Central Valley - Last Sunday, January 10, Orange County Youth Symphony performed the orchestra's inaugural concert to thunderous applause. The orchestra performed Overture for Winds by Mendelssohn and Symphony No. 1 in C major by Beethoven.
The Orange County Symphony Orchestra, located in Monroe, was created to meet the growing needs of young, talented instrumental music students throughout the area. It provides them with a year-long experience playing major works of symphony orchestra literature. In Orange County, there had been no existing full orchestra programs in any school or community until now. Students have had to travel to places like New York City or New Paltz to enjoy the experience of playing full orchestra music.
The Orange County Youth Symphony officially started last August when Huadong Lu, founder of the OCYS, ran a two-week full orchestra summer camp. About 40 students joined the camp and worked for seven hours every day with professional coaches.
The camp culminated with a concert in which the students performed Schubert's Symphony 1 in B Flat major to wide acclaim.
In its first season, OCYS has already received strong support from music teachers, parents, students and the community.
There are now 50 members in the orchestra and currently there are several openings for young musicians in some sections.
Huadong Lu and Richard Regan are the co-directors and conductors of the orchestra. OCYS students perform two concerts a year. They must commit to attending ten rehearsals which are held on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 p.m.
Rehearsals and concerts are presented in the Monroe-Woodbury High School Concert Hall.
OCYS gives its members the opportunity not only to learn to play orchestral music by master composers from Mozart to Elgar, but also to make new friends who come from private and public schools all over the county.
To expand its members' multicultural horizon, OCYS is going to perform concerts in Beijing from March 26 to April 2, 2010.
In Beijing, OCYS will join a local Chinese youth orchestra to perform music by Dvorak, Elgar and Berlioz.
On the Web
Orange County Youth Symphony is a non-profit and tax-exempt organization. Contact co-director and conductor Huadong Lu through the OCYS Web site (www.ocyso.org).
A video recording of the concert is available for viewing on the OCYS Web site and may also be viewed on YouTube.