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PSU grad accepts leading role with Chicago Symphony

March 26, 2008 12:00AM

Department of Music graduates from Pittsburg State University seem to be on a winning streak.

Ni Mei, who earned her bachelor's degree in music in 2003, recently earned a Violin I chair with the Chicago Symphony. Mei, who is originally from China, earned a master's degree at Rice University in Houston after finishing at PSU. She later won a chair with the Detroit Symphony and had been performing with that group.

While at Pitt State, she was named multiple times as the winner of the Southeast Kansas Concerto and Aria Competition. She also served as concert mistress for the SEK Symphony.

During her recent multi-day audition with the Chicago Symphony, Mei was directed by Maestro Piere Boulez. She notified her former PSU faculty recently in an e-mail that she had been offered the position.

"I sat still in the dressing room they put me in after I played, and tried to breathe under my fast-beating heart," she wrote. "The maestro himself offered me the position and here I am, re-living the moment ever since."

Mei is relocating to Chicago, where she will begin her new position in July.

"For us, this is comparable to an athlete getting signed on by a professional team," said Stella Hastings, a PSU music professor and conductor of the SEK Symphony. "She is an absolutely amazing performer. We are very happy for her."

©2008 Pittsburg State University