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The Student News Site of Union High School - WA

Titan Tribune


Titan Tribune

The Student News Site of Union High School - WA

Titan Tribune

Nolan Tu’s Unforgettable Performance with Portland Youth Philharmonic


On November 9th, Nolan Tu, a Union musician, had the privilege and honor to perform with the Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP). The opportunity, which was achieved through a victory in the final round of the Portland Piano International Competition, his performance included Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22, a piece that had caught his heart with its exquisite melodies and emotional complexity. Working with PYP has offered Nolan new experiences, from the complexities of performing with an orchestra for an extended length of time to learning a concerto.

When questioned about his favorite portion of the music, he mentioned how Saint-Saens composed many wonderful melodies that spoke to him. Especially with the “playful and elegant themes throughout the second movement,” demonstrating the emotional range that makes this musical performance a riveting trip from start to end. We asked Nolan what advice he would give to aspiring pianists, and he said that discovering and remembering your love and devotion for who you are and the music you are playing is the key to success in any field. Furthermore, he encourages them to explore opportunities like online competitions and even consider organizing their events, such as student-organized concerts.

As we delve into the memories of several PYP students, including Loni Yin, and Suzanne Xu, the excitement for the upcoming concert is palpable. Loni, a cellist, expresses both excitement and a touch of bittersweet nostalgia as her performance draws near, playing with Nolan and David from Union for the last time before graduating. Loni further reflects on the impact of PYP on her musical journey, noting the organization’s significant role in her family’s musical history. During the challenging times of the pandemic, PYP became a source of inspiration and a sanctuary for musical expression. Suzanne, a PYP violinist, expressed excitement about performing at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with friends. She admired Nolan’s extraordinary concentration during rehearsals, noting an awe-inspiring moment when the orchestra, entirely engrossed, focused its attention on the soloist. Suzanne also encourages fellow artists, emphasizing that music gives not just accomplishments but also lifetime connections, a supportive environment, and unrivaled possibilities. For her, being a member of an orchestra demonstrates the collaborative effort required by music, establishing a sense of solidarity among performers.

In conclusion, Nolan Tu’s performance with the Portland Youth Philharmonic marked a significant moment in his musical journey, showcasing both his talent and the enriching experiences gained through collaboration with PYP. The performance emphasized devotion, camaraderie, and the joy of producing music together. The musical community continues to develop, encouraging not just creative advancement but also lifetime friendships. The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall watched more than just a concert; it witnessed a tribute to music’s enduring ability to shape lives and create cherished memories.

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About the Contributor
Katrina Ramm, Reporter
Katrina Ramm is a senior at Union High School and a second-year Running Start student. She has assisted the Tribune in returning to its former glory in the hopes of expanding the interests of others. She assists with Titan Tribune's outreach, photography, and marketing. She is a huge admirer of Laufy, Queen, and many other artists, and she also likes cooking and baking. She also may or may not have a secret tea obsession.

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    LoniDec 1, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    mr tu the virtuoso pianist