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NMSU student receives top award at New Horizons Symphony competition

New Mexico State University?s Joseph Seth Zamora received first place at the New Horizons Young Artist Competition, securing the chance to perform as a soloist during the Atkinson Recital Hall symphony performance taking place on March 15 at 3 p.m.

NMSU freshman Joseph Seth Zamora
NMSU freshman Joseph Seth Zamora received first place at the New Horizons Young Artist Competition. (Courtesy photo)

Seventeen year old Zamora, a 2014 graduate of Tularosa High School, beat out fellow musicians including brass players, woodwind players, string players and other pianists. He has been playing the piano for about four years.

?This performance means so much to me,? Zamora said. ?It represents a musical milestone.?

?Seth is a brilliant talent,? NMSU associate professor of piano Laura Spitzer said. ?He learns quickly but thoughtfully and has strong musical opinions, yet is open to new ideas and concepts.?

This was not Zamora?s first competition. In 2013, he performed in two concerto competitions. In the Jackie McGehee Young Artist Competition, Zamora received an honorable mention in piano.

In the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Zamora placed first, receiving the honor of performing with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.

?Looking back on my first orchestral performance with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, I have seen a large improvement in my musical and technical skills as a pianist,? Zamora said.

For both competitions, he performed the third movement of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major.

?It was quite an experience because it was my first time performing with an orchestra,? Zamora said. ?It was an exciting opportunity to put my name out in the music scene.?

Zamora hopes to obtain his Bachelor?s Degree in Piano Performance by 2018. In the future, he would like to receive a Doctorate of Musical Arts and teach at the university level, as well as have a successful performing career.

?I am so grateful that the judges chose me to be the soloist,? Zamora said. ?It tells me that I can succeed as a musician, and that is what I intend to do.?

The New Horizons Symphony at New Mexico State University was started in 2003 and provides opportunities for adults to explore their artistic side.

?I?m thrilled that he has this tremendous opportunity to play with the New Horizons Symphony,? Spitzer said.