Special to The Hays Daily News

Three exceptional student musicians have won the right to perform at the Hays Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Fort Hays State University's Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

The concert will open with the Hays Symphony Orchestra's rendition of "Tragic Overture" composed by Johannes Brahms and conducted by Ben Cline, chair and associate professor of the Department of Music and Theatre.

The orchestra will accompany each soloist as they vie for the top prize of $1,000.

Crystal Buck, a graduate from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, will sing soprano; Emma Bobbs Hoeft, a graduate from Rice University, will play cello; and Angelika Machnik-Jones, an Oklahoma City University graduate, will play cello.

Machnik-Jones will perform "Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85" by Edward Elgar. The concerto is described as a "rich and noble work." It is comprised on two movements, ""Adagio; Moderato" and "Lento; Allegro Molto."

Polish cellist Machnik-Jones is renowned for her "excellent musical instincts," "great emotion, sensitivity and temperament" and her "wonderfully committed playing." She has performed throughout Poland, Germany and the United States with many different symphonies and orchestras. Machnik-Jones has won several prizes in both Poland and the United States including fourth prize in Bacewicz International Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the Delta Symphony Concerto Competition.

There will be a short intermission after Machnik-Jones' performance.

Next, Buck will sing "'Bell Song' from Lakme" by Leo Delibes. "Bell Song" relates the story of star-crossed lovers in India during British rule in the late 19th century.

Buck's "elegant vocality," "moving performances" and "exemplary academic achievements" set her apart from many other young musicians. After graduating magna cum laude with special academic and music honors, Buck sang with the Rome Opera in Italy and the Madison Opera Chorus. While singing opera, Buck had the opportunity to work with world-renowned directors, conductors and singers.

Buck graduated with the honors of Outstanding Graduate Student for her music studies in Turkey, Germany and Austria from University of Minnesota Duluth. Currently, Buck is pursuing her doctorate from the University of Kansas and is preparing for her role as the Queen of the Night for the summer 2014 with the Rome Opera.

Following Buck's selection, Bobbs Hoeft will play "Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33" by Tchaikovsky on cello. This piece "nostalgically recalls the musical language of the Classical period." The solo cello is conveys the "charming simplicity" of 18th Century music. "Variations" concludes with a "breathless variation that fairly races to the final measure."

Bobbs Hoeft's journey to cello expertise began at the age of four. She graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor's in Music and has won many scholarships awarded by the Los Angeles Violoncello Society, the Cleveland Cello Society, National Federation of Music Clubs and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

She is also the youngest winner of the 2002 International Viva Vivaldi Competition and performed with the Viva Vivaldi All Girl Orchestra and with the Washington D.C. Chamber Symphony in the Kennedy Center. Most recently, Bobbs Hoeft placed third in the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra's International Young Artist Competition and has been a member of many orchestras and symphonies including the Colburn Chamber Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony.

The admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and students. FHSU students with a Tiger Card are admitted free. Children 12 and under also get in free.

Sigma Alpha Iota, a national women's music service fraternity, will provide ushering services.

For more information, call the FHSU Department of Music and Theatre at (785) 628-4533.