Holy Innocents’ senior Wick Simmons has been invited to play on the NPR radio show “From the Top,” a preeminent showcase for young musicians.
Simmons will play Ravel’s “Kaddish” during a taping March 3 at the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson Hall. The show will air at a later date.
“In the back of my head I have been dreaming about being on the show since the seventh or eighth grade,” said Simmons. “I finally got around to auditioning during the summer. Then they emailed me in January asking if I had any pieces I would like for them to listen to. I sent them one and they asked me if I wanted to appear on the show.”
Based in Boston, “From the Top” is an independent, non-profit celebrating the power of music in the hands of extraordinary young people ages 8 to 18, according to the show’s website. Hosted by pianist Christopher O'Riley, the weekly show reaches more than 700,000 listeners on 200 stations.
Wick Simmons received the Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship to study music last summer. In their announcement letter, judges commented in part that "Wick is an amazingly talented cellist with unmistakable talent and a palpable passion for his music."
The talented 19-year-old earned second place in the Artisan Category at the annual Georgia Philharmonic Concerto Competition in 2010 and performed the Elgar Cello Concerto – 1st movement – on Jan. 29, 2011, with the Georgia Philharmonic.
Simmons also attended the prestigious Heifetz International Music Festival in New Hampshire in 2009, studying with music experts from The Julliard School, The Royal Academy of Music in London, Eastman School of Music and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins. He has also studied at the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Simmons, who will attend Northwestern University next year, hopes to play in an orchestra professionally. He says he loves music because “I can express what I feel without words. Plus everyone loves music. Music is always changing; there’s always something new that’s going to come.”