Congratulations Alex Koller and Colton Potter on being chosen to particpate in the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) for the 2017 season.
FSYO 2016-2017 Symphonic Orchestra Principal Violist, Alex Koller
FSYO 2016-2017 Symphonic Orchestra Principal Oboist, Colton Potter
Each summer, Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute brings together the brightest young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. Following a comprehensive audition process and a three-week training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world to serve as dynamic music ambassadors. In 2017, the orchestra will travel to Latin America with conductor Marin Alsop and perform a program that includes a new Carnegie Hall–commissioned work by Gabriela Lena Frank and Mahler's Symphony No. 1. The tour kicks off with the orchestra's annual concert at Carnegie Hall, continuing with stops in Mexico City, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; and Bogotá, Colombia.
ORLANDO, FL - On March 4, 2017, the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra will host its first Opera Ball at the Plaza Live in Orlando's popular Milk District. This event will act as a fundraiser for FSYO and will help advance the organization's educational and community initiatives and support them as they prepare to compete internationally.
Based off of Viennese traditions, the evening will include an elegant dinner provided by Two Chef's Oyster Bar and Jilly Cakes, chamber music performances, and a silent auction. Following dinner, guests will move into the theater where they will be transported to 19th century Vienna with a presentation of Act II of Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss II) by the pre-professional FSYO Symphonic Orchestra, in collaboration with UCF Opera. Here, as it does in the operetta, the party really begins, except this time the audience members will be immersed in the action. Opera Singers will be serenading guests from just a few feet away and Prince Orlofsky will introduce a performance by Concerto Competition winner, Emily Erdman (violin).
The Metropolitan Opera describes Die Fledermaus as the "supreme example of Viennese operetta that both defines and transcends that genre. Its story centers on a magnificent masked ball, given by a Russian prince, that brings together all the main characters in various disguises. The three-act journey from boudoir to ballroom to jail provides ample opportunities for farce and humor, but also for genuine human emotion and a surprisingly realistic view of urban life." In this production, FSYO will focus solely on the second act - the ballroom scene.
Three ticket options are available: Dinner/Concert, Concert only Interactive Tickets and Concert only Balcony Tickets. Tickets range in price from $30 - $150. Sponsorships are available. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.fsyo.org/operaball.
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 an 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.
ABOUT UCF OPERA: Participation in the Opera program is open to all UCF students through audition. Performances include a Gala Concert each fall, a fully staged production each spring, and a children's opera program touring schools in the area throughout the year.
Sponsors of the Opera Ball include: Operetta Sponsor - L.J. Ruffin and Associates, Inc; Aria Sponsors - Friends of Oviedo, GatorWire, GrayRobinson, Valencia College East Campus, Valencia Foundation; Friends of the Opera Ball - Axel Real Estate, David and Heather Odahowski, Publix Super Markets Charities, Wells Fargo; Food and Drink Sponsors - Two Chef's Oyster Bar, JillyCakes, ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Coca-Cola Company, City Beverages, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Pepsi-Cola Company; Print Sponsor - Orlando Utilities Commission.
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras is now accepting applications for their upcoming 61st concert season beginning in August 2017. FSYO is calling for young, high spirited Central Florida musicians to embark on a journey of musical education, inspiration and development.
FSYO is distinguished as one of the nation’s top youth orchestras. Their focus on providing students with a complete educational experience during rehearsals and in a variety of live performance opportunities throughout the year contributes to the students’ and program’s success. A majority of their alumni have continued onto college, many pursuing music at prestigious schools such as the Juilliard School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory, among others.
FSYO auditions are for standard orchestral instruments and will be held for both new and returning members. Membership is available for all four of FSYO’s award winning orchestras. Please take into consideration that each ensemble has a limited number of spots and an audition does not guarantee placement in FSYO. Acceptance and placement is completely merit-based, and those who audition are subjected to meet specific criteria to be considered.
FSYO auditions are for standard orchestral instruments and are held annually for both new and returning members. There are a limited number of positions available in each ensemble, and an audition does not guarantee placement in FSYO. Acceptance and orchestra placement is a competitive, merit-based process in which auditionees must meet requirements for consideration.
Auditions require that students prepare the specific excerpt listed for the orchestra for which they are auditioning, as well as a one-minute solo of their choice and scales and arpeggios as listed. All auditions are approximately 3–5 minutes long except percussion auditions which are approximately 10 minutes. While it is unlikely, please note that audition judges may ask any candidate to sight read. Applications for the 2017-2018 season are due by May 1, 2017. Additional audition information can be found at www.fsyo.org.
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.
ORLANDO, FL – January 10, 2017 — Arts for ALL Day is a new, must-see event for all Central Floridians, with a focus of introducing new communities to local arts and cultural organizations throughout Central Florida. The event was created by United Arts of Central Florida and will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017, from 10:00AM – 4:00PM at Loch Haven Cultural Park in Orlando, FL. Arts for ALL Day is a FREE, family-friendly, taste-of-the-arts style event, taking place in Loch Haven's multiple theaters and indoor and outdoor exhibit spaces, throughout the Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Science Center and Orlando Shakespeare Theater venues.
"We're very excited to bring everyone in the community together for Arts for ALL Day," said Flora Maria Garcia, president & CEO of United Arts. "Arts for ALL Day's tagline is 'Arts Unrestricted' and that's exactly what we intend to accomplish with this free, family-friendly event. This is an opportunity for everyone to come learn about and experience the diverse variety of high-quality arts and cultural offerings that are available throughout Central Florida, all in one day and in a single location."
