“The rapt audience fell silent as 17-year-old Nygel Witherspoon took the stage,” writes Micah Walker in Saturday’s (2/2) Detroit Free Press. “As the cello player performed Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in B-flat Major, many people seemed entranced…. Witherspoon was one of three musicians to perform in the 22nd Annual Sphinx Junior Division Honors Concert on Friday afternoon at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. The concert also serves as a competition [for] black and Latino middle school, high school and college-age string players…. The concert is a partnership between the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Pistons. The basketball team has been involved since last year, and they have a three-year partnership with Sphinx… The other two finalists at Friday’s competition were 16-year-old Maxwell Remmer, a cellist from St. Augustine, Florida [third place], and Sophia Ayer, a 16-year-old violinist from Austin, Texas [second]. Witherspoon hails from Minneapolis…. Former Detroit Piston Earl Cureton presented the awards. ‘Detroit Pistons are proud to support an organization like Sphinx,’ he said. As the top finisher, Witherspoon will receive a $10,000 cash prize, solo appearances with major orchestras, performances with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra and an appearance on the radio show, ‘From the Top.’ ”

Posted February 4, 2019

Nygel Witherspoon photo by Ryan Garza / Detroit Free Press