Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra Now Accepting Applications for 2015-2016 Season

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For Immediate Release

March 4, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra is now accepting applications for their upcoming 59th concert season beginning in August 2015. 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 Julliard 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.

Auditions require that participants prepare a specific excerpt posted on the FSYO website (www.fsyo.org) for the orchestra for which they are auditioning, as well as a one-minute solo of their choice and scales as listed. Applications for the 2015-2016 season are due by April 24, 2015.

About FSYO: The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra aims to educate and inspire Central Florida's top young musicians via programs committed to strengthening musical talents and developing appreciation of the arts through classical music. The FSYO, in its 58th Concert Season, comprises three full orchestras, one string training orchestra and various chamber groups, made up of more than 250 students from nine Central Florida counties, including Orange, Osceola, Lee, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Highlands, Polk and Volusia. Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Darden Restaurant Foundation; Universal Orlando Foundation; The Central Florida Foundation and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support. The FSYO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, please visit www.fsyo.org |facebook.com/THEFSYO | @fsyo

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Spring Into Music and Feed a Family with FSYO

For Immediate Release2014-15 FSYO Posters 6 Children resize

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, in partnership with The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, presents their annual Children Helping Children Concert on Sunday, March 15, 2015. FSYO's pre-professional Symphonic Orchestra, with special soloist and Concerto Competition Finalist: Matthew Mignardi, will perform in hopes of introducing young concertgoers to classical music while increasing awareness, raising funds and collecting donations for Second Harvest Food Bank. An ongoing partnership, all proceeds of this event will go to The Second Harvest Food Bank as they fight to end hunger and feed hope.

Families all over Central Florida are struggling to get by and, far too often, hard decisions must be made that leave little to no money for food. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Second Harvest Food Bank, people in Central Florida sought food assistance 3.7 million times last year. The Second Harvest Food Bank pools and allocates donations to over 500 nonprofit community partners such as shelters, soup kitchens and pantries, who then distribute items to those in need. With your help, fewer Central Florida children will go to bed hungry.

The concert will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Edgewater High School Performing Arts Center, located at 3100 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804. Admission can be obtained traditionally by purchasing tickets via www.fsyo.org or by bringing 5-10 canned goods per person to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. As usual, all teachers receive free admission to this and all FSYO concerts.

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Food: Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a non-profit organization with a vision of a hunger-free Central Florida. They work to realize this vision by providing access to food and other grocery products in order to meet the need of nutritious food in our community. The organization mobilizes leaders and communities by bringing visibility to the invisible problem of hunger and poverty throughout the six Central Florida countries in which the agency works: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. The goal of the organization is to provide availability and access to food and other grocery products in order to close the gap between need for food and availability by having programs such as Grocery Alliance, Community Kitchen, Hi-Five Kids Pack Program and Kids Café, among others. For more information please visit http://www.foodbankcentralflorida.org

About FSYO: The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra aims to educate and inspire Central Florida's top young musicians via programs committed to strengthening musical talents and developing appreciation of the arts through classical music. The FSYO, in its 58th Concert Season, comprises three full orchestras, one string training orchestra and various chamber groups, made up of more than 250 students from nine Central Florida counties, including Orange, Osceola, Lee, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Highlands, Polk and Volusia. Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Darden Restaurant Foundation; Universal Orlando Foundation; The Central Florida Foundation and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support. The FSYO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, please visit www.fsyo.org | facebook.com/THEFSYO | @fsyo

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra Announces Finalists in Music Director Search

For Immediate Release

ORLANDO, FL - Following an extensive search, the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra is pleased to announce the four finalists in the running for the position of Music Director and Symphonic Orchestra Conductor for the organization. The finalists are Nate Beversluis, Dr. Thomas Taylor Dickey, Christopher Thibdeau, and Dr. Robert Yaklich.

The four finalists were chosen by a search committee, comprised of board members with diverse backgrounds, from a group of over 50 talented and qualified candidates from all over the world. Each finalist will rehearse with FSYOs Symphonic Orchestra. These rehearsals are open to the public and will be held on February 22, 2015 and March 1, 2015 from 3:45-5:00 PM at Edgewater High School – 3100 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL 32804.

About the Finalists:

Nate Beversluis: Nate Beversluis is a pianist, conductor and composer/arranger, currently Resident Conductor with Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. He serves as assistant conductor and frequent concerto accompanist to Dmitry Sitkovetsky, as well as Music Director of the flourishing Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra program. He also conducts Greensboro Symphony as a ballet orchestra for local productions. Recent guest conducting engagements include Ohio Southwest Regional Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia, and Orlando Philharmonic. Previously he was Music Director at Elon University, Seaside Music Theatre, University of Central Florida Theater Department, and Associate Artistic Director at Tri-Cities Opera. He holds degrees from Indiana University (Jazz Studies) and the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati (Orchestral Conducting).

Dr. Thomas Taylor Dickey: Reviewed by critics as a "dynamic and exciting conductor" whose conducting is "imbued with aplomb, energy, and pathos," Dr. Thomas Taylor Dickey is the Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and concurrently serves as Conductor of the Dubuque Symphony Youth Orchestra (IA). Previous positions include Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Evansville (IN) and Conductor of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (IN). Dr. Dickey has also held assistant conductor positions with university and professional orchestras in Illinois, Louisiana, and Georgia. He holds doctoral and master's degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University, respectively, and further studied conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and numerous workshops and master classes.

