Centenary Youth Orchestra fall concert is November 17 in Anderson Auditorium
SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary Youth Orchestra (CYO) presents its opening concert for the 2019-2020 season Sunday, November 17, at 2:00 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music. The concert is free and open to the public.
“This is one of the most musically and technically challenging programs we have ever presented,” says CYO conductor Dan Santelices. “I indulged in programming works that I love playing in orchestra. Our students and the guest and Centenary community musicians who make up the 54-piece ensemble are sounding incredible."
The program begins with a lively sinfonia depicting the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from G.F. Handel's oratorio, Solomon. "Handel is most famous for his oratorio Messiah which includes the Hallelujah Chorus. This work is equally recognizable" says Santelices. "It shows off the virtuosity and Baroque energy of our flutes, oboes and string players."
CYO Principal Oboe, Hannah Hobson, is the featured soloist for the Benedetto Marcello Oboe Concerto in C-minor. Hobson is a junior at Caddo Magnet High School and plays for their Symphonic Band under Dr. Thomas Stone. She is a private student of Theresa Zale Bridges, Principal Oboe for the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and a Hurley School of Music faculty member.
"The concerto is a standard one for oboe players,” explains Santelices. “Hannah auditioned to join the CYO last fall. Because the quality of her playing then was so high, I felt compelled to have her be a soloist with the CYO, at some point. I am gratified that my instincts in her ability were correct, as Hannah was recently named Principal Oboe for 2019 Louisiana All-State Orchestra--which means she is considered to be Louisiana's best high school oboe player."
Pietro Mascagni's Intermezzo from his opera, Cavelleria Rusticana ("Rustic Chivalry") follows the Marcello. The opera was winner of a contest for unpublished one-act operas. Santelices describes the work as, "a short musical gemstone, par excellence. It expresses both love and unrequited love communicated through music."
Tchaikovsky's popular Nutcracker Suite No. 1 is next on the program. The suite is comprised of a number of dances within the ballet and is often performed during the Christmas holiday season, including here in Shreveport. Some of the selections to be performed include: The March of the Children, from the first act, and The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Trepak, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance, Dance of the Mirlitons (a type of reed instrument and also a cigar-shaped confection), and Waltz of the Flowers, from the second act.
The program concludes with the Finale movement from Jan Sibelius' Symphony No. 2. This work itself is described by Sibelius himself as a "confession of the soul."
"This movement is very reminiscent of another one of his works, Finlandia, in terms of nationalistic pride and verve," states Santelices. "There are certain pieces in a musician's life that you first perform and then affect you for the rest of your life. This is one of those pieces. It is technically challenging for every part in the orchestra - musically sophisticated and unabashedly romantic. I am proud to be able to expose our students to a work of this quality and proud of the effort, overall, they have put forth for our performance. I know that our audience be appreciative of it, as well."
The next performance by the CYO will be Sunday, March 8, 2020, and will feature winners of the 1st Annual Concerto Competition, the C.E. Byrd High School Choir, and movements from Rimsky-Korsakov's epic tone poem Scheherazade.