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NJSO Academy Orchestras Celebrate with Two Performances

by Naomi Youngstein

 

On December 2nd,  the 180 students comprising the  NJSO Academy Orchestras performed at the winter concert at Science Park High School in Newark. The audience was filled with families and friends, who enthusiastically celebrated the wonderful performances, and gorged on a wonderful cookie spread at the intermission.

 

The Training Ensemble, coached by NJSO musicians Ming Yang, Christine Terhune, Lucy Corwin, and Jonathan Storck, and guest coaches, performed under the baton of Jose Luis Dominguez, our Interim Artistic Director. Composed of Newark-area youth, this group is partnered with the NJPAC Symphonic Band in providing beginning group and semi-private instruction on string instruments. They rehearse every Saturday, and have a combination of orchestra and individual instrument instruction. We look forward to when they will graduate and “move up” our pipeline into our older ensembles!

 

The String Ensemble, led by NJSO violinist Naomi Youngstein, played two pieces: Mozart’s Alleluia from Exultate Jubilate, and an exciting contemporary piece with a folky feel, Blue Fire Fiddler, by Soon Hee Newbold. The Mozart stretched the students musically, with emphasis on Mozart’s lighter style and articulations. The musicians could then let loose with Blue Fire Fiddler and its torrent of notes for dessert.

 

Henry Kao, NJSO violist, led the String Ensemble in a lively opener, the first movement of the Vivaldi Concerto for four violins. This group has NJSO musician coaches Lucy Corwin, Christine Terhune, Jonathan Storck, and guest coaches Kathleen Foster and Elina Lang. In a complicated set up, there were three or four soloists per part, two tutti violin sections, along with violists, solo cello, and cello and bass sections. Every young string player should have a chance to perform this joyful piece! They then performed the entire Eine Klein Nachtmusik of Mozart (all four movements) and finished to loud, appreciative applause.

 

The exciting closer for the afternoon was the Academy Orchestra, conducted by our inspiring Interim Artistic Director, Jose Luis Dominguez. The members had had a full weekend already, as they were the featured concert opener for the NJSO “grownup” concert the night before. As they performed the Shostakovich Festive Overture that Friday on the NJPAC stage, members of the NJSO stood in the wings and were amazed by the progress and abilities of our young colleagues! Coached by NJSO musicians Derek Fenstermacher (tuba), Vernon Post (trombone), Garth Greenup (trumpet), Andrea Menousek (horn), Robert Wagner (bassoon), Andrew Lamy (clarinet), Robert Ingliss (oboe), guest coach Reva Youngstein (flute), guest coach James Musto (percussion), David Rosi (bass), guest coach Terrence Thornhill (cello), Martin Anderson (viola) and Izia Weyman and Naomi Youngstein (violins), the Academy Orchestra also performed the final two movements of Stravinsky’s Firebird, with wonderful solos by our student bassoonist and french horn player. They closed out the afternoon on Saturday with a rousing finale from Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony.

 

Congratulations to all, and we are looking forward to winter term and the next concert at the end of March!

 


 

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