The Durham Youth Orchestra’s 2011-12 season had a spectacular kick-off earlier this month. As the result of a partnership between the Ontario Philharmonic and local Rotary Clubs, the orchestra was part of two special fundraising concerts to end polio in early September, featuring a 79-member orchestra made up of the Ontario Philharmonic, the Durham Youth Orchestra and the Heidelburg Youth Chamber Orchestra led by OP Conductor, Marco Parisotto. In November, the DYO (led by music director John Beaton) shares a Christmas program with the O’Neill Collegiate Chamber Choir; in March, they’ll feature 2011 DYO Concerto Competition winner Joel Zhang performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #1; and in April, they will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No.2 and Saint-Saens Cello Concerto #1. And it’s not just about performing, either: as John Beaton writes, “through the months ahead, DYO members will enjoy numerous coaching sessions given by members of the Toronto Symphony and the Ontario Philharmonic. And our young musicians look forward to attending an TSO Open Rehearsal at Roy Thomson Hall on March 8th.” For more information about the Durham Youth Orchestra, please visit dyomusic.com.
We always enjoy reading the newsletter from the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra – well-written, interesting, and inclusive of the voices of the youth orchestra members themselves. The Summer 2011 edition included a particularly compelling account (by trombonist Aubrey Kelly) of the orchestra’s 25th anniversary tour of Vancouver Island, which incorporated performances in Bamfield, Port Alberni, Courtenay and Qualicum Beach, at churches, schools and more formal concert facilities. Here are some of Aubrey’s own words:
“As the bus pulled up to St. John’s Hall in the evening on April 28, I felt sad that the tour had to end. I was so glad to have seen all the places we’d visited; though I’ve lived in Victoria for five years, I’d never been to any of them. All of the community members we’d met along the way had been so friendly and generous, and had seemed to really appreciate our presence and the music we shared with them. I had made new friends with orchestra members I hadn’t known well before the tour, and my previously existing friendships were strengthened. It had also been very heart-warming to observe the many acts of kindness and support for each other among my peers. And musically, with each concert we played, the orchestra got tighter and tighter – I thought we sounded like a million bucks at our final concert in Qualicum Beach! It was very satisfying to experience this growth as an ensemble, which was no doubt the result of practice, but also of everyone growing closer as friends.”
For more information about the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, please visit their website at www.gvyo.org.