Musical youth

Symphony's younger musicians will perform as part of celebration.

May 14, 2010|By Candice Baker

The weather's heating up, the days are ticking until the end of the school year, and the kids are getting restless.

Fear not, the Imagination Celebration is in full swing.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the full-county, multiweek collaboration among municipalities, educational institutions, libraries and professional arts organizations, geared at exposing youth to the performing, literary and visual arts.

This year's theme is "Imagination Opens the Door," and the 2010 celebration is dedicated to arts advocate Marilyn Nielsen of the California Arts Council, a former teacher and Imagination Celebration chairwoman.


A fitting finale

One of the most anticipated events this year is a triple-bill shared by the Pacific Symphony's three Youth Ensembles. The program has developed a name as one of the top educators of young musicians in the Southland, and works with musicians ages 11 to 21.

The Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensembles will perform "Thundering Winds" at 2 p.m. Saturday. The repertoire features Gabrieli's "Canzona No. 1"; Lauridsen's choral masterwork, "O Magnum Mysterium," arranged for band; Giroux's "La Mezquita de Cordoba"; Hansen's "Chorale and Alleluia"; and former Pacific Symphony composer-in-residence Frank Ticheli's "Shenandoah."

"My first months with the Youth Wind Ensemble have been filled with an exciting whirlwind of growth and activity," ensemble music director Joshua Roach said. "By the time we perform on May 15, this group of musicians will have already performed challenging music at an extremely high artistic level. They are elegantly playing music that some colleges wouldn't dare and most high schools wouldn't dream of doing."

The Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings will perform "Celebration in Sound" at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, followed by the season finale also featuring the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra at 4 p.m.

The program includes a musical journey of sorts through the history of the United States, led by crowd-pleaser Maxim Eshkenazy, the symphony's assistant conductor.

The 2:30 p.m. performance includes Sarch's "Colonial Williamsburg Odyssey," which evokes everything from a burgess' ball to slave songs to Bernstein's "America" and "One Hand, One Heart" from "West Side Story" before concluding with Copland's Western "Hoe-down" from "Rodeo."

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