Teen quintet to play with Pops

May 27, 2011
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Courtesy Photo (From left) Warren Thompson, Edsuvani Maisonet, Ian Haines, Matthew Pitts and Mathilde Montpetit pose after their live audition for the Fidelity Future Stage Competition. They will play with the Boston Pops on June 1 at Symphony Hall.

A Jamaica Plain teenager is about to play with the Boston Pops—again.Ian Haines, along with his four bandmates, Edsuvani Maisonet, Mathilde Montpetit, Matthew Pitts and Warren Thompson —all JP residents and students at Boston Latin—won the Fidelity Future Stage Competition in Boston and the great opportunity along with it.

“I thought playing with the Pops last year was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but to be able to do so for a second time is beyond belief, and a great honor,” Haines said. He was part of last year’s winning group, Copley Place.

“It really still hasn’t sunken in yet that we’re going to play as a feature during a Pops concert,” Pitts said. “It’s quite surreal…I could have never fathomed playing with a professional orchestra at 17.”

“I was very proud of our group,” Pitts continued.

To prepare for their June 1 performance with the Pops at Symphony Hall, the group has been rehearsing with John McGann, a Berklee professor, for two to three hours every Saturday morning, Pitts said.

“Our time spent with him has been amazing and I’m really happy that I was able to meet and work with him,” Haines said.

The quintet, called “Apollo and Suns,” will be performing the piece with which they won the competition: Jayme Stone’s “1935.”

“I had purchased an older Jayme Stone album, and was listening to it on the bus heading home, and the song ‘1935’ came over my headphones. I was instantly in love, and thought that it was just crazy enough to work,” Haines said.

When Haines got Pitts to listen to it, Pitts said he loved it, calling it “Appalachian Jazz,” Haines said. “The rest was really just trying to get the remaining members of the band to love it as much as we did,” he added.

“We all agreed that it would be a great piece to audition with,” Pitts added.

Haines was part of the group that won the competition last year.

“The other members all graduated last June so I was hoping to start a new project for this year,” Haines said.

“Our school has had several groups compete in the competition and several have gotten in, so we decided we’d give it a shot. We rehearsed the piece just like any other,” Pitts said.

Twenty-five acts entered the competition, comprised of 51 students.

The winners were selected by a panel of expert judges, said Taryn Lott, public relations supervisor for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The winners received tickets to the performance for friends and family along with gift certificates.

The Fidelity Future Stage competition works with the Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and North Carolina Symphony to provide mentoring and instruments for the winners and their schools.

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