Outstanding High School Musicians Wanted for WT’s Ensemble Next

Chip Chandler May 27, 2022
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Outstanding High School Musicians Wanted for WT’s Ensemble Next

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


Outstanding High School Musicians Wanted for WT’s Ensemble Next

CANYON, Texas — Top area high school strings players are sought for an exclusive performance group at West Texas A&M University.

Ensemble Next recently wrapped its second year and is seeking up to three new student musicians.

Audition videos featuring a performance of a solo piece or orchestral excerpt that best displays the musician’s skill will be accepted until June 10. The videos may be emailed to Dr. Mark Bartley at or Evgeny Zvonnikov at

The project offers select students weekly lessons with Zvonnikov, WT’s Harrington lecturer in violin, as well as masterclasses with guest artists and performance opportunities across the region, state and beyond. Ensemble Next has performed with the WT Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Music Amarillo in its first two years.

There is no fee to participate and once they have completed a year in the program, students are offered a $500 scholarship to WT toward their first season in the WT Symphony Orchestra.

“We started this program to engage outstanding high school students with the WT School of Music, even if they don’t ultimately major in music if they attend the University,” Zvonnikov said.

After two years, four Ensemble Next alumni are attending WT and majoring in other fields besides music, said Bartley, director of orchestral activities, the Lilith Brainard Professor of Music and associate director of the School of Music.

“They chose to attend WT because they felt at home here after working with the ensemble and with Evgeny, so this has benefits that stretch beyond the School of Music,” Bartley said.

The ensemble is available for performance opportunities around the Panhandle, and ultimately, Zvonnikov plans to enter Ensemble Next in regional and national competitions.

“The caliber of students we already have attracted are at that level and deserve that kind of recognition,” he said.

Students who participated in Ensemble Next over the last two academic years were Rodrigo Alonzo from Amarillo High School, Cade Foard from Amarillo College, Patrick Daly-Williams from Amarillo High School, Anna Ng from Tascosa High School, Aaron Arenivas from Ascension Academy and homeschool student Elaina Procter.

Daly-Williams, Alonzo and Ng have since enrolled at WT.

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key goal of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised about $110 million.


Photo: Ensemble Next director Evgeny Zvonnikov, center, poses with Ensemble Next members Anna Ng from Tascosa High School, from left, Aaron Arenivas from Ascension Academy, Patrick Daly-Williams from Amarillo High School and homeschool student Elaina Procter.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.