More than 60 local resident artists and cultural organizations, representing a diverse variety of art forms and genres, will offer special mini productions of their work so that attendees will be able to enjoy a wide range of cultural experiences throughout the day. Each participating artist and organization will have up to 45 minutes to showcase abbreviated arts performances. Lobby and outdoor spaces will also have more informal "pop up" experiences as well as art exhibits. There will be a children's area with hands-on arts activities and shows, babysitting services, hands-on arts activities for adults, and a diverse range of international food trucks.
Arts for ALL Day will also feature an interactive technology and digital media exhibit inside the Orlando Museum of Art that will take you through virtual worlds as you learn the art form behind the latest new-media technologies. An expanded version of this exhibit will later be showcased for two months at SNAP! Downtown gallery beginning on April 28, as an informal close to United Arts of Central Florida's 2017 collaborative Campaign for the Arts (February 1 – May 2).
United Arts' efforts to help promote diversity and inclusiveness outreach in underserved and ethnically-diverse Central Florida communities, over the past two years, have culminated in Arts for ALL Day. United Arts' vision is a fun, accessible, family-friendly experience to introduce new communities to the arts. Also, to reduce traffic and to make Arts for ALL Day more accessible to those with limited access to transportation, United Arts worked with SunRail to extend its Saturday service operations to run all day.
While Arts for ALL Day is a FREE event — and reduced-rate at the Orlando Science Center — space is limited and pre-registration is required to obtain your free entry wristband, available on a first-come, first-serve basis. To learn more about Arts for ALL Day and to register for your FREE entry wristband, log on to www.ArtsForAllDay.com today, before space runs out.
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.
About United Arts of Central Florida: United Arts is a collaboration of individuals, businesses, governments and school districts, foundations, arts and cultural organizations, and artists. Its mission is to enrich communities by investing in arts, science and history. United Arts serves residents and visitors in Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties through more than 60 local arts, science and history organizations. It raises and distributes funds for these cultural groups and provides management, administrative and advisory services. Since 1989, United Arts has invested more than $141 million in Central Florida's arts and culture.
Thank you to everyone who made 2016 one of our best years yet! We are looking forward to all of the new and exciting experiences that 2017 has to offer. But first, let's take a look back at some of the rehearsals and performances that made 2016 so great!
How old were you when you began playing music? I was 6 when I started piano lessons, 7 when I started playing the violin. I switched form violin to the cello at 9.
Did you always know you wanted to lead an orchestra? What was your career/education path to get here? No - I wanted to be a répétiteur - both my parents were opera singers and I grew up sight-reading songs and arias for my mother for fun; I guess it felt like a natural choice to continue working with singers and getting more into the coaching side of things. I was always around lots of singers singing opera - I went to the theater while my parents were rehearsing or teaching at home and really grew to love this art form. I wanted to be part of the process of creating and molding singers preparing for a specific role. I also love the German art song repertoire (Lieder) and would have loved being a full-time accompanist. I studied piano and cello pre graduate degrees, but towards the end of my third year, it became clear that I rather wanted to be an orchestra musician. I was already working professionally substituting in a various orchestras while I finished my pre-graduate studies, so that made me decide to pursue post-graduate studies in cello alone. I am so grateful for the piano skills I have though, as it has served me so well over the years as cello teacher and of course, as a conductor too. Directly after finishing my first post-graduate degree I won a seat in the Cape Town Philharmonic, where I lived at the time and actually thought this would be what I do for life. After 5 years of playing and experiencing some burn-out I decided to take a break and pursue a teaching career, which has lead me to conducting. While living in Saudi Arabia I started conducting some smaller ensembles and this continued in Shanghai, while working for the American International School. I slowly started working with professional ensembles there as cellist, and purely by chance one day I was asked last-minute to conduct a work that just didn't come together in rehearsals. This was with the Shanghai Baroque Ensemble - after that concert I pretty much always played cello for half of their concerts, and conducted the ensemble for the rest. I loved it! I studied with various conductors in Shanghai, back in Cape Town and in Italy over holidays and at masterclasses and conducting competitions. Like any skill you want to be good at, I still work at it daily - trying to find more ways of being expressive yet clear in gesture and body language. There are so many things at play while conducting an ensemble... it's fascinating!
What is your primary instrument? Cello
What's the best advice you received when you were a young musician? My parents both gave me hours of advice, but also my biggest influence probably was Albie van Schalkwyk, my piano professor and one of the most magical musicians and accompanist I have ever had to pleasure to work with and learn from - a true mentor. Work hard - harder than anyone else around you; become the best musician you can be - listen, always listen; be open - to change, to new things and new music, new people, new cultures, and try hard - always try hard! Be versatile as a musician - be open to adapt to whatever situation. The time is 'now' - don't wait - don't ever wait to make beautiful music or practice or play softly or follow the composer's markings - do it 'now.' Love what you do, and be passionate about it!
What advice would you give FSYO students, or young people thinking of auditioning for FSYO? I guess all of the advice I got and that has served me well, but also, don't be afraid to try - don't put off auditioning now, because you think you might be more ready next year. In a year from now, things might be different and you might have missed out on a year's worth of amazing musical experiences. FSYO provides such an important opportunity to 'belong' to something unique, and for your uniqueness to find company in fellow-musicians that look at the world maybe a little differently than your general classmates at school. We really are a big family that care and look after each other, while inspiring and pushing you to become the best musician you can be!
If you weren't a conductor, what career would you want to try? I pilot or a professional deep sea diver - both professions that would lead me to see new and wonderful things and places!
What's something fun about you that most people don't know? I have run three half-marathons, one of which was the Great Wall race in China, more than half of the race happens on the actual great wall of China! I am a Padi qualified Advanced Open Water diver and have gone diving in many exciting places - Greece, Bali, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Thailand, Cyprus, to name a few...