Christopher Thibdeau: Christopher Thibdeau has a diverse background as both a cellist and a conductor. Recently appointed the Music Director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta, Christopher has previously served as the Associate Conductor of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor of the Atlanta Music Project Orchestras to name a few. Christopher is also the Assistant Conductor of the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra. He is an active cellist, maintaining a private teaching studio as well as performing with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Thibdeau holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Dr. Richard Yaklich: Dr. Richard E. Yaklich, currently serves as an Associate Professor of Music at Florida Memorial University; Former Conductor of the South Florida Youth Symphony (2002-2013) and the former Director of the Jubilate Chamber Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Kingsport Symphony and Music Director of the Kingsport Youth Symphony. He has conducted orchestras throughout the United States and Eastern Europe including the Maikop Philharmonic and the Sochi Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his conducting activities, he is an active cellist and composer and has had works performed by the Colorado Symphony and in Romania. Dr. Yaklich received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Colorado; his Master's degree in music from Colorado State University and his Doctorate from the University of South Carolina.

FSYO's current music director, Andrew Lane, who served the FSYO as Music Director since 1998 – with a two-year leave between the 2005 and 2007 seasons – will continue to lead the program through FSYO's 58th season ending in May 2015.

About FSYO: The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra aims to educate and inspire Central Florida's top young musicians via programs committed to strengthening musical talents and developing appreciation of the arts through classical music. The FSYO, in its 58th Concert Season, comprises three full orchestras, one string training orchestra and various chamber groups, made up of more than 250 students from nine Central Florida counties, including Orange, Osceola, Lee, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Highlands, Polk and Volusia. Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Darden Restaurant Foundation; Universal Orlando Foundation; The Central Florida Foundation and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support. The FSYO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, please visit www.fsyo.org | facebook.com/THEFSYO | @fsyo

Meet the Finalists: Nate Beversluis

Nate-BeversluisNate Beversluis is a pianist, conductor and composer/arranger, currently Resident Conductor with Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. In this position he leads a variety of pops and classical concerts as well as creating and leading his own brand of hilariously entertaining children's concerts which reach nearly 50,000 students in North Carolina. He serves as assistant conductor and frequent concerto accompanist to Dmitry Sitkovetsky, as well as Music Director of the flourishing Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra program. Pops and jazz artists he has worked with include Jeff Rupert, John Pizzarelli, Hilary Kole, Franc D'Ambrosio, Nicole Parker, Ali Mauzey, Steve Lippia, Stephen Freeman, Mark McVey, and John Pagano. He also conducts Greensboro Symphony as a ballet orchestra for local productions. Recent guest conducting engagements include Ohio Southwest Regional Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia, and Orlando Philharmonic. He is adjunct faculty at the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he teaches conducting and leads the new music ensemble, Present ~ Continuous.

Previously he was Music Director at Elon University, Seaside Music Theatre, University of Central Florida Theater Department, and Associate Artistic Director at Tri-Cities Opera. As a jazz pianist he was a member of several house trios in clubs and restaurants in Central Florida, including Heidi's Jazz Club in Cocoa Beach, where he played with Stan Soloko, Johnny Powers, Rabbit Simmons, Annie Sellick, and Simone Kopmajer.

His interests as a composer involve combining jazz and classical musicians and his music has won awards from ASCAP and BMI. He holds degrees from Indiana University (Jazz Studies) and the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati (Orchestral Conducting). He was twice a composition fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute. His teachers include Phil DeGreg, Lynne Arriale, Mike Lucas and Luke Gillespie (piano), Michael Schelle and Jack Smalley (composition), and Mark Gibson, Xian Zhang, and Karla Lemon (conducting).

Meet the Finalists: Christopher Thibdeau

CT HS CLRChristopher Thibdeau has a diverse background as both a cellist and a conductor. Recently appointed the Music Director of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta, Christopher has previously served as the Associate Conductor of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra, Cover Conductor of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor of the Atlanta Music Project Orchestras, a US based El Sistema program. Besides his duties with MYSO, Christopher is the Assistant Conductor of the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra. He is also adjunct cello faculty in Clayton State University's Division of Music and serves as the Conductor of the Atlanta Chamber Music Festival. He is an active cellist, maintaining a private teaching studio as well as performing with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Most recently Mr. Thibdeau has been invited to perform as solo cellist with the Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra for their 25th in Spivey Hall.

As an educator, Christopher has presented workshops and educational concerts in New York, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and other areas across the US. He has been a panel speaker at the 2007 Connecticut State Music Teachers Association State Convention and featured as a guest speaker and moderator for the Eastman School of Music "Polyphonic.org" webinar series.

Christopher has participated in many conducting workshops and seminars, including the Conductors Retreat at Medomak under the direction of Kenneth Kiesler, the New England Conservatory Summer Institute where he studied under Frank Battisti and Charles Peltz, and the International Conducting Institute with the Round Rock Symphony under Maestro Peter Bay.

Mr. Thibdeau holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music where he studied cello with Alan Harris and orchestral conducting with Neil Varon and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Carl Topilow.