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North State Symphony Features Chris Navarrete

Photo of soloist Chris Navarrete courtesy of North State Symphony

Photo of soloist Chris Navarrete courtesy of North State Symphony

Redding native Chris Navarrete will solo with the North State Symphony on Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 2:00 PM at the Cascade Theatre in Redding in a program billed as New American Portraits.

The program includes Marquez, Danzon No/ 2; Lalo, Chello Concerto, Movement 1; Neruda, Trumpet Concerto; and Copland’s Symphony No. 3.

Trumpet in hand, Chris Navarrete will step on stage in front of the North State Symphony,  to play a classical solo concerto. And many folks in Redding’s music community will know that they helped get him there.

Chris, who grew up in Redding, is now in the Teaching Credential Program at CSU, Chico, with visions of a Masters and doctorate to follow. But it all started when he was a student a Manzanita Elementary School, and two music instructors first put an instrument in his hands.

Those two teachers, fondly remembered by Chris, were Deb Scott and Deb Wiseman, who came to Manzanita School so that young students could start an instrument and later join the music program at Sequoia Middle School. For Chris, the first instrument was flute – a choice he made because of a young female friend who played the flute too.

The flute didn’t last, but the interest in music bloomed. As a member of the middle school marching band, Chris played  percussion instruments. One day on a holiday visit, his grandfather pulled out an old trumpet – and Chris found his true calling, musically speaking. Though he also participated in other school activities, his commitment to the trumpet was real and increasing.

Lou Polcari, music instructor at Shasta High, was a big influence. Although Polcari is a clarinetist and Navarrete a trumpeter, Chris credits Lou with showing him how to achieve a major element in music performance, the big confident sound that any musician needs when taking a solo.

Private lessons with Sal D’Acquisto were important. In fact, the solo Chris will play on Nov 16th and 17th is the same work D’Acquisto played with NSS  many years ago. Chris also branched out stylistically. He’s now a skilled jazz player and arranger in addition to playing traditional classical and band repertoire. Most importantly, Chris learned, and learned to love, the discipline of daily practice.

Chris received several music awards upon high school graduation. Nevertheless, he started his college career at Shasta College intending to become an engineer. But love for music prevailed.

Familiar with Chico State Music faculty from honor bands, clinics and festivals, Chris transfered, and received his B.A. in 2013.  His study emphasized Music Education, Trumpet Performance, Composing and Arranging, and Jazz Studies. His studio instructors were Dr. Richard Winslow and Professor Rocky Winslow, whom he credits along with Drs. Royce Tevis, Michelle McConkey and others for “broadening my learning by 1000%!” Chris has performed with many ensembles, including the CSUC Wind Ensemble, Jazz X-Press, and the North State Symphony, where he is one of a small group of talented students among the professional players.

This year Chris is exploring his future as an educator by student teaching at Chico Junior High  and Chico High School.

The Symphony’s two volunteer groups, the Redding League and Chico Guild, put on an annual competition for “young artists,” and one of the prizes is the opportunity to solo with the Symphony. The 2013 winners, Chris and cellist Kira Weiss of Humboldt County, will both perform. Chris and Music Director Kyle Pickett chose a bright, upbeat solo work by an early Czech composer, Jan Neruda.

Pickett has said of Chris Navarrete: “He’s a very talented player with a bright future!” Chris himself acknowledges his parents, Carlos and Rosie, writing: “I couldn’t ask for a better mom, dad and family. They have supported me from the time I first tried to play them Mary had a Little Lamb in the living room in 5th grade, to now when I’m playing the Neruda concerto with the North State Symphony. I owe a lot of my success to their support and dedication to me.”

It’s been an impressive path of achievement for Chris. Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that he is the first in his family to attend college! And it all began at Manzanita School.

Tickets for the NSS concert at the Cascade are available by calling 243-8877 or at www.cascadetheatre.org. Northstatesymphony.org has full information on the concert, the orchestra and their future performances.