Youth Symphony Orchestra brings music to students with summer program

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The summer performance series is led by members of the Youth Orchestra. In a series of nine performances as part of local summer apprenticeship programs, the small groups showcased their skills and answered questions about their skills as musicians.

“We participated in all the local summer learning programs and played for an hour for the children and each of them,” said Rebecca Ng, education and outreach manager for the Symphony Orchestra of Windsor. “It’s been really fun.”

The youth orchestra is made up of members aged between 13 and 18 (although there is also a junior orchestra for young musicians), with 35 members last year. The summer schedule included 27 members who alternated performances.

The students are super warm and friendly and they were so grateful

This year, Ng said the members of the youth orchestra were so excited to be back and playing together in person that they came up with the idea of ​​the summer program to continue playing together and asked sponsorships and grants to make it happen.

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Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program member Jason Le plays the harp during a performance at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022.
Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program member Jason Le plays the harp during a performance at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Being a youth-led summer program, the musicians chose and arranged their own music as needed. They also tried to choose pieces their audience would enjoy: During Friday’s performance, Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” was a big hit with kids familiar with the movie classic Shrek.

“They end with All You Need Is Love by the Beatles, which is super cute,” Ng said.

And the audience had plenty of questions for the performers about everything from the difficulty of learning their instruments to the harp being played by a member of the youth orchestra.

The program is sponsored by the University of Windsor Faculty of Education, Greater Essex County District School Board and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

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“The students are super warm and friendly and they were very grateful. They just say the sweetest, kindest things,” Ng said. “Watching has been truly phenomenal, seeing our children work so hard to showcase their skills and abilities to the younger ones.”

Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program member Avery Ng plays the violin during a performance at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022.
Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program member Avery Ng plays the violin during a performance at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Friday’s performance at West Gate Public School was the last in a series of nine school performances, in addition to community performances that included Art in the Park and Woofaro in Amherstburg.

Avery Ng and Kasey Scoboria are two of the youth orchestra members who led the program and said it was great to see the positive response from students and the community.

“We really aimed (for) parts that aren’t too complicated and we wanted to be accessible,” Avery said.

“I think we’ve chosen some of the most famous pieces of music, they’ve been pretty well received by schools and everyone’s enjoyed them so far.”

The program is part of an ongoing outreach and education in the community, in hopes of sharing the love of music with the next young generation of musicians.

“I would like young students to start taking an interest in the violin, or any other instrument that interests them,” Kasey said.

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Members of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program perform at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022.
Members of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program perform at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star
Members of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program perform at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022.
Members of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra Youth Program perform at West Gate Public School in Windsor on Friday July 22, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

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