The 56th Season Opening Concert, in photos

Congratulations to all!

We're so proud of all 4 Orchestras for their performance at our 56th Seaon Opening Concert! Rookie and returning students braved the big hall at the Bob Carr to a large crowd. See below for pictures from the exciting day.


A Day in the Life of an FSYO Student

Join us as we follow Tristan, our Symphonic Orchestra's Concertmaster.

In this series, we’ll follow FSYO students through their busy lives, and learn how they excel in balancing school, family, friends, and music. Read on for an interview with Tristan, our Symphonic Orchestra’s Concertmaster, and a peak into a typical day.

8:00 am: Wake up and get ready for school.

9:25 am: School with fellow FSYO member Zoë Dickman.

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Tristan snaps a picture of friend and FSYO cellist, Zoë. Hi Zoë!

1:30 pm: Lunch break. I also stop by the the local elementary school to help with strings class.

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Tristan, helping teach local elementary students.

4:00 pm: Private lesson with Lev Gurevich. He stops every few measures to make corrections on the Mozart Concerto in A Major I’m working on. It takes up most of my lesson, but Mozart requires a lot of attention!

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Lev Gurevich looks on as Tristan works through the Mozart.

6:30 pm: Practice, Practice, Practice.

7:30 pm: Practice!

FSYO: Tristan, When did you join FSYO? What made you initially want to join?

 Tristan: I joined FSYO last year for the 2011-2012 season. I wanted to join initially because I was in a local youth orchestra for 5 years and I thought it would be good to meet new young musicians and expand my orchestral repertoire. I have stuck with FSYO because it has done just that. There are fantastic musicians from around the state that I would never have met if it weren't for FSYO and all of the pieces

Philharmonia Rehearsal with guest conductor Joseph Kreines

This past Sunday, September 30, the Philharmonia Orchestra enjoyed rehearsal with guest conductor, Joseph Kreines. Phil students diligently worked through their 3 hour rehearsal, hammering down details of the Saint-Saens March Militaire Francais, and Borodin's Steppes of Central Asia, all in preparation for the 56th Season Opening Concert


Mr. Kreines, left

ABOUT Mr. Kreines: A native of Chicago, Joseph Kreines came to Florida as associate conductor of the Florida Symphony Orchestra, where he served for four years. Subsequently, he was conductor of the Brevard Symphony, associate conductor of the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, and musical director for several opera and musical theatre productions. He has served as clinician and guest conductor with some 300 bands, orchestras and choruses throughout the nation and also appears as piano accompanist at numerous recitals and festivals.

FSYO Announces 56th Season Opening Concert, featuring Dr. Ayako Yonetani

56th Season Opening Concert, featuring Dr. Ayako Yonetani, presented by TD Wealth

ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra’s 56th Season opens with an October 14 concert, presented by TD Wealth, featuring all four of the organization’s orchestras and Orlando's own Dr. Ayako Yonetani, an acclaimed violinist and University of Central Florida music professor, at the historic Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.

Copy of Poster

The orchestras – Overture Strings, a string training orchestra with performers 7 to 14 years old; Prelude, whose musicians are age 9 to 15; Philharmonia, featuring 11- to 18-year-olds; and Symphonic, a pre-professional group whose members are age 13 to 20 – will present works from composers including Verdi, Saint-Saens and Rimsky-Korsakov. Dr. Yonetani will join FSYO’s Symphonic Orchestra during the Brahms Concerto for an exciting solo performance. She is a doctor of musical arts, a full professor of violin and viola at UCF and a member of Japan’s premier chamber ensemble, Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo.

“I have performed this concerto with an orchestra several times, so the challenge I have now and the challenge I faced when I was learning for the first time are different,” Dr. Yonetani says.  “Because Brahms was not a violinist, I at first felt it was kind of awkward, even though the notes did not look particularly hard. Some virtuoso pieces like Wieniawski or Sarasate fit to the hand more.”

Dr. Yonetani bolsters other expert opinion that the Brahms Concerto is more of a showcase for the orchestra than is typical for a star vehicle. “Now I pay attention to more of the sound because this piece is rather symphonic, requiring a certain richness of sound and stamina,” she says. The virtuosity lies not so much in difficult runs of notes, but in the quirks of the composer. “There are lots of double-stops, but this is also a typical Brahms-ian piece. I like the thickness of harmony and particular sonority of Brahms.”

Dr. Yonetani believes this violin concerto is one of the all-time greats. “The first time I learned this piece, I was the age of the orchestra members, 15 to 16 years old. I was totally fascinated by this concerto when I looked at the music.  Of course, some students are already familiar with this piece but, if not, it is nice to hear it live.”

Conductor's Corner with John Dupuis

On composing, the Grove at Mead Botanical Garden inagural performance, and advice to young composers 

Headshot John Dupuis NEW

The FSYO is lucky to house 4 diversely talented conductors for our 4 orchestras. In this series, Conductor's Corner, we'll sit down with each of our conductors, and learn more about their individual talents, and their history with the FSYO.

John Dupuis is the Philharmonia Orchestra Conductor, an active orchestral composer, and an FSYO alumni. FSYO sat down with him to learn more about his experience as an orchestral conductor. Read his full bio here.

"Composition is an art form that is best expressed when you are able to be creative and uninhibited in your writing. Don't be afraid to take risks and make mistakes."

 FSYO: How long have you been composing? What got you started?

John Dupuis: I've been composing since I was 16 years old.  I began writing and arranging music for my high school marching band.  After several attempts and seeking to get many questions answered, I began composing for orchestra.  When I was 18 and a senior in high school, I wrote 'Atlantis' for the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra. It was premiered in February of 1999 with Maestro Andrew Lane conducting. Later that summer, I wrote my second piece, 'The Dancing Pirate', that was premiered by the FSYO in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

FSYO: How does being a conductor play into your composing

JD: As a conductor, I have the opportunity to not only program amazing literature by renowned composers, but also to perform music that I have composed or arranged.  In the past few years, the FSYO Philharmonia Orchestra has premiered three of my works.  The Philharmonia Orchestra has done a FANTASTIC job of bringing my music to life.  In addition, FSYO has performed a total of eight of my compositions since 1999.  My music has also been performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchesta, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, the Sarasota Youth Symphony, and many others.

 Listen to a recent work by John Dupuis, Fanfare for Orchestra:

Sectioned off for Sectionals

The Prelude Orchestra focuses in on concert literature

During yesterday's rehearsal, our Prelude Orchestra enjoyed sectional rehearsals. Prelude Conductor, Elizabeth Hicklin, kept the violins and violas for a string intensive, clinician Mr. Mike Mitchell took brass and woodwinds for specialized work, and bassist and teacher Mrs. Suzanne Vascik lead Prelude's bass and cello sections in focused study.

Prelude Sectionals 9.16.12

"Sectionals are an integral part of our mission for excellence in music education. We're so lucky to have the support from Mike and Suzanne, as both are great supporters of the arts and of FSYO," says FSYO Executive Director Heide Evans Waldron. "We're looking forward to bringing in more clincians for our other 3 orchestras in the coming weeks."

The Prelude Orchestra, along with FSYO's other 3 orchestras, is busy rehearsing for the 56th Season Opening Concert, to take place on Sunday, October 14 at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Click here to learn more about this show, and purchase tickets.

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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 and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.

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