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Youth Orchestra’s Spring Concert “An Awesome Experience”

For conductor Jose Valencia, preparing for the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra’s spring concert “was an awesome experience, in many ways.”

First students prepared two major works from the standard repertoire, Dvorak’s New World Symphony and the Rococo Variations by Tchaikovsky.

“The Dvorak is one that many people know and it has many exposed portions which challenge the players. For the Tchaikovsky, we dug back into the group’s history and invited former conductor Thomas Loewenheim as the cello soloist.”

Then there was the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra’s Composition Contest. For this the orchestra prepared four selections.

As Jose Valencia noted, “it was music that the students had never seen, that they were the first to ever play.”

The winner was Indiana University Jacobs School of Music graduate student Christopher Renk.

Renk said that, “One of the things about the contest that I enjoyed was the respect that the orchestra and conductor showed to the composers.”

“The contest asked for a piece that could be used as an opener or a closer. This usually means short and a bit bombastic, but I wanted to evoke a mood.”

“My title Through Doorways Between Dreams is from a poem. “

So, a concert by middle and high school aged students with two standards, a guest soloist, and a brand new work will be offered by the orchestra.

Maestro Valencia summed up by saying that the students “can be very proud of what they are accomplishing.”

The Musical Arts Youth Orchestra conducted by Jose Valencia plays Dvorak’s New World Symphony, the Rococo Variations by Tchaikovsky with cellist Thomas Lowenheim and the world premiere of Through Doorways Between Dreams by Christopher Renk in the Indiana University Auditorium Sunday April 19th, 2009 at 4 p.m.

George Walker

While completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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