Young musicians step into spotlight at Pioneer Presents

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Young musicians are  featured in the concert "Pioneer Presents: Rising Stars," at 3 p.m.  Sunday, May 20, at 1338 Lincoln Way, Auburn.

Stride pianist Will Perkins, 19, has performed all over the United States, and recently in Europe. He has performed in the West Coast Ragtime Festival and was the winner of their student music competition in 2007. He has competed in the Old Time Piano Playing Contest in Peoria, Ill., will compete there again later this month.

Gail Begin and her  children Annie (17), Joseph (15) and Jeannine (12) started performing as a band nine years ago shortly after they moved back to the Auburn area with husband/father Phil Begin from Los Angeles. They have many styles of music in their repertoire, ranging from Celtic, to country, to jazz to rock. Annie has continued to study classical violin with her teacher in Los Angeles, achieving the highest levels of training that make her a virtuoso as a classical violinist and country/folk/jazz fiddler. Joseph has a talent for doing vocal impressions, and can sing in the style of Elvis. Their current goals are to continue to provide quality yet affordable entertainment to the local community.

They are sometimes asked, “Why don’t you try out for all the big talent shows on T.V. so you can become famous?” To which Gail replies, “Do you want us to quit being able to perform around here, which is what we really love? I don’t think so. … We love Placer and Nevada County, the people and easy-going rural atmosphere, so for now this is where we want to stay.”

The New Traditionalists is the regional jazz honor band sponsored by the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society. Musicians are selected by audition from Sacramento area high schools. Their members include Alyssa Clark, clarinet; Nolan Cyr, trumpet; Devan Kortan, guitar and banjo; Bryce Korte, saxophone; Carson Messer, drums; Saray Peralman, Trombone; Dexter Williams, bass; and Olivia Sarro, vocals.

This is the sixth concert in a series sponsored by Pioneer United Methodist Church and Auburn Community Concerts to benefit the historic building restoration of the church, which hosts many community services and concerts. The public is invited. Suggested donation at the door is $20.

For information, visit or call (530) 888-6493.