Philly Youth Orchestra's young talent set to take Kimmel stage

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6abc Loves the Arts. Karen Rogers reports during Action News Mornings on May 13, 2018. (WPVI)

Some of the world's most promising up-and-coming musicians are putting on a show at the Kimmel Center.

It's the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra's season finale and the group of 130 musicians is making it a mashup of classical music, jazz, and a world premiere.

The musicians range in age from 14 to 21, and they've focused this year's program on Leonard Bernstein, "Whom I would consider one of the 20th century's greatest American composers and conductors and musicians," says Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Bernstein's birth, the orchestra will perform his symphonic dances from West Side Story.

"So it has a lot of jazzy rhythms in it, bluesy rhythms in it, the mambo so we'll do it all," says Scaglione.

The orchestra will also perform one of 20th-century German composer Richard Strauss' monumental tone poems, Ein Heldenleben, and a world premiere by Kevin Day, a student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas and winner of the orchestra's second annual young composer's competition.

He calls his piece Manhattan Nights.

"It infuses a lot of popular idioms such as jazz and blues because he wanted to capture the eclectic jazz scene in New York City," says Scaglione.

For this, their 78th annual year-end concert, the orchestra chose not to feature any guest soloists, preferring instead to showcase the talents of the young musicians and highlight the importance of music education.

"As I often say about Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, we train tomorrow's leaders," says Scaglione. "So come support them now because they're our future."

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra performs June 10 in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall.For tickets, visit The Arts in Philly.
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