Helen Wi and David Yi.


Tchaikovsky in Vermont: VYO Celebrates Creativity

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Thursday September 21, 2017

The Vermont Youth Orchestra (VYO) performs its fall concert, Tchaikovsky in Vermont - Celebrating Creativity, September 24, 3 p.m. at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington. The concert is the first installment of VYO’s yearlong exploration of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and includes the second and fourth movement of this beloved symphony.

11 students from South Burlington High School (SBHS) are part of the VYO orchestra, which features accomplished musicians from around the state. According to VYO, SBHS seniors, David Yi - oboe, Grace Bever - violin, Holly Morgan - horn, and Helen Wang – oboe, are leaders among their peers. SBHS juniors, Sabrina Chiang - violin, Kailey Yang - violin, and Gretel Dougherty – cello, are an integral part of the string section. Sophomores from SBHS include Joe Balkan - violin, Sarah Bialas - bassoon, and Lucas Parascando - violin. VYO reports SBHS freshman violinist Will Balkan is “such a talent he claimed his seat in the orchestra by audition as a ninth grader.” In addition to their school commitments, each of these student musicians have been busy rehearsing for the first of three Flynn Center performances this season. Bialas says, “We’re paying close attention to the dynamics and articulations Tchaikovsky wrote in the piece.”

At this fall concert, VYO welcomes their new music director and conductor, Dr. Benjamin Klemme, as he opens their 2017-2018 season with the theme Tchaikovsky in Vermont: a musical celebration of creativity, identity, and mastery. Former Vermont poet laureate Sydney Lea and other Vermont artists will share their perspective on Tchaikovsky and demonstrate the lasting influence his music. Lea’s poem, commissioned for this opening concert, imagines the sights and sounds that Tchaikovsky would have experienced during a visit to Vermont in 1891.

The VYO musicians continue their exploration of Tchaikovsky’s work with a performance of the first movement January 28, 2018 and the symphony in its entirety May 6.

With a mission “to develop young people as artists, citizens, and leaders through the shared pursuit of musical excellence,” the VYO provides instrumental and choral experiences for students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Their 2017-2018 concert season is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Vermont Youth Orchestra Fall Concert, Tchaikovsky in Vermont – Celebrating Creativity, Sunday, September 24, 3 p.m., Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington. For tickets, call 802-86-Flynn or visit www.flynntix.org.