Meet the Soloists | Kent State University Orchestra | Feb 17

On Sun., Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. the Kent State University Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Jungho Kim, presents their fourth subscription series concert of the season featuring the winners of the Annual Concerto Competition. In addition to works by Mozart and Ravel performed by the soloists, the program also includes well-known and popular compositions by Glinka, Bizet and Rimsky-Korsakov. They perform in University Auditorium in Cartwright Hall.


We recently sat down for a quick conversation with the featured soloists: Heather Morrison, soprano, and Vicky Hei Man Tong, piano. Below are some edited excerpts from that conversation.


Where are you from and where did you most recently graduate from?


Heather Morrison: I’m from Cleveland Heights, Ohio and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School.


Vicky Hei Man Tong: I’m from Macau, China and recently earned my Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at Wright State University  


How did you get into music?


HM: When I was six or seven, I started to learn the violin. That sparked my love of classical music.


VHMT: I started learning piano in a music store when I was six. Playing the piano has been my passion since then!


Who are some of your musical influences?


HM: I really love Natalie Dessay’s voice (world-renowned coloratura soprano) and admire her technical skills. Many of the arias I’ve learned I found through listening to her.


VHMT: My parents. They like classical music very much, which influenced me. Also my teachers: Wu Xu, Dr. Leung and Dr. Jerry Wong. I’ve learned so much from them!


Who do you consider important past teachers and mentors?


HM: Really, every music teacher I’ve had has been influential! My high school choir director, Craig McGaughey, was the person who really pushed me to pursue singing as a career and gave me the confidence to do so. My current voice teacher, Dr. Lara Troyer, has completely changed my voice and the way I view singing as a career.


VHMT: That would be Dr. Jackson Leung, my teacher from Wright State University. He was very inspiring, and I gained so much of my musical and professional knowledge from him. He helped to deepen my love and appreciation of classical music through what he taught me.


What brought you to Kent State?


HM: I was considering attending Kent State because my sister was here before me. My choir director at the time had a connection with my current voice teacher, Dr. Troyer, and brought her into my school so I could have a trial lesson with her. We seemed to work really well together, so I decided to come here!


VHMT: I heard a lot of good things about Kent State when I was in college at Wright State. One of my friends suggested that I apply to Kent State and, after a visit to campus and a sample lesson with Dr. Jerry Wong, I found I really liked the school. I decided it would be the best place for me to pursue my master’s degree and continue my journey to becoming a professional musician.


When did you know music was the career for you?


HM: I think I’ve always known that I wanted to be a musician. When I was 12, I went with my mom to see my first opera, and I immediately fell in love with it. Ever since then, I’ve known that this is what I want to do.


VHMT: I’ve loved music since I was young. In my childhood, I always dreamed of becoming a musician and performing live on stage. During high school, I worked as a part-time piano teacher and enjoyed teaching my students. I still love teaching, and I’m always delighted to hear students as they improve and seeing their passion. I want to continue to inspire and motivate people to become the best musicians they can be!



  • Glinka, “Ruslan and Ludmilla” Overture
  • Mozart, “Exsultate Jubilate,” K.165 | Undergraduate Winner: Heather Morrison, soprano
  • Ravel, Piano Concerto in G Major | Graduate Winner: Hei Man “Vicky” Tong, piano
  • Bizet, “Carmen” Suite No. 1
  • Rimsky-Korsakov, “Capriccio Espagnol”



  • $15      | Adults
  • $13      | Seniors and Kent State University faculty and staff
  • $10      | Groups of 10 or more patrons
  • $8        | Non-Kent State students and Kent State students ineligible for the Fee for Free
  • FREE    | Full-time Kent State undergraduate students and those 18 & under

Three ways to reserve your tickets:

  • Purchase online here.
  • Call 330-672-2787 (ARTS).
  • Visit the Performing Arts Box Office in the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent Campus.

While reserving tickets in advance is encouraged to avoid long lines and wait times, they will also be available at the door starting one hour before the performance. Doors will open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the performance.


Location and Parking:


University Auditorium in Cartwright Hall is located at 650 Hilltop Dr. on the Kent Campus. Free parking is available off of Terrace Dr. in front of Cartwright and at the Business Administration Building. Handicap accessible parking is available and there is an elevator in Cartwright Hall.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 11:36am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 11:37am