Ventura Music Festival

Rising Stars Concert

Stay tuned for details on the 2019 Rising Stars concert.

See below for the 2018 program.

Rising Stars
A Free Community Concert

Friday, May 18th 8 pm
First United Methodist Church
1338 E. Santa Clara Street in Ventura

This year’s Rising Stars concert is dedicated to Edward Francis, who did so much for the Festival, for young musicians and for the field. He is missed. He will be remembered.


Part One: Choral Music

The Ventura College Singers
This audition-only ensemble, selected from the student body of Ventura College, performs in a variety of styles and genres, specializing in advanced a cappella and accompanied choral literature.
Selections from Three by Langston                                                                                                           Ricky Ian Gordon (b. 1956)
1. Luck
2. New Moon
5 Hebrew Love Songs                                                                                                                                        Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)
1. Temuna (A Picture)
2. Kala Kalla (Light Bride)
3. Larov (Mostly)
4. Eyze Shelleg! (What Snow!)
5. Rakut (Tenderness)

Brent Wilson, director
Mark Holstrom, piano

Part Two: Classical Performers

Etude Op. 25 No. 1                                                                                                                                       Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Miroirs: 1. Noctuelles                                                                                                                                 Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Etude Op. 10 No. 4                                                                                                                                       Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Born in Santa Monica, California, 15-year old pianist Clara Haslop began her musical studies at the age of ten. At age eleven she won the junior division of the Robert Turner Piano Concerto competition and since then has performed under noted conductors Uri Segal, Gaddiel Dombrowner and John Roscigno with the Brunensis Virtuosi Orchestra in Italy and the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic. She won first prizes in the 2018 CAPMT Concerto Competition Southern California Regional (and will be competing at state finals in April), and the SYMF solo (2016) and concerto (2017) categories. Clara is a top prize-winner in the  2018 AFAF 2018 International Concerto Competition and is invited to perform the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Kostroma Symphony in Russia. In September, 2018 Clara will make her Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) debut.
Clara has participated in several international music festivals, including the Colburn School Young Artist Summer Academy (2014, 2015 and 2016) and Music Fest Perugia in Italy. She has been invited to attend the 2018 Amalfi Coast Music Festival Piano Program in Italy in July. Clara is currently under the tutelage of Professor Dmitry Rachmanov at California State University, Northridge. Her past teachers include Myong-Joo Lee and Ory Shihor. She has performed in master classes for Angela Cheng, Alan Chow, Sasha Starcevich, Steven Spooner, and Yoshi Nagai. She loves to regularly share her music in senior homes and is also a composer. Clara spends her free time improvising, painting, writing articles on compassion and love, and hiking in the California coastal mountains

Ballade No. 1 in G minor                                                                                                                   Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Aspiration                                                                                                                                               Jahan Raymond (b. 2001)
Jahan Raymond, 16, has been studying classical piano since the age of seven.  By eight he began composing his own music. Jahan has been commissioned to compose pieces for a number of private organizations, dance troupes and foundations. He has performed for the Young Presidents’ Organization and actor Jim Carrey’s Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment.
His suite in three movements was commissioned for a gala fundraiser hosted by the Juvenile Diabetes Association and the Women Helping Women annual charitable event. He has lent his talents to numerous fundraisers in Los Angeles and internationally, including Make A Wish, Playing for Change and the ecological foundation
On three occasions, Jahan has performed as a soloist with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, playing Rachmaninoff and Saint-Saens concerti. In July 2017,the Philharmonic also debuted his original orchestral score, ‘Fete Macabre.’ Jahan was a student of the late Mr. Edward Francis for three years and is continuing his piano studies under Mrs. Ornela Ervin. He is also studying composing with Mr. Ian Krouse, head of film composing at UCLA, and is a second year student in the music program at Moorpark College. He has twice been a finalist in the National Young Composers Competition and is part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship program for 2017/2018.
Jahan will be starting as a freshman at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA in fall 2018, majoring in music composition. He lives just outside Los Angeles with his parents and younger brother.  When not at the piano, he enjoys playing in chess tournaments and building radio controlled airplanes.

