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UNCP student wins major music competition

January 14, 2004

By Sheri Sides

Robyn Osborne-QuinnettPlaying the violin for eight years has paid off for 15-year-old Robyn Osborne-Quinnett.

A Fayetteville resident who attends both the Cumberland County Schools and UNC Pembroke, Osbourne-Quinnett won Appalachian State University's Mariam Hayes Young Artist Competition on December 6, earning $24,000 in scholarships.

She was the youngest musician in the national competition. Osborne-Quinnett performed the first movement of Tchaikovsky's "Concerto in D Major" in the competition.

"The annual competition attracts some of the most talented high school seniors in the Southeast," said William Harbinson, dean of the Hayes School of Music. Osbourne-Quinnett said practice paid off.

"I practice for about four or five hours a day," Robin said. "You have to in order to build your reflexes and stay sharp."

Osborne-Quinnett also won the Concerto Competition at UNC Pembroke, where she studies violin with UNCP Professor Yura Alexov. Alexov, who also teaches for the Public Schools of Robeson County (PSRC), is also the founding director and conductor of the Robeson Community Symphony Orchestra.

Osborne-Quinnett (right) with Alexov"Musical performance is a lot more than just playing notes," Alexov said. "You must clear your mind and discover how the composer intended the music to be performed."

Osborne-Quinnett has been playing with the Community Orchestra since its creation in 2000. It is a joint project of UNCP and PSRC.

"So far the performance that stands out in my mind is when I had my solo debut at Richmond Community College with the orchestra," Osborne-Quinnett said. "Every recital is special, but I've learned so much from playing with them."

A high school senior, Osborne-Quinnett takes classes online through Cumberland County's Web Academy and will start college in the fall. She is also dual-enrolled at UNCP, taking three credit hours in music.

A Laurinburg resident, Alexov was born in Russia. He began to practice violin privately at age four with Nikolai Sakharov, who also was his teacher at the Professional Children's Music School until he was 14-years old. After graduation Alexov entered the Special Music School for Gifted Children of Leningrad State Conservatory.

He continued his education at Leningrad State Conservatory. In 1987, he formed a string quartet, and in 1989 this ensemble won Grand Prix All Soviet Union String Quartet Competition. Three months later, during a concert trip to the U.S., Alexov defected and received political asylum in Baltimore, Md.