Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in second season
By Emily Sorensen
Young, talented string players are finding an outlet for their skill thanks to Alyze Dreiling and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.
Now in its second season, the Philharmonic String Orchestra and Solo Ensemble, as Dreiling’s advanced string orchestra is officially called, has been making waves thanks to the talent and drive of its 14 members, ranging in ages from high school to 25.
The Youth Philharmonic Orchestra also has two other orchestras included under its banner, the Primary Strings (grades one to six) and Intermediate Symphony Orchestra (grades six to eight), both of which are currently on sabbatical.
The advanced branch of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra kicked off their second season in November with a concert in which they premiered an original piece written by young composer Thomas Mellan.
“We’re the only youth ensemble that has premiered an original piece by another youth,” said Dreiling. The concert was not only an honor for the orchestra, but Mellan as well, because, “finding people to perform their [youth composers] works can be difficult,” said Dreiling.
The Philharmonic String Orchestra and Solo Ensemble is gearing up for their next concert, to be performed 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23 at the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church, where the group also practices every week. The group plans to perform “Ancient Airs and Dances,” by Respighi and “Serenade for Strings,” by Dvorak, as well as two violin solos, performing a Bach concerto and a Paganini concerto, and two cello solos, performing Faure’s “Elegy” and Martinu’s “Variations on a Slavak Theme.” The remaining orchestra members will accompany the soloists during their performances.
The ensemble was recently invited to go to the International Lyric Academy in Rome, Italy, to play with professionals, as well as perform their own concert. Though the group hasn’t decided if they will go, Dreiling says just the fact that they were invited is an honor.
The group was nationally recognized last year, winning third place by DVD submission in The American Prize’s Orchestra Performance — youth orchestra division. Dreiling won second place in The American Prize’s Conducting — youth orchestra conducting division.
Dreiling attributes the Philharmonic String Orchestra and Solo Ensemble’s success to their hard work and the quality of the performers. Each performer is hand-selected by Dreiling, after performing a personally selected three-minute excerpt of a concerto or concert piece. Besides the prestige, the draw of the group to young musicians is the opportunity for solo performances during concerts.
“We offer solos to all players,” said Dreiling. “Each concert features three to four solos.”
Though the ensemble is small, Dreiling isn’t focused on increasing the number of performers.
“I’m not concerned about more musicians, just keeping the standard,” said Dreiling.
“These performers are very committed to music, and practice,” said Dreiling. “They want to practice. The YPO is a way for them to come together as an ensemble.”
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