The Western CT Youth Orchestra 20th Anniversary Season Finale is Sunday
**Press release submitted by the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra**
May 31, 2022
The Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra will perform its 20th Anniversary Season Finale Concert at Veronica Hagman Hall at the Visual & Performing Arts Center at Western Connecticut State University, (Westside Campus) in Danbury, CT on Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. The concert will feature the WCYO String Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra and will include a diverse repertoire of classical and contemporary concert music.
The String Orchestra, conducted by Joanna Giordano, will open the concert with a musical showcase of various moments in American music history with Blue Fire Fiddler by Soon Hee Newbold, two movements from Serenade for Strings by Norman Leyden, and conclude with the jazz standard It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills. Ms. Giordano will then pass the baton to Wind Ensemble conductor Albert Montecalvo as the Wind Ensemble joins the String Orchestra for a combined performance of Warrior Legacy, concluding a spirited opening of this event of concert of celebration and collaboration between ensembles “these musicians greatly appreciated”, according to Ms. Giordano.
The Wind Ensemble will then perform Encanto, “a musical aperitif” to what Mr. Montecalvo calls “the main entrance” – Warren Barker’s magnificent arrangement of three works by George Gershwin. The Symphonic Gershwin features themes from Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and Cuban Overture – straddling classical, modern, jazz, blues and popular styles.
Prior to intermission, WCYO will recognize its senior class and present its annual $1,000 college scholarship, awarded based on a music-themed essay contest judged by its board of directors.
During the last performance of the afternoon, the WCYO Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of musical director Eric Mahl, will present Symphony No. 5 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Composed in 1888 and considered one of the great orchestral masterpieces and the pinnacle of the Romantic era, Tchaikovsky employed the use of a recurring theme that recurs throughout the symphony. These “pillars of sound that we can cling to as listeners”, as Mr. Mahl described it, “guide us through this epic tale of overcoming – of the greatness of joy and the search for hope even in the darkest times.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary season, WCYO recognizes the many people, past and present, who have served the organization over its 20-year history. Co-founders Gina Wilson and Carrie Moore; its many dedicated boards of directors; its executive directors, Laurie Kenagy, Catherine Hazlehurst, Kim Bova and Ruth Feldman; and its musical directors and conductors, Jonathan Schiffman, Ankush Kumar Bahl, Petko Dimitrov, Eric Mahl, Suzanne Corey-Sahlin, Justin Elkins, Tristan Rais-Sherman, Joanna Giordano and Albert Montecalvo and the longstanding philanthropic support of the ‘Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation and the Gloria Gray Fund.
“We recognize every talented and dedicated young musician who has participated in a WCYO ensemble since the organization’s inception. They are the legacy of WCYO!” said WCYO executive director Ruth Feldman. “We will take this opportunity to celebrate our remarkable past, while looking forward to the exciting future of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra!”
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students/seniors and can be purchased at the event or online through the WCSU box office, linked here.
Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra is a non-profit youth orchestra program based in Ridgefield, CT and provides advanced musical performance opportunities for young musicians in more than 20 cities in the surrounding Connecticut and New York communities. To learn more about WCYO or to schedule an audition, please visit wctyo.org or call 203-894-8786.