Youth orchestra prepares for two October concerts

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October 4th, 2011

Omaha, NE – The Omaha Area Youth Orchestra is bringing not one, but two weekends of great music to the Holland Performing Arts Center this month.

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On Sunday, October 16, the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra Youth Symphony will be joined by the St. Olaf Orchestra. Music Director, Aviva Segull, says, “It’s going to be really wonderful to work with such a high level university orchestra. A number of our alumni are actually students at St. Olaf or have been students at St. Olaf.”

On Sunday, Oct. 16, the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra will perform with the St. Olaf Orchestra at the Holland. (Photo credit Minnesota Public Radio)

The St. Olaf Orchestra will play the Symphony No. 5 by Dmitri Shostakovich, while the Youth Symphony will play the finale to Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5. The two orchestras will also play side-by-side the Academic Festival Overture of Johannes Brahms – a name that implies a great deal of pomp and circumstance, but with a twist.

“Brahms, who was actually not a big fan of “pomp,” got an honorary doctorate from a university,” Segall explains, “and they sent him a very pompous Latin certificate talking about him as a premier composer of serious classical music.” At first, Segall says, Brahms responded with a brief letter of thanks, but after being told the appropriate response would be to compose a piece of music as a gesture, he wrote a piece that Segall says is “both a combination of his very serious and wonderful way of writing music, but also a little tongue-in-cheek.”

The next Sunday, October 23 is the All-Orchestra concert. As the name implies, each OAYO ensemble will have it’s moment in the spotlight. Also in the spotlight is Jennifer Ahn, the winner of the concerto competition. She’s the soloist in the finale to the Violin Concerto by Jean Sibelius, and Segall says she can be an inspiration to aspiring young musicians.

“If you’re looking for a great way to introduce your children to music,” Segall says, “to watch somebody like Jennifer play with her heart, and withe feeling and with energy. It’s really a great way to introduce children to listening to what a wonderful young musician can do.”

The Omaha Area Youth Orchestra’s concert with the St. Olaf Orchestra is Sunday, October 16 at 3 pm and the All-Orchestra Concert is the following Sunday, October 23 at 6:30 PM. Both concerts will be held in the Holland Performing Arts Center.

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