Youth Orchestra presents spring concerts April 17, 25

April 14, 2010

Genevieve Smelser

From press release

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra announces two concerts performed by the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO) in April. These are the final performances of the 2009-10 season, led by conductor Daniel Black.

The RSYO Chamber Orchestra, Brass Choir, and Percussion Ensemble will perform at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 17, at the Salvation Army Temple, 500 S. Rockford Ave. The concert program includes works by Giovanni Gabrieli, Armand Russell, Edward Elgar, Paul Hindemith and includes a composition titled “Twilight” by RSYO conductor Daniel Black. A reception for the orchestra members and guests will be held immediately following the concert.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and may be purchased in advance at the RSO Box Office, 711 N. Main St., or at the door prior to the performance. For further information, call (815) 965-0049.

The RSYO will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 25, at the Rockton Hononegah High School performing arts center, 307 Salem St., Rockton. This concert includes students from 17 regional public, private, and home schools and also features violinist Genevieve Smelser of DeKalb, Ill.

Smelser, a freshman at DeKalb High School, was the first-prize winner of the 2009 Rockford Symphony Orchestra/Rock Valley College Concerto Competition. She will perform the first movement of Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole with the youth orchestra. Also included on the program are works by Rossini, De Falla, Respighi and Bizet.

For the finale piece of the program, the RSYO will be joined on stage by orchestra alumni to return to the stage to perform with this year’s orchestra. Twenty-one former RSYO players have accepted the invitation to return and perform Hector Berlioz’ Hungarian March with the current orchestra. Alumni participating include violinist Ann Montzka, mother of soloist Genevieve Smelser; Michael Beert, RSO principal cello; violinist Shelby Latin of Chicago; cellist Sheila Felder, orchestra director at Rockford Lutheran High School; violinist Brandon Lamm, orchestra director at Freeport High School; violist Steve Kurr, Middleton High School (Wis.) orchestra director; and numerous alumni attending colleges and universities throughout the Midwest.

A reception honoring the 15 graduating seniors in the orchestra will immediately follow the concert. Tickets for this performance are $8 for adults and $6 for students and may be purchased in advance at the RSO Box Office, 711 N. Main St., or at the door prior to the performance. For further information, call (815) 965-0049.

The RSYO is the region’s only full orchestra program for high school musicians, offering opportunities for students to learn and perform challenging symphony orchestra repertoire since 1965. Students work with a professional conductor as well as sectional coaches from the RSO. Members are admitted by audition held twice each year in June and December. This season, the RSYO is composed of 52 students representing Auburn, Belvidere, Byron, East, Freeport, Genoa-Kingston, Harlem, Hononegah, Jefferson, Keith Country Day, Oregon, Pecatonica, Rockford Christian, Rockford Lutheran, Stillman Valley and Winnebago high schools, as well as Rock Valley College and home schools.

For further information about the RSYO, including auditions, visit www.rockfordsymphony.com or call Lorie Langan at (815) 972-2939.

From the April 14-20, 2010 issue

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