Filene music scholars coming-out party

October 18, 2012

“The Shostakovich piece I’m performing is exciting, while the Bach sarabande brings sweet sorrow into the program and finishes with an upbeat C major prelude,” says cellist George Dilthey ’16. “My Mozart piece tells a story,” adds pianist Lauren Soong ’16 with equal enthusiasm. “The composition is filled with excitement, anguish, and everything in between.”

Both first-year Filene Scholars, Dilthey and Soong are eager to share their musical talents with the Skidmore community in the Filene Scholarship Winners Concert, October 25 at 8 p.m. in the Arthur Zankel Music Center. And so are the other two 2012 Filene Scholars, soprano Emma Marshall ’16 and pianist Daniel Pravder ’16. Marshall will perform selections from Handel, Mahler, and Tipton, while Pravder will play the third movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata. (For the full program, see below.)

Chosen from more than 140 participants in last winter’s Filene Music Competition, the four 2012 Filene Scholars have performed in Zankel’s Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall just once before. In many ways, it’s their Skidmore coming-out party. “People should come see the concert to hear the performance abilities of some of the new students here,” says Pravder. “Personally, I’m most excited about being able to showcase a piece I have worked so hard on and share it with others.” Marshall is looking forward to singing “A Spirit Flower”: “Tipton has a creative style that allows the passion juices to ooze and flow into every word in this piece. Come to the concert to discover what I mean by this.”  

The Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation established Skidmore’s Filene Music Scholarships ($48,000 per winner, over four years)  in 1982 to help gifted young musicians further their musical studies and develop their talents as part of a liberal arts education. Scholars are expected to play a major role in the Music Department, but are not required to major in music.  

Dilthey, who “lives and breathes cello and cello repertoire,” according to music faculty member Nat Parke, is a Mt. Greylock High School (Williamstown, MA) graduate, who says he came to Skidmore because “I want music to be in my life, but not be my life.” A member of the 2011 Young Musicians’ Scholarship program, he is a recipient of a 2012 Uel Wade Music Scholarship and also performed with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Marshall, who chose Skidmore over seven other colleges because of its strong arts and academics combination, is a graduate of the School of Arts (Rochester, NY). She received an advanced diploma in voice and a Pathways merit scholarship from the University of Rochester’s Eastman Community Music School, performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops Choir, and placed in the top 10 at the well-regarded Barbara Staropoli Vocal Competition at Nazareth College.

Pravder, who says it was “love at first sight” when he came to Skidmore for the Filene Music Competition, is a graduate of Staples High School (Westport, CT). Being able to continue with music and pursue his dual interest in math and engineering at Skidmore was also critical. As he puts it, “Skidmore is a place where I can thrive in both—music and math-engineering.” Pravder is the recipient of a Brubeck Scholarship from the Stamford Center for the Arts’ Emerging Young Artists competition.

Soong, who spent seven years at the Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division and has performed several times in Carnegie Hall, is a graduate of the Beacon School (New York, NY). The opportunity to continue her music career in a conservatory-like setting yet also major in biology (pre-med track) convinced her to apply to Skidmore on an Early Decision basis.

Admission for the Filene Scholarship Winners Concert, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., is free and open to the public. For reservations visit, or call the Zankel box office 518-580-5321 for more information. The Zankel is wheelchair-accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired; for more information, see

Concert Program:

George Dilthey ’16, cello:
Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40, II: Allegro -- Shostakovich
Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor (BWV 1011), IV: Sarabande -- J.S. Bach
Cello Suite No. 3 in C major (BWV 1009), I: Prelude -- J.S. Bach

Emma Marshall ’16, soprano:
“Oh, Had I Jubal’s Lyre” -- Handel
“Wer Hat Dies Liedlein Erdacht” -- Mahler
“A Spirit Flower” -- Tipton

Daniel Pravder ’16, piano:
Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor (“Moonlight”), Op. 27, No. 2-III:
Presto Agitato -- Beethoven

Lauren Soong ’16, piano:
Piano Sonata No. 17 in B-flat major (K.570), I: Allegro -- W.A. Mozart