The Owensboro Symphony Youth and String Orchestras will perform their annual Fall Concert at 7 p.m. Monday. The Youth and String Orchestras are an integral part of the Owensboro Symphony’s education and community engagement efforts.
The Fall Concert will be held in the Jack T. Wells Activity Center at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Doors will open to patrons at 6:30 p.m. with the performance at 7. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased in advance from any Youth Orchestra member or at owensborosymphony.org.
As of September 2022, the Youth Orchestra is under the direction of Shaun Baxley. Baxley is also the Orchestra Director for Apollo High School and Burns Middle School. The Youth String Orchestra remains under the direction of Wade Wiggins.
The Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, through its sponsorship of the Youth and String Orchestras program, gives specialized training to more than 100 talented young musicians each year, some of whom go on to join leading American symphony orchestras.
Members represent every local and many regional high school and middle school bands and orchestras. In addition, several adults and college students, wishing to continue their careers as instrumentalists also rehearse and perform with the Youth Orchestra.
In addition to weekly rehearsals, students are professionally coached by Owensboro Symphony musicians. The Youth Orchestras present two formal concerts each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. In addition, the orchestras host a fundraising dinner where small ensembles from the youth orchestras are featured.
In 2013 the Youth Orchestra collaborated with Jay Ungar, an American folk musician and composer, in a program that brought together regional orchestras for a combined performance in RiverPark Center’s Cannon Hall. There were two separate trips to Atlanta that combined professional-level performances with cultural experiences.
The highlight of recent years was the 2017 invitation for the Owensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The organization was able to ensure every student was able to experience the event, regardless of their financial means. The Carnegie performance included full, professional works by Brahms, Faure, and Malcolm Arnold.
Membership in the String Orchestra is by recommendation of the student’s school orchestra director or private teacher (if no school program exists). It is preferred the student have a minimum of two years of training before joining.