michigan and European tours. She looks forward to their next European tour this coming summer. Upon graduation, Tackett plans to pursue a career in opera.

About the Oakland Symphony Orchestra

Now in its fifth decade of providing the OU community with outstanding live performances and symphonic repertoire, the OSO is comprised of professional musicians from throughout Southeastern Michigan and Northern Ohio, OU students, and OU faculty.

The OSO performs most of its concerts on the OU campus in Varner Hall, with its final annual performance held in Orchestra Hall in Detroit in collaboration with the Oakland University Symphony Chorus.

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