Canton Youth Symphony Announces Schedule for Spring 2016

CANTON, OHIO (February 4, 2016) - The Canton Youth Symphonies, under the direction of Canton Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Rachel L. Waddell, will be very busy in the second half of their season. The Canton Youth Symphonies consist of three groups - The Canton Youth Strings, Canton Youth Symphony (CYS), and Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra (CYSAO).

The Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra is a full orchestra comprised of students in grades 9-12 who perform at an advanced level. Members of the CYSAO will have the opportunity to perform side-by-side with the professional musicians of the Canton Symphony Orchestra (CSO) on the MasterWorks "Young at Heart" concert February 14. The concert also features Canton native and CYS alum William Shaub as guest violin soloist. This is the first time the youth orchestra has been invited to perform on a Masterworks performance. "I think it is a tremendous responsibility and honor, and a real compliment to the artistic integrity and quality of the ensemble," notes Waddell. The students have been rehearsing the repertoire for the concert since mid-December and will rehearse with the CSO twice in preparation for the concert. "It will be inspiring for the students to hear the level of detail and nuance the professionals perform with, and, of course, to have the opportunity to work under the baton of (CSO Music Director) Gerhardt Zimmermann for the first time," she added.

The Canton Youth Strings consists of beginning violin, viola, cello and bass students in grades 2-6 while the Canton Youth Symphony (CYS) is a full orchestra of intermediate level students in grades 6-9. These two ensembles will be performing a concert on February 28 at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall. The concert celebrates Latin American dance music and music by Latin American composers. Waddell and the ensembles are partnering with students from the newly created Canton Guitar Society taught by James Marron of the University of Akron and George Dean, director of the string program at Canton City Schools' Arts Academy at Summit. The concert offers a variety of pieces including some for solo guitar, guitar ensemble, string orchestra, and full orchestra. "It will be an eclectic concert and a unique opportunity to showcase guitar with orchestra," Waddell explains. "It is a pairing that does not happen too often, especially in a classical setting." The program includes two arrangements of Latin American dances for youth orchestra, Telemann's Don Quixote Suite, and Anderson's Blue Tango.

On April 16, Waddell is taking the CYSAO to Columbus Ohio for a day-long event with the Columbus Youth Symphony. Students will have the opportunity to perform next to each other in concert, and receive coachings from Columbus Symphony Orchestra musicians, among other events. In the evening, the CYSAO students will attend a Columbus Symphony Orchestra performance. This is the first time any CYS group has gone on a "tour". Waddell believes it is very important for students to get a chance to meet and work with other students their age. "It's a small world, especially in music, and these students could become colleagues later in life," she explains.

The youth symphonies will close out their season at the end of April with a very unique opportunity. In 2015, the Canton Youth Symphonies were named the 2015 Youth Orchestra of the Year by the Classics Alive Foundation in Los Angeles. As part of the award, the youth symphonies have been given a $500 scholarship and will also receive a residency with internationally-renowned violinist Lindsay Deutsch. Ms. Deutsch will perform as a soloist with the Canton Youth Symphony Intermediate and Advanced Orchestras on their final concert of the season on May 1. Prior to that, all of the students will have an opportunity to spend a day with Ms. Deutsch for a masterclass for Canton Youth Symphonies' violinists and seminars on practice techniques and careers in music. CYS students will audition to participate in the masterclass, but it will be open to observation by students everywhere. It is tentatively scheduled for April 30 with specific details to follow.

Founded in 1962, the Canton Youth Symphonies offer aspiring young musicians a professional learning environment focused on the highest artistic standards. Its participants rehearse weekly in preparation for three concerts annually, and students have the opportunity to work closely with Canton Symphony Orchestra musicians and guest artists. There is no minimum age requirement for CYS. Membership in CYS is by audition only. Auditions are normally held in late summer, however interested students may be allowed to audition for the ensemble at any point during the school year. An audition may be arranged by calling the Canton Symphony Office at 330-452-3434 ext. 604.

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