Two Eastman School of Music Students in Running for 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra

December 13, 2010

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For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057,

Two Eastman School of Music undergraduate students have been chosen as finalists for the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra and the chance to play at the Sydney Opera House in Australia next March.

Junior Patrick Shelc and freshman Jennifer Zhou are among 336 finalists from 46 countries who submitted audition videos for the collaborative orchestra. The finalists are now up for voting by the YouTube community. Their performances can be seen and voted on at; voting is already open and closes at 11:59 p.m. EST this Friday, Dec. 17.

The finalists were chosen by an international expert judging panel consisting of representatives from the London Symphony Orchestra and other musical experts. San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, who will conduct the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra, will review the potential finalists and select the orchestra members, taking the voting into consideration.

Shelc is studying viola with Carol Rodland. He is the son of Cynthia and Michael Shelc of Kennesaw, Georgia, where he attended Kennesaw Mountain High School.  His video appears at under the name “violaissimmo.”

Zhou is studying flute with Bonita Boyd. She is the daughter of Winnie Jin and Xiaoping Zhou of Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Upper Arlington High School. Her video appears at under her name.

Users can view all the videos at and vote either thumbs up or thumbs down. Each user can vote a maximum of once per video, per category, per day during the user period. Thomas will select the 96 musicians who will head to the Sydney Opera House March 14 to 20 to perform for a global audience. The final performance on March 20 will be streamed live.

Two other Eastman School students, freshman Colin McCall and senior Daniel Vozzolo, were named alternates for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

The first YouTube Symphony Orchestra in 2009 included Eastman School of Music flute major Nick Fitton, who is now a senior.

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