Kent Philharmonic Orchestra Fall Concert
Friday, October 29
St. Cecilia Music Center, Royce Auditorium
Ugly Duckling, Op. 18 for Voice and Orchestra ... S. Prokofjev (1891-1953)
William Bokhout, baritone
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219 ... W.A.Mozart (1756-1791)
Allegro aperto - Adagio - Allegro aperto
Julia LaGrand, violin, 2021 KPO Concerto Competition Award Winner
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in D minor ... F. Liszt (181101886), Arr. Franz Doppler (1821-1883)
The Kent Philharmonic Orchestra, in existence since 1975, is a college/community orchestra devoted to the performance of symphonic literature. KPO consists of adult musicians and some GRCC students seeking credit. The orchestra performs four major programs per year and membership is by audition or permission of the conductor.
KPO operates under the auspices of the Grand Rapids Community College, which provides funding for the conductor, rehearsal space and in part for support services, concertmaster salary, printing services, hall rental, music purchase or rental costs and other miscellaneous expenses. The balance of funding is through ticket sales, donations, and fundraising. Leadership of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra is provided by its Board of Directors, comprised of KPO members and others outside the membership, all elected by the orchestra. Concerts are presented in Royce Auditorium of the St. Cecilia Music Center, a collaborative partner with GRCC, and other Grand Rapids area venues.
Elizabeth VanZytveld, Concertmistress
Elizabeth VanZytveld holds a master’s degree in violin performance from the University of Southern California, where she studied violin with Eudice Shapiro and chamber music with Ron Leonard; her bachelor’s degree in music education is from Calvin University. Betsy directed string and vocal music programs in Michigan and California schools, founding the string program for the Valley Christian Schools. She also taught string methods and chamber music at California State Polytechnic University and served on faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for ten summers. Betsy is currently active in West Michigan as a clinician, private lesson instructor, and performer.
William Bokhout, Operatic Baritone
William Bokhout performance career has taken him coast to coast in as many as 40 different operatic roles, countless solo appearances and directing of over 50 different stage productions. He has been featured with Opera Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Symphony, The New York Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and the Blue Lake Festival Orchestra. Mr. Bokhout is also the composer of 6 operas for children and is co-founder of The Children’s Opera Studio where he and his beloved wife Hollis tour the country working with elementary schools to present their own opera performances. William is also known as The Opera Farmer, the tile role of the feature length independent family film.
Julia LaGrand, Violin
Julia LaGrand, a 17-year old senior at Grand Rapids Christian High School, began violin at the age of five. She currently studies with Danielle Belen, and previously studied with Megan Reiter Crawford. She was a featured performer on NPR’s From The Top in February 2021, and was first place winner of the 2021 Michigan Federation Music Clubs String Award and 2020 Bella International Music Competition. Julia has had the honor of performing in master classes for Stefan Jackiw and Midori. In recent years Julia has pursued summer violin study at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Center Stage Strings, and Credo Music. She is a Braille reader and writer, and is four-time winner of the National Braille Challenge.
Libor Ondras, Music Director
Dr. Ondras is a conductor, viola recitalist, and educator. He began his studies as a recipient of the Slovak Ministry of Culture fellowship to study viola at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory with Yuri Bashmet. Ondras has performed with major orchestras throughout the US and Europe including given lectures and played recitals for the American Viola Society and International Viola D'Amore Society, provided coaching to winners of the MASTA competition, and masterclasses at the US college music programs such as Notre Dame University, Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State, etc. His research and scholarly writings were published in the Journal of American Viola Society. Dr. Ondras is a Music Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and Kent Philharmonic Orchestra (MI), guest conductor for the Slovak State Opera and string faculty and artist-in-residence at the Bay View Music Festival, Director of Orchestras and professor at the Grand Rapids College.
His recent projects included European tour with Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, visiting artist at he Royal Conservatory of Scotland, research project at the Belle Violinmaking School in Bilbao, Spain, solo appearance with Northwest Sinfonietta, WA, concert presentation at the National conference of the League of American Orchestras MC’d by Wynton Marsalis.