West Virginia Symphony Orchestra Announces 2018 Vaughan Fellows

CHARLESTON, W.VA. (1/31/18) – A young clarinetist from Ona and an emerging violinist from Charleston are the 2018 Student Symphonic Fellows in the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s (WVSO) Andrew and Amy Vaughan Fellowship Program.

As Vaughan fellows, Armaan Karimpour, a sophomore at St. Joseph Central Catholic High School in Huntington, and Aya Hobeika, a junior at George Washington High School in Charleston, will build upon their knowledge and mastery of classical music by sitting on stage alongside WVSO musicians during rehearsals. They will also meet renowned guest artists during the second half of the 2018 Capitol Conference Center Symphonic Series and conduct personal research about the music the WVSO performs.

The selection committee awarded an honorable mention to a third finalist, Dustin Parsons, of Cottageville, who is honing his tuba-playing skills as a senior at Ravenswood High School.

Aya, 17, is a member of the West Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra, the West Virginia All-State Symphony Orchestra, NAfME National Symphony Orchestra and the West Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra Quartet. Aya also plays soccer and is a member of Model United Nations Club and Junior Civitan Club.

Armaan, 16, is principal clarinetist for his school band, sings tenor in the school chorus and provides vocal and instrumental music for his church’s music ministry. He is co-principal clarinet for the West Virginia Youth Symphony and was 1st chair of the All-County Band for four years, 6th chair in the 2017 All State Band and principal chair for the 2018 All-State Orchestra. Armaan also play tennis and is a member of his school’s Key Club, Science Olympiad and Student Council.

Dustin, 18, is a member of Ravenswood’s wind ensemble, jazz band, marching band and Future Farmers of America.

Sponsored by Drs. Andrew and Amy Vaughan, this fellowship program started in 2002 helps to develop and encourage West Virginia high-school students to pursue careers as professional musicians, educators, composers or conductors.

Applicants audition before the selection committee, complete an application that includes an essay that explains their interest in the program as well as their professional and academic goals, and submit at least two letters of recommendations.

This monitored and time-intensive training program for serious music students remains a unique program among orchestras throughout North America.

The WVSO is West Virginia’s premier performing arts organization, presenting classical, pops, family and chamber-music concerts annually throughout the Mountain State. Currently in its 78th season, the WVSO is a proud member of the community and enriches the region by providing affordable, high-quality concerts, collaborations with West Virginia arts organizations and a nationally award-winning education program.