Centenary Youth Orchestra presents second spring concert April 15

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary Youth Orchestra (CYO) will conclude its spring concert season with an evening titled “Pear Blossom Rain” after one of the primary works to be performed. The second of two CYO spring concerts will be presented on Monday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium located at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music. The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert was inspired by “Pear Blossom Rain” (Ihwau), a Korean art song written originally for soprano, voice, piano, and the dae-ajaeng, a large Korean multi-stringed instrument that is plucked, similar to a dulcimer that is laid across a table.

“The poetic usage of Ihwau is ‘a shower of pear blossoms, scattered by the wind’,” explained CYO director Dan Santelices. “The inspiration for the theme of the concert derives from the springtime setting for the concert and the wonderful visual imagery of the title of this piece.”

Centenary student Gene Angelo Nucal re-orchestrated the “Pear Blossom Rain” arrangement and conducted it in December 2023 with the CYO as part of his final assignment for Dr. James Eakin's Orchestration Class. After tweaking his initial work - assigning parts for chamber orchestra, adding a voice part and selecting a soloist, and creating a solo cello part - he approached Santelices about having the CYO perform the piece for its second spring concert. He also hand-selected fellow Centenary student Nina Guerrero to perform as the solo vocalist.

“Angelo was clearly inspired and excited about the piece,” said Santelices. “I always want to encourage our Hurley School of Music composition students and musicians to have their best pieces heard in concert so I agreed to program this new orchestration of ‘Pear Blossom Rain.’ The process of preparing parts and recordings for this situation is as valuable as their talent in producing their work.”

Other selections on the program include John Williams’ “Raiders March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark; Steven Verheist’s Concertino (2007) for Trombone & Strings featuring trombonist Todd Warren, an instructor at the Hurley School of Music; and Jacques Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld Overture, arranged by Louis G. Wersen.

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 concert will be livestreamed on the Centenary Youth Orchestra Facebook page at facebook.com/centenaryyouthorchestra.

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