6abc Loves the Arts: The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra

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6abc Loves the Arts: The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Karen Rogers reports during Action News at 7 a.m. on May 28, 2017. (WPVI)

Some of the world's most gifted musicians are putting on a show at the Kimmel Center.

It's the season finale for The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, a group of 120 musicians ranging in age from 14 to 21. This is their 77th annual end-of-year concert and it's jam-packed with choir performances, guest soloists, and a world premiere.

The centerpiece of the concert is a tune you've likely heard in countless commercials, but it's so musically demanding that the entire piece is rarely performed live, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

"You need an adult choir, a children's choir. You need the full orchestra and you need three very talented and adept soloists, vocal soloists," explains Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, who says the program will also include a guest soloist appearance from Philly Pops concertmaster Michael Ludwig.

"They really excel when you put a very distinguished soloist like Michael Ludwig in front of them; they rise to the occasion."

And the students will perform the winning piece from the orchestra's first ever young composers competition.

"Alan Mackwell, this young composer from Boston Conservatory won," says Scaglione who describes the work as very fast and highly energized. "It kind of reminds me of Star Wars meets the Wild West."

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra draws some of the most gifted musicians from the Tri-State area and the world with musicians from 20 countries.

"You'll be completely amazed by the level and quality of the students and how they perform," promises Scaglione, who adds that the annual end-of year concert is a chance for the students to showcase their talents and demonstrate the importance of music education.

"They are really some of the best and brightest students," he says. "I often say they are tomorrow's leaders and we train tomorrow's leaders, and I really believe that."

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra performs June 4th in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. The ensemble is staging auditions for next year during the month of June. You can find all of the details at wwwTheArtsinPhilly.org.
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