Toccata from Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830                                                                         J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Daniel Wang is currently a 7th grader and has been playing piano since the age of 6. He is currently under the tutelage of Jee Sung Kang at the Colburn School of Music, and he has previously studied with Caroline Lai and Ma Qin. He was won many awards, including 3rd prize at both the 2017 International New York Debut Young Musicians Competition and 2017 New West Symphony Quick Bowman Competition. He was also a 3-time regional winner for the Southern California Junior Bach Festival and 4-time gold medalist for the MTAC Conejo Valley Brand Contemporary Festival. He made his orchestral debut as a soloist with TO Phil’s Golden Opus 50 concert series. Most recently, he has gotten first at the prestigious MTAC Concerto Competition Southern California Branch (Division I) and will play in the state finals in July. Also a clarinetist, he was section leader of the Ventura County Middle School Honor Band 2018. Other than music, he is in the leadership program at his school and enjoys swimming, watching movies, conversing with friends, Odyssey of the Mind, reading, and observing art exhibits.

Part Three: Jazz Trio

Matthew Kuperberg, piano
Henrick Zhang, bass
Daniel Bermudez, drums

There Will Never Be Another You                                                                                                                  Harry Warren (1893-1991)
Smokey                                                                                                                                                                      Matthew Kuperberg
Nomad                                                                                                                                                                       Dave Brubeck (1920-2012)
Matthew Kuperberg is a 12th grade jazz pianist and composer at Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, California. He was chosen as the sole pianist for both the 2017 and 2018 All-State and All-Southern California High School All-Star Honor Jazz Bands and has earned national recognition as a YoungArts Winner, DownBeat Magazine Student Music Award recipient, and Finalist for the Grammy Jazz Band. Additionally, Matthew was awarded 2nd Place in Berklee College of Music’s Big Band Composition Contest, 1st Place in the Ventura Student Jazz Competition, the Award of Excellence from the National Reflections Competition, an Honorable Mention Award from the Dolo Coker Jazz Foundation, and the Promise Award from the L.A. Music Center’s Spotlight Competition. Last summer, Matthew received scholarships to attend the Brubeck Institute Jazz Colony, the Centrum Jazz Workshop, and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute Workshop, where he performed at the famous Newport Jazz Festival. Outside of the award-winning Agoura High School Studio Jazz Band (where he has competed as a three-time finalist at the Swing Central Jazz Competition in Savannah, GA, as well as the Essentially Ellington Jazz Competition at Lincoln Center in New York, NY), Matthew has played in the Conejo Valley Community Jazz Band, teaches piano lessons to middle school students, volunteers at the local senior home, and plays gigs around town with his combo, Quintessence, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Next year, he will be attending the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, NY on a scholarship.

Ventura Music Festival

Founded in 1994 by City and civic leaders, the Ventura Music Festival is one of the City’s top cultural assets: the sole nonprofit whose mission is to bring world-class music to the community and enhance the joy of music for audiences of all ages. Current initiatives include the signature multi-genre, ten-concert annual Festival in July which draws 3,000-4,000 and includes a free public concert. From our founding, youth education and engagement have been critical mission components and include: a popular Rising Stars concert in the Spring; a delightful concert in the Fall for over 1,000 VUSD third-graders; an annual Student Jazz Competition involving high school-age musicians; plus stand-alone concerts, lectures and other programs throughout the year, both admission-free and ticketed. Our signature education program is Music in the Schools, developed and taught by Nuvi Mehta, the Janet & Mark L. Goldenson Artistic Director. It is designed for 3rd through 5th graders to meet California State music curriculum requirements and opens children’s minds to new experiences through live performance, one-on-one interaction and exploration. Up to 3,000 children are engaged yearly in 20 elementary schools, Boys & Girls Clubs and Casa Pacifica settings. Title One schools are a priority. Music in the Schools and our other youth programs are supported by donations to the VMF Young Artists Fund.

We are grateful to the following for support:

Aera Energy LLC, Julius Gius Memorial Rotary Foundation, E.J. Harrison & Sons, Jennie & David Whaley, Miriam Wille, and all contributors to the VMF Young Artists Fund.