TRUMBULL, Conn. -- The old question, "What are you doing this summer?" is a bit of a mouthful for 15-year-old Julian Shively, a student at Fairchild Wheeler Inter-district Magnet High School in Bridgeport.
The Trumbull teen will be touring for eight days with the Fairfield-based Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra (GBYO) in Italy for the first part of summer. (see previous Daily Voice story HERE) . Then, he'll attend a chamber music institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., playing mostly piano. And in August, he's off to an intensive chamber music camp playing two complete string quartets in Stamford, where he'll concentrate on the cello.
Shively has been playing piano since he was four, and cello since he was five. He's just finished his seventh year with GBYO and loves every minute of it. In fact, in January, he won the GBYO’s concerto competition on piano. The prize was a solo opportunity with the principal orchestra at the year’s final concert where he played one of his favorite pieces, George Gershwin’s "Rhapsody In Blue."
Said proud mom Tanya Shively: "I can't describe how awesome that was for him to be able to play with an orchestra made up of his friends, in a beautiful hall with a full house and such an energetic and appreciative crowd. It was truly amazing."
And the accolades don't stop there.
In March he won first prize on cello at the Greater Bridgeport Symphony’s (the pro orchestra, not the youth orchestra) string competition, a monetary award that also allowed him the opportunity to audition for Maestro Eric Jacobsen for a possible solo spot in a future concert.
This was exciting because while the GBYO competition was open to members of the principal orchestra within GBYO, this contest was open to all students in Fairfield County, meaning the level was quite high, he explained
And though his plan is to go into engineering once he attends college (still two years away), he's currently dabbling on the guitar and thinking about learning jazz piano in the fall. "Branching out," he told Daily Voice, "would be fun."