Piedmont Symphony Orchestra Young People’s Concert, from left: Music Director Glenn Quader; Michael Hughes, director of arts at Highland School; Ninghao Zahn, competition finalist; Diego Quintanar-Pena, winner; Hannah Choi, finalist; Kate O’Konski, Piedmont Symphony Orchestra executive director; and Ernest R. Hueter, Piedmont Symphony president.

In Tuesday’s (2/6) Fauquier Now (Warrenton, Virginia), Pam Kamphuis writes, “When Diego Quintanar-Pena’s fourth grade music teacher at Highland School took her students on a field trip to see a Piedmont Symphony Orchestra concert, it set in motion a long-held ambition. Now a high school junior, Quintanar-Pena had wanted to play the violin since the first grade. In the fourth grade, he was able to take lessons at school, and this concert sealed the deal for him. It was a Young Artists Competition concert … He began taking lessons with violinist Matthew Gattuso, himself a product of Fauquier County and the PSO. [Gattuso] played with the PSO as a student musician, and then came back to Fauquier after college to become a violin instructor and joined the PSO as a full member. ‘It’s allowed me to feel like I’m connecting with the community in a musical way …,’ he said…. Last year, Quintanar-Pena competed in the PSO Young Artists Competition for the second time as a high school sophomore and won … ‘It’s nice to see a circular progression of things coming back to where they started. It’s a cycle of replenishing that musical energy,’ said Gattuso.”