One of San Antonio’s iconic cultural attributes gets a new leader, although to call him new might be a slight exaggeration.
“I’m really excited about it. I’ve been interim director for the past year,” said Brandon Henson, who has worked at Youth Orchestras of San Antonio for quite some time but is now their executive director.
“(We've) got a lot of exciting opportunities ahead with YOSA," he said.
Turns out Henson has an interesting backstory himself.
The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio have just two more performances before taking it on the road. YOSA actually comprises several youth orchestras, encouraging kids to find their own musical paths. Music Director Troy Peters gives us the lowdown on the next performance.
“This Sunday we’re going to be offering one of the big masters of the repertoire, Mahler’s First Symphony. But we’re doing it as a guided tour," he said.
Through the orchestra, Peters will do a stop-and-start performance, with explanations to present in-depth musical elements to the audience.
The halls of Geekdom are normally filled with techies workshopping the next killer app or the next innovation in cloud computing. But this weekend there was a different type of brain storm at the downtown offices.
Asia Ciaravino, president of the San Antonio Playhouse, stood in front of a computer project screen as she pitched their big idea to expert entrepreneurs. Ciaravino and five other arts groups just went through the three-day startup process where they learned to re-think their approach to business.
The upcoming Youth Orchestras of San Antonio concert on Monday night promises something big and unusual.
"We have collaborated with SAY Sí, this wonderful, after school, year-round arts program for high school students, to create new art inspired by [Modest Petrovich] Mussorgsky’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition,' " said YOSA Music Director Troy Peters.
SAY Sí does with arts largely what YOSA does with music, gives young people a creative outlet. Peters explained exactly what they're doing with SAY Si.
Many classical music organizations are participating in the city-wide Dvořák Festival, and the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio are doing so too. YOSA Music Director Troy Peters has the lowdown.
"We are working with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and also with musicians from the San Antonio Symphony" he explained. "So we’ll have a string orchestra of students and professionals playing together, playing the great Dvořák 'Serenade for Strings.' And then we’re also going to do a nice little set of choral music with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio."
Having your children in band or orchestra can be expensive proposition, but as it turns out, not always. Youth Orchestras of San Antonio has a decades-long history in the Alamo City, but YOSA Más is still new, having been officially established in January, 2013. The word más in the title has a double meaning. Besides "more" YOSA Más also stands for YOSA, Music After School.
The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio welcome guest musician Tracy Silverman for their next concert. Silverman’s violin has six strings -- two more than most -- and those added strings make a huge difference in his sound.
When he joins forces with YOSA on Tuesday, November 19, at the Lila Cockrell Theater, they are planning on throwing the audience some curves.
"It’s set up as sort of a flash mob, where the orchestra appears out of the audience itself," Silverman said.
The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio are receiving the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming today in St. Louis at the League of American Orchestras Conference.
The award rewards programs that challenge the audience, build the repertoire, and increase interest in contemporary music.
Troy Peters is the music director of YOSA and said new music is a vital element in their effort to give students and audiences exciting musical experiences. Next month YOSA leads their annual summer camp.