Centenary Youth Orchestra fall concert is November 27 at the Hurley School of Music

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary Youth Orchestra (CYO) will present its fall concert on Monday, November 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium located at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music. The featured soloists of the concert will be Dr. Gay Grosz, professor of piano, performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A-Major K. 455 and soprano Audrey Randolph, a Centenary College senior and the winner of the inaugural Hurley Vocal Competition held last spring. The concert is free and open to the public.

"I have been waiting for the opportunity to have Dr. Grosz play with the CYO," said CYO conductor Dan Santelices. "She is a Shreveport icon and I am awe of her musicianship. She has been one of the accompanists for the Nena Plant Wideman Piano Competition for many years and I, personally, have been privileged to have collaborated with her through countless chamber music performances. She has also chosen to perform one of my very favorite piano concertos."

Audrey "Ree" Randolph, a Baton Rouge native, will sing two arias with the CYO. The first is the moving and descriptive "When I Am Laid In Earth,” also known as “Dido's Lament” from Henry Purcell's opera Dido And Aeneas. The song communicates Queen Dido's despair after falling in love with the Trojan Warrior, Aeneas, and his departure prior to her committing suicide. The second is "Ombra Mai Fu" (Italian for “Never was a shade"), more popularly known as “Largo” from George Fredric Handel's opera Xerxes.

Randolph was one of a half dozen Hurley School of Music students who competed in March 2023 to win the opportunity to solo with the CYO this fall. Spring 2023 graduate and tenor Carson Alvarez and soprano Nina Guererro, placed second and third, respectively.

"I really wanted to offer the opportunity to showcase the amazing quality of the vocalists at the Hurley School,” said Santelices. “The judging panel and I were impressed by the level of preparedness and excellence exhibited by those participants."

Monarch Butterfly, a piece premiered during the celebration of the Corrington Award for Literary Excellence last month and composed by Hurley School of Music student Dominick Benedetto, will receive a repeat hearing. Inspired by the poetry of this years' Corrington recipient, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Benedetto sought to create a musical picture of the insect in flight, represented by the bells.

The concert will include two other numbers utilizing full orchestra. The first is a short medley of three iconic western movie themes, called "Go West!" Music from The Magnificent Seven, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and Hang 'Em High are included. The concert will conclude with Jean Sibelius' nationalistic tone poem, Finlandia. Written in 1899, it is widely regarded as his most famous piece. It is a tribute to the struggle, liberty and pride of his homeland.

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. For more information, visit centenary.edu/hurley.

The November 27 concert will be streamed live on the CYO Facebook page at centenary.edu/cyo.

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