This Sunday, Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program (RSYOP) ensembles String Sinfonietta, Wind Ensemble, Camerata Strings, and Youth Concert Orchestra will perform their first concert of the season in Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Energy Center. At Tuesday evening rehearsals over the last few weeks, anticipation among students, parents, and staff has been palpable as the concert approached.
Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program
Sunday, December 8 at 7 pm
Carpenter Theatre, Dominion Energy Center, Richmond
Free and open to the public!
Christie-Jo Adams, Conductor
Be Thou My Vision (Arr. Robert S. Frost))
Falconer (Doug Spata)
Mountain Hymn (Janelle Zook Cunlata)
Christopher Moseley, Conductor
Andalucia (Victor Lopez)
As Winds Dance (Samuel Hazo)
Integrity (Robert Sheldon)
Rebecca Jilcott, Conductor
Overture to Lucio Silla (Mozart/Dackow)
Fantasia on Greensleeves (Vaughan Williams/Greaves)
The Emerald Falcon (Richard Meyer)
Youth Concert Orchestra
Sandy Goldie, Conductor
Into the Storm (Robert W. Smith)
Largo from Symphony No. 9, “New World” (Dvořák/Meyer)
Bacchanale from “Samson and Delilah” (Saint-Saens/Isaac)
The Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program (YOP) is our flagship educational program. It was founded in 1962 and today consists of four youth orchestras and a wind ensemble providing beginning to advanced musical training. (Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, our most advanced ensemble, performed their Fall Concert on November 17 – Sunday’s concert features our other four ensembles.) Richmond Symphony YOP is the premier orchestral training program of central Virginia. Students participate in weekly rehearsals, coaching and masterclasses by Richmond Symphony musicians, chamber music performances, mentoring, and other musical and social activities.
“The Richmond Symphony offers something really special in the Youth Orchestra Program.” said Logan Massey, Richmond Symphony Assistant Director of Education, who manages the program. “Over time the program has evolved to include a continuum of ensembles that enable young musicians to reach their full musical potential. Many students stay with us for years as they continue to advance through the various ensembles. The students are also immersed in a community that includes expert conductors, dedicated parents, and RSO staff and musicians who are passionate about changing the trajectory of young lives. When students bring these experiences and skills back to their school music programs we see the ecosystem flourish and ensure that music is appreciated by the next generation.”
Making music with the young musicians in YCO this year has been an amazing journey! We have worked together to try to develop the skills to play each piece with passion, precision, and unity and to create a unified sound. We seek to make music, not just play notes. Early stages of our work involved trying to create a shared vision and identity as a group in which all members are willing to work together as a team towards common goals. In our ensemble, everyone is asked to be both a leader and a follower and we try to develop the habits of mind of great musicians (not just work on notes and rhythms). True musicianship and high-quality music-making require an attitude of being more willing to be together than to be right as well as the vigilance and focus to remain completely aware of others while playing. Each member is asked to align everything about their playing both vertically (with the conductor) and horizontally (with each other). We work to speak without words and understand without language. In essence, we seek to speak music.
It has been so gratifying to me to see how each member of this ensemble has stepped up and communicated their passion by bringing life, effort, attention, energy, and enthusiasm to each rehearsal. Expressiveness and passion are at the heart of why we do what we do as musicians and these musicians have blown me away with their hearts for music-making. We cannot wait to share the final step in this musical journey with you, our audience, and we hope you will enjoy our performance as much as we have enjoyed preparing it for you.
Dr. Sandy Goldie, Youth Concert Orchestra conductor
String Sinfonietta is the entry-level string ensemble of the Youth Orchestra Program. Unlike the other ensembles in the YOP, there is no audition requirement for Sinfonietta. In this ensemble, students learn the basics of playing in an orchestra: how to play in their own section, and their section’s role within the orchestra; to watch and follow a conductor; to listen to other sections in the orchestra. Above all, the young musicians in String Sinfonietta learn the joy of making music with others.
Camerata Strings is the YOP’s intermediate-level string ensemble. To gain entrance into Camerata, students must pass an audition, and take seating auditions regularly throughout the season. Camerata students learn proper rehearsal etiquette, how to make music as an ensemble, and their skills are challenged with increasingly difficult repertoire and attention to phrasing, bowings, dynamics and articulations.
Wind Ensemble is a first access point into RSO’s Youth Orchestra Program for many wind, brass and percussion players. Enrollment in each instrument is limited to ensure that student musicians get sufficient attention from the conductor and sectional coaches. In this ensemble, students focus on developing solid rehearsal habits, tone quality, range and confidence.
Youth Concert Orchestra (YCO) is in many cases the first experience students in our program have the experience of playing in a full symphony orchestra. Players generally move into YCO with experience playing in other string orchestras or wind ensembles. Listening, blending, and making music within the full orchestra setting is a challenge met by all students in YCO. In this ensemble, principal players learn what it means to effectively lead a section and all players learn to play together with unity, passion, precision and musical excellence. Students refine musical skills by performing original masterworks, arrangements and pops favorites.
It is always exciting to see the SInfonietta students grow throughout the year, musically. For some, it is the first time they have performed in an ensemble. To be a part of such a musical journey for a young musician is what brings me joy.
Christie-Jo Adams, String Sinfonietta conductor
The Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program is proudly supported by: