Solo String Festival Competitive Division Renamed after Renowned, Award-Winning Composer

“I am so moved by this special honor to serve as a role model for the young aspiring musicians of Key to Change. I hope to continue to walk with these amazing musicians and students as we work toward a more beautiful and equitable world through the arts”. – Jessie Montgomery

Jessie Montgomery, a renowned, award-winning composer and violinist has agreed to lend her name to a competitive division for the annual Key to Change Solo String Festival. The Jessie Montgomery Competitive Division will be opened to current Key to Change students in grades 6-12 who play violin or viola. One first place winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship, a set of high-quality strings, a one hour private lesson, perform in a special masterclass for the associate concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony, and invitation to perform at select events sponsored by Key to Change. The winner will also perform live on the radio on Classical KING FM’s Northwest Focus Live program and Unmute The Voices and receive press in the local news.

Jessie Montgomery is one of the country’s most respected and renowned composers of the 21st century. She is currently the composer in residence for the Chicago Symphony and has her pieces performed by major symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles and concert soloists. “Naming our senior competitive division after Jessie Montgomery opens the doors to opportunity for our students to see – a woman of color, who is excelling at the highest level in our field”, said Dr. Quinton Morris, executive director of Key to Change.

The first of its kind in South King County, the Solo String Festival gives young musicians the opportunity to perform in a supportive and community-centered environment. The festival allows participants to perform alongside other musicians of a similar age, background, and experience level. It includes both competitive and non-competitive divisions for current Key to Change and other middle and high school students from South King County. Student participants will also participate in guest artist masterclasses, group classes and receive lunch. The festival sets itself apart from the more exclusive classical music competitions in Seattle and eastside, allowing for a greater diversity of participants to receive opportunities.

The Solo String Festival will be held April 8th and 9th at Highline High School.

For more information, please contact: Ashley Glovier, executive assistant to Dr. Quinton Morris (425) 276-1701

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