Nora Cannizaaro Essex bassoonist

Essex High senior Nora Cannizzaro was selected to be one of four soloists in the Vermont Youth Orchestra's 2021 season.

Sunday afternoon and into the night, you can freely stream live orchestral music being played by young, local musicians -- including one Essex High School (EHS) senior who was chosen for a major part in one of the symphonies.

Essex’s Nora Cannizzaro, a bassoonist with the Vermont Youth Orchestra (VYO), was selected to be one of four soloists this season. She will perform the first movement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, K. 191 at 3 p.m. Sunday during the orchestra’s four-part concert series being broadcasted live from the Elley-Long Music Center.

“Our senior soloists are selected from an audition process that begins a year in advance,” said VYO Music Director Mark Alpizar who will be conducting Sunday’s event. “They select their pieces and submit them for approval, then rehearse with their piano accompanists for the competition in August. A panel of judges hears them perform in a recital and selects a small number of winners.

“This August was an extremely competitive year with seven qualified musicians auditioning. Nora rose to the top as a winner with her exciting rendition of the Mozart Bassoon concerto, which she tackled with ease and elegance.”

Cannizzaro began playing the clarinet and piano in fourth grade but was drawn to the bassoon and its low notes while in seventh grade. She is currently in her fourth year as a member of the VYO, and she’s been a member of the UVM Orchestra since her freshman year as well. Cannizzaro has also been an active participant in district and all-state music festivals and the New England Music Festival over the years.

Cannizzaro and 80 other YVO musicians will take turns gracing the stage Sunday with concerts being slated to begin every 2.5 hours. While all concerts are free for viewing, registration is required and can be completed by visiting

The senior’s soloist selection marks the second-straight year that the spotlight will be given to an Essex High student after Nathan Wu was chosen for the honor in 2020.

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