Sunday, April 10, 2005

Amazing Saturday!

Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra

I went to a concert today that was meant for very young children, there were children from age 2 through adult; but was certainly suitable for the enjoyment of adults. The musicians themselves were between the ages of 12 and 18. The following was their program today:

Overture to "Russian and Ludmilla" ..............Glinka
The Swan....................................................Saint Saens
Scheherazade (4th movement)....Rimsky-Korsakov
Festive Overture.....................................Shostakovich
Symphony in D Minor (1st movement)..........Franck
West Side Story.............................................Bernstein
Malambo from the ballet "Estancia".........Ginastera

(note that all of the pieces are as written by the composer and have not been arranged - these kids mean business!)

This children's program included a "Wizard" who chatted about the story lines in the music, or lack thereof, with the conductor Roger Samuel. This was humorous throughout and there were even segments of the program that included a small group of audience members to "act out" Scheherazade, and all were to "help out" in Malambo by clapping in syncopation with the orchestra at conducted intervals. My particular favorite was the running gag between a confused but charming violinist and the Wizard during the West Side Story number. I have been to this concert every year for the past 4 years and am always surprised at how well they can entertain a 2 year old as well as impress the musically educated adults in the room. These kids are phenomenal!

At the conclusion of the program small music boxes were handed out to every child in attendance. Did I mention that this concert was free? The folks on the board for the CYMO are primarily interested in keeping "symphonic music alive" and "ensuring the cultural future of our youth." They hold auditions every summer and rehearse every Monday evening for 3, 31/2 hours. 90+ kids from all over Southern California are in the orchestra, some traveling 2 hours to attend rehearsals. That's dedication!

During their season they also perform with guest musicians, some from the LA Phil - and others, guests conductors and attend a "retreat" where they are educated and trained by professional musicians specific to their instrument.

These young musicians are talented to the level that they are asked each year to do the sound check for the Los Angeles Philharmonic (both at the Hollywood Bowl and now over at Disney Hall). They have toured Europe, have c.d.s of their performances and are currently looking forward to their May 15th concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (home of the LA Phil). This is an invitation by the LA Phil and quite and honor as they are the only youth invited to participate. This will be the only concert where one has need of purchasing a ticket*. But with the other 5 concerts they provide throughout the season, they suggest you arrive early and stand in line for a free admission ticket, as they are ALWAYS a full SRO audience. Pretty impressive for a bunch of kids.

Their concerts are held on the following dates, if you have the time- I suggest you give them a try. They are not your typical teen aged group of musicians.

*Sunday, May 15, 2005, 7:30 p.m. CYMO at Walt Disney Concert Hall - LA
Program includes: Dmitri Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Johannes Brahms: Double Concerto, Cesar Franck: Symphony in d minor, Alberto Ginastera: Estancia Suite - with Bing Wang, Associate Concertmaster and Brent Samuel, Cello both from the LA Phil.
Tickets $24, $27, $31, $36 @ or call LA Phil @ (323)850-2000 or contact CYMO @(909) 624-3614

Sunday, June 12, 2005, 7:00 p.m. CYMO Season Finale Concert at Bridges Hall of Music -
Pomona College, The Claremont Colleges, Claremont (CYMO @ 909-624-3614 for info)
Free Tickets! Stand by line suggests you be there no later than 6:30 to receive your ticket. Doors open at 6:30.
S'mee suggests you get there and stand in line no later than 6:00 because if you are too far back in line they run out of tickets every time! Trust S'mee - get there early and then sit in the balcony middle for the best sound!

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