On February 21st, I had the pleasure of attending the Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra under the baton of Conductor Dale Johnson. These exceptionally talented young musicians performed a very exciting concert.
Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra is one of six orchestras presented by the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association — making it one of the top youth orchestra associations in the country. Because of their size, and more importantly, their dedication to excellence, TYSA provides young musicians the opportunity to play as part of a large orchestra starting at a young age. The Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra is the penultimate orchestra in TYSA, with musicians ranging in age from late middle school to early high school.
The program I attended featured late 19th and early 20th century composers evoking a “Celebration of the New World.” The highlights of the evening were two pieces for solo violin and orchestra. The first, Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), Op. 20 by Pablo de Sarasate, featured an electrifying solo performance by high school junior Anna Harris. In the second, soloist Claire Turner, also a junior in high school, skillfully played a delightful finale to Max Bruch’s Concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26. These gifted soloists were backed by approximately 75 of their peers with a full orchestra. The music was breathtaking.
During intermission a patron remarked to me, “You can’t listen to this music and not have hope for the future.”
Tacoma is very fortunate to have the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association – an organization that inspires excellence and provides unique, high caliber opportunities for young musicians in our community. TYSA truly is a community treasure.
What: “Rhapsody in Blue” by Tacoma Youth Symphony (TYSA’s most senior level orchestra)
Where: Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th Street
When: Sunday, March 1, 3:00 pm
Cost: Main floor tickets are $8.00 before the concert and $10.00 at the door. There are 100 free student festival tickets available at the door. Balcony tickets are $16 – $19.
More information: www.tysamusic.org, (253) 627-2792
The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association through the Arts Anchor Fund.
This review was written by Tacoma Arts Commission member Scott Campbell. Scott is the Managing Director of Tacoma Youth Theatre. He is the winner of two Emmy Awards and has worked as a writer; television producer; media consultant; communications director, and theater director, actor, and designer. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2014.