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Announcing the 2014 Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival

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Once again January is the month of the Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival. Over 500 young musicians from throughout the Bay Area will come together to perform on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) serving as the host institution. In 2014 the orchestras that will join the SFSYO will be the California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from Los Altos, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra and El Camino Youth Symphony, both from Palo Alto, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, and the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra from Berkeley.

As in the past, the proceeds from the concert will benefit six organizations, one within each orchestra’s local community. For next month’s concert the benefitting organizations will be:

  1. Covenant House California, a multi-service agency located in Oakland, dedicated to assisting homeless and at-risk youth in resolving their crisis situations, attaining stable housing environments, employment, and preventing adult homelessness.
  2. InnVision Shelter Network, one of the largest and most effective providers of shelter/housing services across the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Peninsula, operating more than thirty sites from San Jose to Daly City.
  3. Music in the Schools Foundation, dedicated to providing access to music for students in the Ravenswood City School District (RCSD) in the underserved and diverse communities of East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park. Music in the Schools Foundation works in partnership with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra to provide after school instrumental music classes that will prepare RCSD students for the opportunity to participate in high school orchestra, choral and band programs.
  4. Samaritan House, serving low-income families and individuals in San Mateo County, with services designed to meet the immediate and basic needs of clients for food, clothing, shelter, health care, worker resources, and counseling services.
  5. Students Rising Above, a scholarship program supporting outstanding Bay Area students who are “beating the odds.” Students selected in the program are typically the first in their families to go to college and lack the financial resources and family support to fulfill their educational dreams.
  6. BAYC, a program to prepare youth for a successful, healthy adult life using a youth development approach, with programs designed to support successful transitions to adulthood by helping young people identify and develop skills that will enable them to grow into effective citizens equipped to make meaningful contributions to the world.

The format of the concert will be the same as it has been in the past. Members from all six orchestras will join forces for the final work on the program, which will be two of the dances from the score that Manuel de Falla composed for the two-act ballet The Three Cornered Hat, the “Danza del molinero” (miller’s dance), which is a farruca, and the “Danza final” (conclusion), which is a jota. The entire ensemble will be conducted by Michael Morgan, Artistic Director of the Oakland Youth Orchestra. This will be preceded by each orchestra performing a single selection as follows:

  1. The California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, conducted by Byung-Woo Kim, will perform Gioachino Rossini’s overture to his William Tell opera.
  2. The Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra will be led by Benjamin Simon in a performance of Felix Weingartner’s transcription for string orchestra of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Opus 133 “Große Fuge.”
  3. Camilla Kolchinsky will conduct the El Camino Youth Symphony in a performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Opus 45 “Capriccio Italien.”
  4. John Kendall Bailey will lead the Oakland Youth Orchestra in a performance to the opening prelude for Richard Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
  5. The Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, conducted by their Music Director, David Ramadanoff, will perform Jennifer Higdon’s “blue cathedral.”
  6. Music Director Donato Cabrera will conduct the SFSYO in the four dance episodes from the score Aaron Copland composed for the ballet “Rodeo.”

The Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival will take place in Davies at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 19. Tickets are $70 for reserved seating and $25 for general admission, with half-price in the general section for those 17 and under. Tickets may be purchased from an event page on the San Francisco Symphony Web site, at the Davies Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street, or by calling 415-864-6000.

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