FSYO Host 61st Season Opener, Featured Artist Thomas Potter

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2017-18 FSYO Poster Opening webORLANDO, FL – On Sunday, October 15, 2017, at 4:00 pm, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras will astonish the public with the first concert of its 61st Season at the historic Bob Carr Theater, located at 401 W. Livingston St.

Featured guest artist Thomas Potter (Baritone) will perform Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) accompanied by the FSYO Symphonic Orchestra. This concert will also feature the inaugural performance of FSYO's new Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Jeff Rupert.

With over 30 years of experience as a professional opera singer, Thomas Potter has shared the stage with great artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Deborah Voigt, to name a few. As the director of UCF Opera, Potter collaborated with FSYO last season to bring to life an interactive version of Act II of Die Fledermaus, which wowed audiences at FSYO's Opera Gala. He is also a long time supporter and an Alumni parent of FSYO.

Tickets for this season subscription concert and to all other 61st season performances can be purchased on the FSYO website (www.fsyo.org) and at the door. Ticket prices for this concert range from $10 to $20. Florida academic and private teachers receive free admission to all FSYO season subscription concerts. This is one that you do not want to miss!

About FSYO: Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras exists to encourage children and young adults, through the practice and performance of orchestral music, to become passionate leaders, thinkers, and contributors in their local community and beyond. In its 61st Concert Season, FSYO comprises three full orchestras, one string training orchestra, an advanced chamber ensemble, and a new jazz orchestra made up of more than 250 students from nine Central Florida counties. Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Orlando Utilities Commission; The City of Orlando, Mayor's Matching Grant; and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support.

Learn more: web: www.fsyo.org | FB: @TheFSYO | Twitter: @FSYO | IG: @F_S_Y_O | Youtube: @fsyo


Th PotterAbout Thomas Potter: With over 30 years of experience as a professional opera singer, Verdi baritone and seasoned voice instructor Thomas Potter has shared the stage with great artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kurt Moll, Dolora Zajick, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Deborah Voigt, to mention a few. A graduate of Indiana University, where his voice teachers were Signor Nicola Rossi-Lemeni and Madame Virginia Zeani, Potter began his professional career with a multi-year contract at the San Francisco Opera, then, after several years in New York, he found himself singing opera throughout Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.

Thomas has sung leading roles with numerous International music festivals, including the Spoleto Music Festival in both Italy and the USA venues, the Ravenna (Italy) Music Festival, the Bregenzer (Austria) Festspiele, the La Biennale Festival in Venice, Italy, and the Festival de Inverno - Campos do Jordão in Brazil.

A few of the opera companies with which Potter has performed include the Teatro Comunale 'Giuseppe Verdi'; in
Trieste, Palm Beach Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Cordoba, Opera São Paulo, Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg, Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, Atlanta Opera, Utah Opera, Orlando Opera, and Indianapolis Opera.

As a winner of the Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition in Philadelphia Potter was awarded the opportunity to sing alongside Mr. Pavarotti in the resulting production of Verdi's opera UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. In 1992 he was a recipient of a study grant from the Licia Albanese - Puccini Foundation. From 1994 to 2000, Mr. Potter was engaged by the Stadttheater St. Gallen in Switzerland, singing the roles of "Scarpia" in TOSCA, "Jochanaan" in SALOME, "Alfio" in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, "Ezio" in ATTILA, "Amonasro" in AIDA, and "Giorgio Germont" in LA TRAVIATA, among others.

Following the birth of their son, he and his wife, soprano Kimberly S. Randall, decided to move back to the United States to begin new careers as university professors. Mr. Potter taught for five years in Indiana before joining the University of Central Florida in August of 2005, where he currently directs the UCF Opera program and teaches undergraduate and graduate level voice lessons.

60th Season Finale Wrap-Up

Sunday, May 7th, 2017 was a very busy and exciting day for FSYO as they prepared and presented their 60th Season Finale Concert at the Bob Carr Theater. The concert started out with a very special performance by Overture Strings, who performed an arrangement of "Deep River" with all of the FSYO conductors joining in the ensemble. Selections from popular movies and classical staples followed, enthralling the audience throughout the afternoon. FSYO Alumni graced the stage, joining the Symphonic Orchestra for their performance of Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody No. 1. This year, FSYO bid farewell to 41 graduating seniors. Check out their senior bios below:

Did you join us during our 60th season? As an FSYO patron, please consider completing this short, anonymous survey. By completing this survey you will be helping us obtain valuable information about our audiences that will assist us as we plan for future seasons and as we apply for grant funding to ensure the longevity of our program.

FSYO to Host 60th Season Finale Concert

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ORLANDO, FL - The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra will wrap up its exciting 60th anniversary season with its Season Finale Concert at the Bob Carr Theater on Sunday, May 7, 2017. The organization's three full orchestras and string-training orchestra will be featured as they showcase their talent and growth. The Season Finale Concert will highlight pieces by Elgar, Verdi, and more. In addition, forty graduating seniors will be recognized as they leave the orchestra to reach new heights as musicians and individuals.

Although this is the organization's 60th year, it has been a year of firsts for FSYO. Under the direction of new Music Director, Hanrich Claassen, the organization has explored new performance opportunities for its students, which has led to an abundance of new collaborations. This season, FSYO ensembles have had the opportunity to explore the different aspects of life as a professional musician - playing behind choirs, instrumental and vocal soloists, dancers, and the UCF Opera company.

This concert will be no different. In tune with the spirit of collaboration and as a special treat to cap off the 60th anniversary season, over 30 FSYO Alumni will join the Symphonic Orchestra for the final piece of the season, Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A major by George Enescu.

The concert will begin at 4:00 PM. Tickets are available through the FSYO website (www.fsyo.org), and range from $10 to $20. All educators receive free admission to this and all FSYO season subscription concerts!

