Philly Youth Orchestra closes season with Festival Concert

Some of the world's most talented up-and-coming musicians are taking the stage at the Kimmel Center.

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra is closing its 79th season with its annual Festival Concert.

"Kind of a culmination of all the work done for that entire academic year, "says Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

The orchestra's music program teaches students ranging from first grade through college.

"Our students come from a very diverse platform," says Scaglione. "And it's a really wonderful opportunity for a mere 600 students now amongst our six program divisions to participate in our very unique educational pathway."

The season finale concert will feature the senior ensemble, made up of 130 musicians.

"We have a stellar group of young musicians," says Scaglione.

The concert kicks off with the sixth annual Ovation Award, which honors local music educators.
"We ask the community at large to nominate a music teacher with a simple essay that says how that music teacher changed their life," says Scaglione.

The ensemble will then take the stage with Concerto for Orchestra by 20th century Hungarian composer Bela Bartok.

"It is a work that is really reserved for the only the best orchestras," says Scaglione, "It's going to challenge them greatly but it's a fascinating work!"

The youth orchestra will also take on a piece by Prokofiev.

"His fifth symphony which is what we're going to perform is most famous work and is his most celebratory work," says Scaglione.

A highlight of the night will be a world premiere from the winner of the 3rd annual Young Composers Award, Daniel Zarb-Cousin. "We will present his piece, Symphonic Prelude in E Major which he wrote," says Scaglione.

For this orchestra, the teaching goes beyond the music. "These are tomorrow's leaders. The young people ... all 130 of them that we'll see on stage, have put so much time and effort and care in to their work," says Scaglione. "This is really a showcase of them."

The Youth Orchestra's season finale is June 2 in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall.

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