GFO Young Artists • The Gateway Festival Orchestra of St. Louis

GFO Young Artists

Every summer young musicians are given the opportunity to perform with our professional orchestra. William Schatzkamer, one of the founders of the orchestra, and the first conductor and music director, started the tradition years ago and it continues today. While there is no formal competition, our music director receives recommendations from area music teachers, visits other competitions and reviews video recordings before selected the young artists who will perform.

Cynthia Yan, Flute, GFO Young Artist

Cynthia Yan is a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis studying computer science with a second major in biology on the pre-medicine track. She has been playing the flute for 10 years, and is currently studying with Dr. Jennifer Gartley of the Washington University Department of Music. Currently, Cynthia is the assistant principal flutist of the Washington University Symphony Orchestra.

Her musical achievements include four years of qualifying for the Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) State Music festival with two Exemplary Soloist nominations, three honorable mentions from the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) Concerto Competition, and finalist standing and scholarship winner of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Stars of Tomorrow competition in 2021. She was principal flutist of the MYSO Senior Symphony from 2019-2021, a member of the WSMA State Honors Band in 2019, and co-principal flutist of the WSMA State Honors Orchestra in 2020. In her free time, Cynthia enjoys hiking, playing tennis, teaching flute lessons, and volunteering with Buddy Up Tennis.

Ms. Yan will perform Doppler’s Andante et Rondo Op. 25 for Two Flutes and Strings with the Gateway Festival Orchestra, 7:30 PM, Sunday July 23, 2023, at the Brookings Quadrangle.

Lillie Kang, Flute, GFO Young Artist

Lillie Kang is a rising senior at Washington University in St. Louis studying International Development and Global Health. She performs as principal flutist in both the Symphonic Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and studies under Dr. Jennifer Gartley (Director of Programming and Applied Music Teacher) in the WashU flute studio. She is the first prize winner of the 2022 Friends of Music Concerto & Aria Competition, 2021 Flute Society of St. Louis Young Artist Competition. Born in Louisville, Kentucky Lillie studied under Donald Gottlieb (Piccolo, Louisville Orchestra) and won the 2020 Youth Performing Arts School Concerto Competition. She has attended music intensives at the University of Louisville, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Ohio State University. She has had the honor to perform in masterclasses for Katherine Borst Jones, William West, and Dr. Emlyn Johnson. Lillie has studied flute for over 10 years and is grateful to perform with the Gateway Festival Orchestra as a Young Artist.

Ms. Kang will perform Doppler’s Andante & Rondo Op. 25 for Two Flutes and Strings with the Gateway Festival Orchestra, 7:30 PM, Sunday July 23, 2023, at the Brookings Quadrangle.


Terrence Abernathy, Assistant Conductor

Terrence Abernathy, arranger, composer, conductor, educator, and horn player was granted a French horn performance degree from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, not far from his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Shortly thereafter, he was granted backstage access and worked closely with the St. Louis Symphony, who nurtured and expanded his knowledge of classical repertoire. Abernathy has been privileged to sit with great conductors like David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, Gemma New, Sameer Patel and Amy Kaiser, backed completely by the generosity of the IN UNISON graduate fellowship scholarship he was awarded in early 2017. In the years since, Terrence has taught masterclasses, guest conducted, taught horn masterclasses, and judged around the St. Louis metropolitan area. Abernathy has been an instrumental music adjudicator for the St Louis Public schools. As a horn player, he is an alum of the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Abernathy has appeared as an extra with the Southern Illinois University wind symphony under the wise baton of Dr John Bell, and the Washington University Symphony Orchestra under the skillful baton of music director Darwin Aquino. Abernathy played first tenor horn in an internationally ranked brass band from 2016-2019. Saint Louis Brass Band is comprised of professional brass players, educators, and gifted college students from around the area. Abernathy has studied with Associate Principal of the Saint Louis Symphony, Thomas Jöstlein, Stephen Hanrahan, Helena Giammarco, Kristen Tenwolde, and Julia Erdman. Abernathy has also worked with Roger Kaza, Principal horn of the Saint Louis Symphony, during masterclass work. Abernathy has many mentors: Dr. Jennifer Moder-Bell (McKendree University), Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds (O’ Fallon Township HS), David Boggs (EIU), Joseph Padawan (Rockwood Summit HS), Pat Sheridan (Arizona State), Matt Haroff (Avon HS), Dr Joseph Welch (Blackburn), Dr Phillip Whilhem, and Evan Hinds (O’Fallon Township HS) have all shaped his personal teaching philosophies. Abernathy was also the assistant director of the marching band at Hazelwood Central HS with Mark Thomas, where they had great success during his time there. Abernathy also assisted closely with Central’s competitive indoor winter drumline. He will never forget all who have helped him and that includes those he has instructed as they have taught him many lessons in musicianship.

Mr. Abernathy will demonstrate his conducting skills 7:30 PM, Sunday July 23, 2023, at the Brookings Quadrangle.


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