Arkansas HS freshman becomes youngest-ever TYSO concertmaster

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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – An Arkansas High school freshman has become the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra youngest-ever concertmaster.

As the 2019- 2020 concertmaster, 14-year-old Ethan Miller will lead the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra practices and performance.

His mother, Kim Miller, says he began his musical career by playing the alphabet song. He has been the concertmaster for the Junior High and Senior High Orchestra while in the seventh and eighth grade.

 “We give all glory to God,” Miller said.

Ethan spends his spare time playing for weddings, competing in concertos around the state of Arkansas, and opening shows for an artist like American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton.

In 2018, Ethan earned the top spot in the Arkansas Regions Orchestra, serving as the Concert Master. This year as a ninth-grader, he will also serve as the concertmaster for the Texarkana Arkansas school district on the Senior High Orchestra.

The Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra conducts tryouts annually for the TYSO concertmaster. The tryouts consist of students ranging in grade level from freshman to seniors. Students can be enrolled in, in-home, private, or public schools. Each student will play his or her instrument and is ranked by the conductor according to their ability.  

Steve Bennett conducts both the TYSO and Texarkana School District Orchestra and made this year’s selection. “Ethan is a fine young musician. I have seen him perform over the years in recitals and with the youth orchestra and I knew there was something special about him.  I have always been impressed with his tone and technique and his ability to perform difficult music with ease.  Even though Ethan is a freshman in high school this year I can say with confidence that he will do an amazing job as concertmaster of the Texarkana Youth Symphony Orchestra,” Bennett said.

Ethan’s mother says he has taken private lessons since he was four years old. He is currently taking six college credit hours as a Freshman and plans to graduate high school a year early to attend the University of Arkansas where he will major in Accounting and become a CPA.

The first concert will be on December 8 at the Perot Theater.

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