Centenary Youth Orchestra concludes season with “To Infinity and Beyond” concert April 11
SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary Youth Orchestra (CYO) will present the final concert of its 2022-2023 season on Tuesday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music. The concert features two CYO Concerto Competition winners, Cal Alexander and Corey Bowe, and is free and open to the public.
Alexander, a graduating senior at Caddo Magnet High School and the concertmaster of CYO for the last four years will perform the Finale, a Gypsy-inspired movement from Henryk Wieniawski's Second Violin Concerto. He is a student of Catherine Cho of the Juilliard School and Laura Crawford of the Centenary Suzuki School, as well as Jan Sloman and legendary violinist Itzakh Perlman.
“I am so proud of Cal and all he's accomplished,” said Dan Santelices, director of the CYO. “He has represented the Centenary Suzuki School and Shreveport-Bossier as a top prize winner of major violin competitions such as the Tibor Junior International, Cooper International and National Young Artists Competition. This is one of the last opportunities to hear his current level of artistry, live, before he heads off to college."
Centenary senior Bowe will perform the first movement from the highly-innovative Piano Concerto No. 1 by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. Bowe is a two-time winner of the CYO Concerto Competition, previously winning in the fall of 2019 performing Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 2.
“Corey has been a stalwart, inspiring leader for the CYO and the College,” said Santelices. “The concerto that Corey will perform incorporates many avant-garde techniques, including the composer’s instruction to slam his arm on the piano to create a three-octave cluster chord. The shocking sound and theater of this will certainly elicit a reaction from the audience. But Corey's artistry rises above all."
The concert theme was light-heartedly inspired by the soloists’ technical excellence and the inclusion of "Mars -The Bringer of War" from Gustav Holst's epic large symphonic work, The Planets.
“It is the pinnacle in many ways for CYO to be able to perform this standard,” explained Santelices. “Holst wrote movements of this orchestral suite which were inspired by the astrological character of each of the Solar System's seven planets that were recognized in 1914. The scope of these movements was influential to great soundtrack composers, like John Williams, in conveying space travel in his score for Star Wars."
The concert will also include the CYO performing the brooding music to Batman - The Dark Knight Rises by Hans Zimmer and the whimsical and descriptive music of Leroy Anderson's The Typewriter.
"I thought it would be a hoot to invite 2022 Centenary alumna Madelyn Stewart to join us as the typewriter soloist,” said Santelices. “Madelyn is already an exceptional vocal soloist and I am grateful that she accepted the challenge to step outside her comfort zone to be musical on the predecessor to the modern keyboard: an antiquated hand-operated character printer for printing written messages one character at a time.”
The CYO provides college-level playing experiences for advanced instrumentalists ages 13 and above. CYO members perform repertoire for strings, woodwinds, and brass in both chamber and large-scale orchestral settings. The CYO founded its Concerto Competition in 2019 to further encourage CYO members in their pursuit of excellence in the field of music.
For more information about the CYO, visit centenary.edu/cyo.