TROY — Troy High School junior Sunao Masunaga won the opportunity to perform a concerto with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, which she will be doing tonight.
Masunaga has played the flute for five years, starting when she was in middle school in Japan. Her family moved to America before she started her freshman year of high school, and she joined the Troy High School band.
She said she originally competed this past May for the chance to play with the DPO, performing Chaminade’s Concertino.
“It’s a very neat piece,” she said. “It is I think one of the most famous pieces in the flute solo. It has a slow part and a fast part, so the paces alternate.”
Masunaga listened to all the performers and was impressed with a cellist, whom she thought would get first place. When the cellist won second-place and she won first, she described her reaction as very surprised.
“I was really amazed by her performance and thought I was going to get second place, but I got first place,” she said. “I didn’t expect it.”
She has been practicing for tonight, including attending a rehearsal with the DPO conductor Neil Gittleman on Oct. 22 and a dress rehearsal Oct. 27. Masunaga estimated that she practiced three hours per day leading up to the performance.
She will be playing Carmen Fantasy for her concerto. Masunaga said she was nervous, feeling like the pressure is on, but on the same note said she was excited because most of the band is coming to the performance.
“I think this a big beginning for me,” she said. “This is my first competition in America, so it’s a great stepping stone. From now on, I want to participate in more national competitions and international competitions.”