Hendersonville – The Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, which is supported by the Hendersonville Symphony, gave a live, in-person concert at East Henderson High School.
“Having not been able to meet for a year due to COVID, the students from all over the county were delighted to finally be able to get together to perform for a live audience,” said Elizabeth Terry, artistic and musical director of the HSYO.
Most years the youth orchestra hosted both a fall and spring concert.
The Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra provides small symphonic orchestra coaching and performance opportunities for accomplished students at the high school level up until the age of 21. Students are accepted by audition only. This October concert was a strings-only concert with violin, viola, bass and cello players. They performed a lovely lyrical piece, The Themes from the Moldau by Smetana.
“This year there are approximately 25 in the orchestra, from ages 12 to 20 from all four Hendersonville High Schools, home schoolers, one student from Rutherford and even one from Asheville,” said Terry. “We have rehearsed once a week for 5 weeks. Our next concert, also a strings only concert, will be in December.”
In addition, twice a year, the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra awards scholarships which enable students to take private music lessons, rent instruments, or attend summer music camps. To be eligible to receive an HSO scholarship, students must play an orchestral instrument, be a rising 7th through 12th grader and participate in at least one of the following: Henderson County Schools Band or Orchestra Music Program or Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra (HSYO).
Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra Season Begins
The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2021-2022 season. A typical concert employs 60-70 musicians, many of whom reside in the area and some perform with other orchestras and ensembles. Happily, after a 20 month layoff, the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra announced a holiday performance on December 11. This is the first of a four-concert series with tickets now on sale for $160 for all four concerts or priced individually. These concerts are held in the evenings at 7:30 pm at the Concert Hall on the Blue Ridge Community campus.
This year the program of holiday favorites is titled Appalachian Christmas. It is conducted by interim Music Director, Eric Scheider. Some toe-tapping music will be added to the usual caroling and merriment of the annual Hendersonville Symphony tradition.
Featured are two special local guests: Nashville-based, WNC-raised, 2017 RockGrass competition-winning fiddler Julian Pinelli and Grammy-winning, Steep Canyon Rangers front man Graham Sharp on banjo.
“Our excitement is greater than ever, with this very special season presenting our final three Music Director candidates,” said Paul Conroy, HSO executive director. “After an extensive search and interview process, we will now have audience members and musician feedback to help us choose who will lead our orchestra into the future.”
On March 19, From Russia With Love, begins the Music Director audition concerts with candidate Yuriy Bekker. He has led the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster since 2007 and was its Principal Pops Conductor in 2016. Virtuoso trumpet soloist Francis LaPorte will be featured in Arutunian’s flashy “Trumpet Concerto.” Other beautiful iconic Russian masterpieces by Tchaikovsky and Borodin will be played.
The next candidate, Timothy Verville, will lead the HSO on the evening of May 7th. In his fourth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Verville has energized audiences while increasing and diversifying concert offerings. His program Insurmountable Odds will include Daugherty’s “Red Cape Tango” and the dazzling “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov. Canadian pianist Carter Johnson joins the orchestra performing Ravel’s “Concerto for the Left Hand.”
On May 21 John Concklin conducts the final candidate program of the year. He is a freelance conductor and held positions including the Associate Conductor of the Georgia Symphony, Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Music Director of the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. His program, New Beginnings, offers familiar and comforting works. The evening will begin with Mozart’s beautiful, “Overture to the Magic Flute.” Talented guest cellist Miriam Smith is featured on Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E minor.” Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 9 in e Minor from the New World” will close the evening.
The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1971, fifty years ago, and since enriched the Hendersonville and Henderson County communities with live symphonic performances and music education opportunities for youth and adults. The HSO evolved over the years from a largely volunteer-based community orchestra into an all-professional ensemble featuring some of the finest orchestral talent in the region. Each year, in addition to the Symphony Orchestra concerts at Blue Ridge Community College, they also perform free orchestral concerts for every third and sixth grader in Hendersonville. These programs, in many cases, are the first and only live professional concerts of classical music that many of these children experience.
For more information on how to support this organization or to purchase season or individual tickets, visit hendersonvillesyphony.org, or call the HSO office at 828-697-5884.