The Annapolis Symphony Academy Orion Youth Orchestra will perform a concert alongside Annapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians in a performance at Kerr Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, December 17th, at 7:30 PM. Tickets to the performance are available on their website TunedtoYouth.org.
The Orion Youth Orchestra is “the jewel of the Annapolis Symphony Academy,” said founder of the Academy Netanel Draiblate. “Many of these kids started playing by age five and have progressed through the stages of ensemble musical training. Their participation in the Orion Youth Orchestra is the apex of their pre-collegiate musical education.”
The students perform alongside Annapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians, who mentor the young people. “Patrons in the audience will be blown away by the caliber of the music from these young people,” said José-Luis Novo, Director of Orchestral Activities. “When the ASO musicians join the ensemble, the students rise to the occasion in a breathtaking way.” ASO musicians are among the best players in Anne Arundel County and arguably in Maryland. Draiblate, Concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, says many of the musicians are the best in the country and notes that the opportunity for students to learn from this caliber of skill and excellence is a privilege. “Our ASO musicians are kind, knowledgeable, experienced, and amazing at assisting the students in rehearsals and concerts. The side-by-side December 17th concert is a highlight for our students, and they look forward to playing next to their ASO mentors.”
Draiblate notes that playing with a full orchestra is a unique and essential way for students who choose to continue their musical education in pursuit of a future orchestra job to practice performing. “We also wanted to show our supporters, patrons, and families the high level of achievement the students are capable of,” he said.
The program for the evening includes works by Richard Wagner, Maurice Revel, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Carlos Simon, and Ludwig van Beethoven. “The Wagner Program is very ceremonial and pleasant to play: it lends a sense of novelty, of rooting into the ground and reaching high up in a very organic way. It’s symbolic of how we’re growing as a young ensemble with a growing repertoire as well,” said Novo.
Maurice Revel, a French composer, offers the students a completely different type of music to play. “It’s very subtle, suggestive, and delicate at times,” said Novo. The piece features an important portion for the harp, highlighting the exceptional skill of student Floral Cole. This contrasting style helps our students to learn how to play different types of music.
Ralph Vaughn Williams’ first movement from Oboe concerto will feature student Luke Zegowitz. “It’s unusual to have someone this young to know how to play the beauty of the oboe sound,” said Novo. “Oboe is a challenging instrument to make sound good when you are young. Luke has a gorgeous sound that will blow people away. The orchestra provides a nice soft accompaniment supporting Luke in the background.”
Carlos Simon’s piece “Fate Now Conquers” will be conducted by ASA Assistant Conductor Shun Yao. Simon, a dynamic and engaging figure in symphonic music, is originally from Georgia, now at the Kennedy Center. “We’re using Simons’s piece to show our students that music is alive: this composer is making a living by making music and showing the world what he can do,” said Novo.
The last two movements of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony combine beautifully with the previous piece by Simon. “It’s a masterpiece that exemplifies the journey from darkness to the triumph of life,” said Novo.
The Orion Youth Orchestra is grateful for the financial support of Bill Seale and Marguerite Pelissier. The Academy thanks founding donors Peter Chambliss and Jane Campbell-Chambliss for their generous contributions.
About the Orion Youth Orchestra
Orion is a high-level, tuition-free youth orchestra for advanced students looking to play symphonic repertoire, learn from ASO musicians, and most importantly, study under ASO music director Maestro José-Luis Novo. Students in Orion excel in their craft because they have made a certain level of playing that distinguishes them from others in their field. Students can audition to join Orion at any time by visiting www.FreeYouthOrchestra.com.
About the Annapolis Symphony Academy
The Annapolis Symphony Academy is changing lives by providing accessible high-level musical education to students of all cultural and economic backgrounds while addressing the under-representation of minority musicians in the classical music field. Half of the Annapolis Symphony Academy student body is composed of minorities under-represented in contemporary orchestras of the United States. The ASA employs a model that emphasizes interaction and mutual respect. This model provides a diverse student body: it merges two overlapping, non-identical concepts of equality into one program. Students are selected for the program strictly based on merit and their drive to learn and become better musicians. Regardless of a student’s cultural background and through the incredible generosity of our donors, the Academy awards up to fifty percent of its annual tuition revenue in need-based scholarships. To learn more about the ASA, visit tunedtoyouth.org.
About the ASO
The mission of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra is to inspire, educate and enrich lives near and far by creating extraordinary musical experiences with uncompromising artistic excellence. As we celebrate our 61st year in Annapolis, we are more intent than ever on bringing More Music, To More Places, For More People.
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra offers subscription packages, both for in-person and virtual viewing, as well as tickets for single in-person programs. For more information and purchase tickets or subscriptions, see AnnapolisSymphony.org/events or contact the box office at 410-263-0907.
Please contact Diana Love, Director of Marketing and Communications. Phone: 410-267-3631. Email: DLove@AnnapolisSymphony.org