Enjoy Free Family Fun With Fort Worth Youth Orchestra In March
The ensembles of the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra (FWYO) will usher in the Spring with two exciting concerts featuring a brilliant combination of recognizable audience favorites and thrilling new works. The Philharmonic, String, and Junior String Orchestras will take to the stage on Sunday, March 4, 2018, for a concert that includes music by Beethoven, Brahms, and Liszt, and features the winners of FWYO's recent concerto competition. The principal Youth Orchestra ensemble will then close out the month with a special concert on Sunday, March 25, 2018, under the baton of Spanish guest conductor Vicente Ariño Pellicer.
A superior training-ground for aspiring young musicians, the various ensembles of the FWYO provide an unmatched opportunity for talented players of all experience levels to grow as musicians in a group performance environment. Kicking off the March 4, 2018, 4 PM concert, conductor Amanda Musser and the Junior String Orchestra -- comprised of young players at the very beginning of their orchestral experiences -- will delight audiences with a lively trio of works including Conquistador by Deborah Baker Monday, Ludwig v. Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (arr John Caponegro), and Storm the Gates by Alan Lee Silva. Following their performance, conductor Samuel Branch and the String Orchestra -- an ensemble for more experienced young violin, viola, cello, and bass players -- will take the stage for performances of Bob Mathews Small Overture and The Odyssey by Soon Hee Newbold. The String Orchestra will also welcome violist Courtney Hunter, winner of the group's 2017/18 Concerto Competition, in her debut performance of the second movement of Georg Philipp Telemann's Viola Concerto in G Major. Rounding out the concert, conductor Nick Nixon and the Philharmonic Orchestra -- which provides the first full orchestral experience for wind, brass, percussion, and string players -- will give bold interpretations of works by three titans of classical music including Johannes Brahms' Academic Festival Overture (arr Vernon Leidig) and Franz Liszt's Les Preludes (arr Vernon Leidig). Violinist Natalie Caldwell, a Philharmonic violinist and winner of the group's Concerto Competition, will delight audiences in her debut performance of the first movement of Antonio Vivaldi's dramatic Violin Concerto in G Minor.
Capping off the Spring performances, the Youth Orchestra -- the premier ensemble of the FWYO -- will present a festive concert of beloved symphonic masterpieces along with a contemporary work on Sunday, March 25, 2018, at 4 PM. Under the baton of Spanish guest conductor Vicente Ariño Pellice, the YO will give standout interpretations of Sibelius' thrilling Finlandia, op. 26, and Dvorák's monumental Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, B. 178 "New World." The concert will also feature a contemporary work, Shenandoah, by Spanish composer Pedro Vilarroig. Variations on a theme from the 1965 film by the same name starring Jimmy Stewart, the piece will complement and set the tone for Dvorák's symphony, with its decidedly American themes.
The Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, founded in 1965 by a community group headed by Betty Utter and under the direction of Ezra Rachlin and John Giordano, was formed with the goal of inspiring the development of young musicians by providing intensive classical orchestral training and unparalleled performance opportunities.
During its 53-year history, the Youth Orchestra has won local, national, and international recognition as one of the finest youth orchestra programs in the United States. FWYO has continuously elevated, enhanced and been driven to perfect, change and adapt to meet the dynamic needs of our students and communities. The mission of FWYO is to encourage musical excellence in a professional and supportive environment by providing the highest quality in classical orchestra training and performance opportunities to qualified musicians and making its programs accessible to underserved communities through financial assistance and outreach.
Today, the more than 400 current students in the FWYO music education program range in age from six months to eighteen years, and represent communities from throughout North Texas. The program offers students the opportunity to further develop their talent as well as their leadership skills, self-discipline, confidence, and pride in personal achievement. Many graduates of the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra program have gone on to become members of major symphony orchestra in the United States and around the world. With over 2,500 alumni, the organization's impact can be felt throughout the region in both musical and non-musical fields.
Excellence in music making at FWYO is, uniquely, both a goal and a means. We provide a rich and broad range of programs from Early Childhood Music to our premier orchestra, the Youth Orchestra. Our unique and extensive programming is rooted in quality, and delivered in a nurturing environment. Programs and opportunities like our Chamber Music program exemplify the rare opportunity for young musicians to truly understand an area of repertoire that will enhance their artistic understanding on a larger scale. Our young musicians perform repertoire that is above the level of most youth orchestras in our country, both in difficulty, maturity and scope.
The Orchestra's accomplishments include concert tours in Europe, Mexico, Canada, and the Far East; music festivals in Switzerland and Washington, D.C.; and numerous other concert appearances across Texas and the Southwest. The Youth Orchestra has also been honored to perform with artists such as Van Cliburn, Jose Feghali, Yakov Kasman, Tamàs Ungàr, and John Owings, and composers Morton Gould and Samuel Adler.
Under the leadership of Music Director Dr. Gérman Gutiérrez, the FWYO has become one of North Texas' most prestigious performing arts organizations.