About FSYO: The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra aims to educate and inspire Central Florida's top young musicians through programs committed to strengthening musical talents and developing appreciation of the arts through classical music. The FSYO, in its 60th Concert Season, comprises three full orchestras, one string training orchestra and an advanced chamber ensemble, made up of more than 250 students from nine Central Florida counties, including Orange, Osceola, Lee, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Highlands and Volusia. Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Orlando Utilities Commission; and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support.

Learn more: web: www.fsyo.org | FB: Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra | Twitter: @FSYO | IG: @F_S_Y_O | Youtube: @fsyo

FSYO Announces New Jazz Orchestra

Jazz Logo 1ORLANDO, FL - For 60 years, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra has been the home for Central Florida students in search of classical music training and education. This fall, FSYO will become the home to a new group of budding musicians with the introduction of its new Jazz Orchestra - a one of a kind offering in the Central Florida community. The FSYO Jazz Orchestra will be led by Jeff Rupert - Director of Jazz at UCF, saxophonist, composer, record producer, and recording artist.

"It is very important for our organization to stay current. FSYO has considered adding a jazz ensemble for a while and, when we noticed the trend taking off with many other eminent Youth Orchestras, we knew it was the right time to join in," said Hanrich Claassen, FSYO Music Director and Symphonic Conductor. "Through our jazz orchestra, we hope to serve a wider community and also broaden our horizons and offerings to the audiences in Central Florida. It's a great honor that internationally acclaimed guru and jazz specialist Jeff Rupert has joined our FSYO Family. He's not only a fabulous performer and grammy award recording artist, he has what it takes to be a passionate educator. Welcome, Jeff!"

This 17-20 piece ensemble will focus on the study of big band jazz music. Featuring middle and high school-age musicians, FSYO's Jazz Orchestra will perform big band staples as well as works by contemporary artists. Students will learn the theory behind jazz composition and improvisation and will have the opportunity to do sectional work with some of the area's top jazz musicians. Rehearsals will take place at The Plaza Live on Sunday afternoons.

Jazz Orchestra auditions will be held in May 2017 and applications are available now. For information on auditions, please visit http://www.fsyo.org/auditions2/jazz-orchestra

FSYO Welcomes Jazz Orchestra Conductor, Jeff Rupert

rupert 2Jeff Rupert is Pegasus Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at UCF. He is a saxophonist, composer, record producer, and recording artist.

Rupert has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings with artists including Maynard Ferguson, Sam Rivers, Mel Tormé, Diane Schuur and Benny Carter. He played on Carter's Harlem Renaissance which won a Grammy. He played and arranged for the New Jersey-based Blues band The Fins. He has also performed with Kevin Mahogany, Ernestine Anderson, Joe Farnsworth, Ray Drummond, Harry Allen, pianist Benny Green, Kenny Drew jr, trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman, and pianist and singer Judy Carmichael.

Rupert currently is the leader of The Jazz Professors, a sextet which had top JazzWeek charting hit albums in 2012 and 2013. "The Jazz Professors: Live at the UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival" (Flying Horse, 2011) which and peaked at #19 during its seventeen weeks on the JazzWeek charts. His third album, "From Memphis to Mobile", with Kenny Drew, Jr.

Rupert joined Sam Rivers' band in 1996 and appeared in four recordings with the group. He has performed in hundreds of concerts with Rivers, including performances at Lincoln for Ed Bradley's Jazz from Lincoln Center (broadcast on NPR), the Vision Festival NYC and Columbia University. He has been a member of the Jaguar International Jazz Series alongside Joe LaBarbera, Tom Wharington, Larry Koonse, and John Fedchock.

For more information on Jeff Rupert, Click Here.

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring! FSYO Winter Review

Spring has sprung and FSYO is almost finished with its exciting 60th Anniversary Season. As we get ready for the final performances, let's take a look back at the many performances that we participated in to kick off 2017.

The first performance of the new year took place on February 12th in Celebration as the Symphonic Orchestra made their annual appearance at the Celebration Foundation's Classical Concert Series. The orchestra wowed the audience with their performance of the complete Symphony No. 5 by Tchaikovsky. Also featured, was a performance of the Lalo Cello Concerto by Concerto Competition winner, Brenton Zhang.

The next weekend was a busy one. On February 18th, Symphonic was on stage again! This time performing at Walt Disney World for Epcot's International Festival of the Arts. They did two performances and received a standing ovation! (We've heard that that rarely happens for daytime performances)

The next day, February 19th, Overture Strings, Prelude and Philharmonia took the stage at Mead Botanical Garden to present their Spring in the Garden Concert. This was an outdoor, picnic-style concert at the amphitheater built by FSYO in 2012.

The final performance of the winter was The Opera Ball. A new endeavor for FSYO, the evening included an elegant dinner, chamber music performances, and a silent auction. Following dinner, guests moved into the theater where the pre-professional FSYO Symphonic Orchestra, in collaboration with UCF Opera, presented a special interactive version of Act II of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II with a special performance by Concerto Competition Winner, Emily Erdman.

In addition to the performances, FSYO members took part in sectional rehearsals with some of Central Florida's top musicians. There were also several performances by our Chamber and small ensembles - including Arts For All Day, which was a free arts day put on by United Arts to help give new patrons a sampling of all that the Central Florida Arts community has to offer.

To close off the season, FSYO will have two more performances: The Chamber Ensemble at the Timucua White House (April 9th) and The 60th Season Finale at Bob Carr Theater (May 7th). Auditions for the next season will take place in May and registration has begun. Don't forget to also sign up for Stringmania Summer Camp!

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras | (407) 999-7800 | info@fsyo.org

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras is supported in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.

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