M E E T L Y D I A N E W T O N
Lydia Newton, who recently turned 15, is the youngest daughter of Rev. David and Amanda Newton of Moss Point, Mississippi. Lydia began violin at four when her older brother's violin teacher noted she hummed along throughout her older sibling's lessons. Living in rural Mississippi, Lydia's parents placed much importance on preparation for music lessons which required lengthy commutes, so Lydia developed disciplined practice habits early on. Homeschooling enables her to intersperse practice and academics throughout the day, and she presently practices six hours a day, six days per week. After taking violin lessons for five years with teachers in north Mississippi and Louisiana, Lydia studied for five years with a teacher in Mobile, Alabama, and with instructors in Montgomery and Birmingham during the Mobile teacher's summer absences. A year ago, Lydia was selected to join the studio in Atlanta of the internationally acclaimed artist/teacher Sonja Foster, who specializes in preparing highly motivated young virtuoso’s for conservatory.
Lydia was recipient of the Junior Philharmonic Society of New Orleans' Irving Carr Award for Musical Excellence (2010), served as concertmaster of the Alabama All-State senior orchestra (2014), and was the recipient of a Mobile Schumann Music Club scholarship (2015). Successful in a number of
competitions, she recently won 2nd prizes in the Lois Pickard Scholarship Competition (2015, 2016), 3rd prize in the ENKOR International Music Competition (2015), and 1st prize in the Mississippi Music Teachers Pre-College Concerto Competition (2015). In November, Lydia won 1st prize in the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Competition Junior Strings Solo Performance category. She continued by winning 1st prize in the Southern Division (nine states, Jan 2016). In April, Lydia represented the Southern Division at MTNA National Finals in San Antonio, Texas.
Lydia has performed twice as a soloist with the Southeastern Louisiana University Chamber Orchestra (2009, 2010) and with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (2015) and the Georgia Philharmonic Orchestra (2015). A few weeks ago, she was notified of being selected to be a member of the 2016 NYO2 (National Youth Orchestra) which, this June-July, will rehearse in the vicinity of New York City before traveling to Philadelphia, PA to perform in a side by side concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall.
Over the years, Lydia has enjoyed opportunities to play violin in orchestral ensembles for University of Mobile's concerts and musical productions and to be a part of several chamber music groups. She has especially relished frequent musical collaboration with two older siblings, a violinist and a pianist, family duos and trios performing diverse programs of music at a wide array of functions and venues. Lydia has two adopted siblings who have taken up cello and accordion and are beginning to join the family music-making endeavors.
Apart from schoolwork and practicing, Lydia's favorite pastimes are reading, choral singing, running on a treadmill listening to audio books and lecture series, and drawing portraits. A Doodle for Google state winner, Lydia was an invaluable volunteer assistant in a free drawing camp for middle-school girls put on by her older sister, and she finds it rewarding to be involved in various other service endeavors and in activities in her local church.