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Originally published April 8, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 8, 2008 at 11:23 AM

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Young Northwest musicians honored nationally

The Music Teachers National Association Competition, held in Denver late last month, honored six young Northwest musicians...

The Music Teachers National Association Competition, held in Denver late last month, honored six young Northwest musicians.

Among them were: Jonathan Hill, a student of Seattle Symphony tubist Christopher Olka, who placed first in the young artist division (for musicians 19-26); and Min Joo Ye, a student of Bellevue piano teacher Michi North, who won second place in the junior division (for musicians 11-14).

Other honorees (announced earlier), were: Marié Rossano (first place strings, juniors); Paul Kim (second place strings, senior division, for ages 15-18); Lauren Glass (second place woodwinds, seniors); and Leann Conley (third place voice, young artist division).

Virtual reality conducting kiosk

Want to be a maestro? The Seattle Symphony is giving you a virtual shot at the podium through April 27, with a "virtual reality conducting kiosk" available to the public in Benaroya Hall's Boeing Company Gallery. The gallery, which runs along the east (Third Avenue) side of the hall, is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and during evening and weekend events. The kiosk is funded by the Symphony's season sponsor, the financial firm UBS.

Using technology similar to the popular video games "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band," the Virtual Maestro lets would-be conductors step up to a music stand, pick up the electronic controller, and lead a virtual orchestra in the music of Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Berlioz. The orchestra responds directly to the controller's movement, which controls the speed of the performance and also the volume of the virtual musicians.

After April 27, the Virtual Maestro will travel to other orchestral halls, including those of Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

Melinda Bargreen: mbargreen@seattletimes.com

Shakespeare season for GreenStage

The Seattle classics troupe GreenStage will mark its 20th anniversary performing Shakespeare in local parks this summer, with another season of two pass-the-hat productions.

This summer's fare includes the biggest Bard of Avon tragedy of them all, "Hamlet," staged by new SecondStory Repertory Theatre artistic director Susanna Wilson. Noted fringe actor Shawn Law will tackle the title role. GreenStage will also perform the Shakespeare comedy "Twelfth Night," as staged by Amelia Meckler.

Both shows are set to run July 11 through Aug. 16, in seven Seattle parks (Volunteer, Discovery, Woodland, Magnuson, Seward, Lincoln and Camp Long). They also will tour to Dottie Harper Park in Burien, Lynndale Park in Lynnwood, Fall City Park in Fall City and Redmond City Hall.

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Exact dates and location, as they become available: www.greenstage.org or 206-748-1551.

Misha Berson,

Seattle Times theater critic

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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