Musician wins top honors

West Carroll High School senior Brennon Cavanagh won the Clinton Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Auditions Saturday, Jan. 9, with a performance of the Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra. The son of Timothy and Kyong Cavanagh of Savanna received $250 in prize money from the Symphony.

Brennon Cavanagh, a senior at West Carroll High School, has been awarded top honors in the Clinton Symphony Orchestra's annual Young Artist Auditions.

Cavanagh won the auditions Saturday, Jan. 9, with a performance of the Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra by American composer Robert Ward.

In addition to the $250 in prize money from the Symphony, the honoree is usually given the opportunity to perform their solo piece with the orchestra on one of their concerts. With the Symphony on hiatus due to the pandemic, that may not be possible this time.

Brennon is the son of Timothy and Kyong Cavanagh of Savanna, and has been a saxophone student of Emily Bressler since 5th grade.

He has been a regular participant in regional honor bands throughout his school years, and for the past two years has been selected for the Illinois All-State Concert Band.

Brennon is enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard as a musician in the 144th Army Band, and will attend a 10-week training at the Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, Va., this summer.

The Young Artist Audition program also awarded honorable mention status to clarinetist Aubrey Charles, a West Carroll High School sophomore, and violinist Clara Ashdown of Fenton. Each will receive a monetary award as well as counsel, suggestions, and encouragement from the panel of judges from the Symphony. Charles is the daughter of Terry and Christy Charles of Mount Carroll.

The auditions are held each January, and open to any high school musician in the Symphony's service area. This is the Symphony's 67th year, and the auditions have been a service to music education in the area for much of that time.