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Super solos

Vio-Piaguitello is a clever name made up of a few letters each from a quartet of instruments: violin, piano, guitar and cello. The third annual Vio-Piaguitello Honors Solo Recital features young musicians from throughout Western New York who strive to improve their community through music.

"It features 10 of our area's outstanding high school musicians," says Valerie Heywood, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's principal violist. Heywood, who has coached Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra students for years and also teaches at the BRAVO! International Chamber Music Workshop, organizes the recital every year.

"There are so many talented young people in our area," she adds. "Some of these kids, they want to go into performing, and they don't get much chance to perform." This recital gives them that chance. "We've had a good audience show up."

Heywood says the students revel in the spotlight. "They dress up. Some of the girls get their hair done. It is just a big fun event for them to perform."

Performing this year are violist Jessica Dolnick; violinists Cody Hiller, Sangyoon Kim and Gigi Monachino; cellists Joe Isom and Charles Smith; pianists Joe Mohan and Victoria Ruggiero; cellist Charles Smith; and bassist Alec Safy, who will perform as part of a jazz trio.

The recital takes place at 7 tonight at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave. A donation of $10 for adults and $5 for students is requested, with proceeds benefiting local cancer research.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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