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From Carnegie Hall to Wise; Violinist named artist in residence at WCWC

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, March 23, 2019
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Winning Performance

WINNING PERFORMANCE – Limeng Zhang, who teaches violin as part of the Wise Youth Strings Ensemble at Weatherford College Wise County, was named “artist in residence” following her first-place award at a national competition. She is shown performing at Carnegie Hall in New York earlier this month. Submitted photo

An instructor at Weatherford College Wise County who recently finished first in a national music competition was given a rare honor Thursday.

Limeng Zhang, who teaches intermediate and advanced violin for the Wise Youth Strings Ensemble at the local campus, was named an “artist in residence.”

Dr. Robert Marlett, who serves as the Wise County representative on the WCWC Board of Trustees, suggested the honor to college administrators after Zhang won the International Golden Classical Music Awards and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York earlier this month.

Marlett, along with WC Dean of Fine Arts Duane Durrett, WC Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Michael Endy and WCWC Dean Daniel O’Meara made sure Zhang knew how much she was appreciated at the beginning of her class with the advanced violin group Thursday.

“We’d like to say something to her that tells her how valuable she is to our community and to us at Weatherford College,” Endy said in officially naming Zhang as only the second artist in residence at the college.

Durrett, who has been a professional musician since the age of 13, said music changes lives.

“The dedication that is required … to reach a level of excellence that you’re hearing here and what these young folks are working toward – I applaud you so much,” Durrett said to Zhang. “There is no secret to being a good musician. It’s just hard work. There are no shortcuts. You have to spend a lot of time in the practice room.”

Zhang, who moments earlier had been practicing with the group of six students, thanked the college.

“It is my great honor,” she said.

The Wise Youth Strings Ensemble is supported by the Music and Arts Foundation program, Marlett said. Zhang has been teaching violin at the local campus for the past year while she has been pursuing her doctor of musical arts degree at the University of North Texas in Denton.

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