Richmond Symphony youth orchestras marks 50 years

Posted on: January 25, 2012

In Tuesday’s (1/24) Style Weekly (Richmond, Virginia), Angela Lehman-Rios writes, “The minutes before an orchestra rehearsal are filled with a casual, muted cacophony. Violinists pluck strings like a guitar while chatting about their weekend. A trumpet player quietly runs up and down half a scale. The timpanist takes her mallets from a carrying case that clicks and jangles with other percussion tools. When the conductor steps to the podium, expectant silence settles among the music stands. Every Tuesday, this scene happens nearly simultaneously in four different rooms around the city, where the 260 musicians in the youth orchestras of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra begin another rehearsal. This year the program, started four years after the symphony was founded, marks its 50th anniversary. … All children in the program receive regular coaching from symphony orchestra musicians. The top-tier orchestra plays alongside the professional orchestra for at least one concert each year, and the other ensembles receive the same side-by-side opportunity on occasion as well. … ‘On a basic level it makes simple sense’ for a professional orchestra to have a youth program, says Jessica Balboni, director of the orchestra leadership academy at the League of American Orchestras, the primary industry organization. The knowledge and the passion are already in-house, and the young people in the program are, after all, future musicians, donors, board members and audience members.”

Posted January 25, 2012