Welcome to the 19th Season of Contemporary Youth Orchestra!


This is the first installment of our new weekly newsletter that we will use to stay in touch with everyone about all the cool things we are doing.

We are now 3 weeks into our season and the orchestra is quickly coming together as a unit. It's fascinating how quickly we become a family, especially with 40 new members this season. For these musicians, the process of becoming comfortable in a new environment could be daunting (especially when 80 returning musicians surround them), but the environment of CYO is supportive, inclusive and friendly - even with the challenges and seriousness of rehearsals.

For our first concert this season, we are preparing a program that awakens the senses to many different colors and styles.

Short Ride In A Fast Machine by John Adams is one of the 10 most performed fanfares played today. Composed in 1986 after a commission from Michael Tilson-Thomas, Adams says he was inspired to write the work after taking a ride in his brother-in-law's Lamborghini, and wishing that he hadn’t! It is a 5-minute work that relies on the constant pulse of the wood block, while the rest of the orchestra rides a gauntlet throughout.  

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Loco-Motion, by composer Stella Sung is just what the title suggests. When I was working at Interlochen Center for the Arts this summer, this work opened our final concert. The piece's energy was exciting and the composer made the orchestra sound like a train. At intermission, I googled Ms. Sung on my iPad and by the end of the concert, we had connected.  The piece was shipped to us the next day! The results of being inspired are phenomenal.

Our annual concerto opportunity auditions are happening on October 6, so we will know which CYO member will be featured very soon!

Each season, we collaborate with a Cleveland Orchestra member or other nationally recognized musician to perform a world premiere concerto.  To date, we have performed concerti with nine Cleveland Orchestra members and ten groups or soloists, including the Pacifica Quartet, Electrik Kompany and Project Trio.

This season, we are red-hot tango excited to welcome The Oblivion Project. They are a group of musicians who represent, in an authentic setting, the music of Astor Piazzolla.  We will perform 7 Tangos with this award-winning group and turn the stage into a smoldering Nuevo tango nightclub. Water is welcome in the auditorium.

Keeping things hot, we will end the concert with Firebird 1919 by Igor Stravinsky. Being the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring, I thought it appropriate to pay homage to this iconic composer by performing one of his major works, and since it is our 19th season, the 1919 drew me in. 

The concert is Saturday, December 7, 2013 on our home stage at Cleveland State University. Come check out this trend setting orchestra. I am inspired to be a better conductor and teacher with every rehearsal, conversation and moment of triumph with these musicians. 

From the podium of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, the future is evolving!