By Emily Sorensen
A Poway High School graduate has won first place in the vocal division of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’ 53rd annual Young Artists Competition.
Nineteen-year-old Anthony Whitson Martini, a baritone, won the first-place award on Jan. 26 at the competition, which featured 26 young artists, ages 14 to 28, competing for prestige and cash prizes in vocal and instrumental categories.
Whitson Martini, who is an undergraduate at Point Loma Nazarene University studying music, was previously awarded the “Most Promising” prize at last year’s competition, and has already soloed twice with the chorus, most recently in December’s Messiah Sing concert.
Singing is nothing new to Whitson Martini, who began singing his sophomore year in high school, after an injury in ninth grade left him unable to continue playing tuba and trombone in the band. “I liked the [choir] crowd,” said Whitson Martini of his days in Poway High’s choir, who sang with the Poway High chamber choir and Die Lieders, as well as the All State Honor Choir. Whitson Martini also was involved with musical theater in high school, performing in a number of shows, including “Guys and Dolls.”
At the end of his senior year, Whitson Martini started singing classically, taking lessons from an instructor at Point Loma Nazarene. Now in his second year at the university, Whitson Martini expects to graduate in three years. “[The music program] is a wonderful program,” said Whitson Martini. “It gives me time to integrate myself into the community.”
Whitson Martini said he isn’t sure what is next for him after he graduates, though he has a number of options he is considering pursuing, including graduate school and possibly traveling to Europe, Canada or Mexico to audition for opera houses and orchestras.
“Music really is a part of life. Everybody sings, in the car or the shower,” said Whitson Martini. “Everyone has music in them.”
First-place winners received an award of $1,500 each, along with an opportunity to perform as soloists with the LJS&C on a future concert season.
In total, $6,400 in cash prizes was awarded to nine winners.