Standing Ovation: recognizing the VYOA’s steadfast supporters

Joan Martin became a VYOA donor in the late 1960s when her children became involved with the org then called Burlington Friends of Music or BFOM. Mrs. Martin was kind enough to share her experience as a parent, Board member, and longtime supporter:

 

Q. Why did you first get involved with the VYOA?

A. My eldest daughter Lori had just started the violin. Carolyn Long or Liz Wallman got me interested, and it was a very wonderful group of women. Lori continued to play the violin, my daughter Patti played clarinet, and Brenda played the French horn. Then, my grandson Wylie played oboe in VYO and went on the China tour in 2007.

 

Q. How has the organization changed over the years?

A. The used instrument sale was one of the BFOM’s big fundraisers, and I came up with the idea for it!  All the instruments had to be appraised by an instrument dealer.  St.Paul’s Cathedral donated space for the sale. It was a huge job, and the friends did a fabulous job with that for quite a few years.  Summer camp (Reveille) was also a very big occasion. While fun and a good musical experience for the kids, it was a huge job for the association and friends.

 

Q. What inspires you to support the VYOA?

A. The VYOA is one fantastic organization!  As it has grown it has flourished and so many young people have benefited from every aspect of it.  These young people have given hours and hours and I do not believe that they would ever say it was not worth every hour that they have spent. It has certainly been my great pleasure to be an active supporter of the VYOA.

 

Q. Why do you think music is an important part of a young person’s development & growth?

A. It provides discipline, commitment, friendships, the beauty of music and sometimes even a vocation. Music stays with you all of your life even when you no longer play in an orchestra.

Senior Spotlight 2019!

Samuel Handy, trombone
BFA St. Albans

VT Youth Orchestra – 1 year
VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you choose your instrument over all of the others?
The trombone was louder and shinier than anything else…what choice did I have?

What do you enjoy most about playing in an orchestra?
I love being able to come together to play great music with great people.

What has been your biggest musical breakthrough?
Getting my braces off removed a huge handicap for me when it came to playing trombone.

What advice would you give to younger music students as they strive to build their skills?
Don’t stop playing, because music will open up doors for you for the rest of your life!

What kinds of changes would you like to see in the orchestral world?
More trombones!

What other activities do you participate in?
I like to run, Nordic ski, and play piano in my free time.

If you know, what do you plan to study in college?
Russian language and studies.

Senior Spotlight 2019!

Dante Letzelter, viola
Northeast Kingdom Learning Services

VT Youth Orchestra – 3 years
VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you choose your instrument over all of the others?
I actually started many years ago on violin. But we had a viola in my home that no one was using. Not being one to neglect instruments, I decided to play that instead. I immediately fell in love with mid range of the viola.

What do you enjoy most about playing in an orchestra?
I love hearing all the parts come together to make one voice, and the best thing is when you hear a part you haven’t heard before. It can be hard to hear what everyone is playing, especially when you sit in front of the trumpets.

What has been your biggest musical breakthrough?
Learning how to learn music by hearing it.

What advice would you give to younger music students as they strive to build their skills?
Play along with recordings of what you’re playing helps a ton. If you’re having a lot of trouble with a certain part of a piece, take a break from practicing it and play something else. Come back to it in a day or two.

What kinds of changes would you like to see in the orchestral world?
I think school music programs can always use more! Especially out where I live, school music programs could use support. It would also be quite something to hear an orchestra perform a disco piece.

What is your favorite VYOA memory?
At the first Reveille [the season kick-off rehearsals for VYO and VYP] I attended, a brass band comprised of the VYO brass and percussion sections paraded out of the men’s bathroom and around Elley-Long.

Apart from orchestral music, what other kinds of music do you listen to? Do other genres influence what you hear in orchestral music?
I listen to all different kinds of music, anything from Klezmer to Hip-Hop, I’ll give it a listen. I am always hearing parts of pieces and songs in other pieces and songs.

What other activities do you participate in?
I sing in a small singing group nearby my home, and I play Trombone in two local brass bands. I also work in the woods tapping trees for sugaring season.

If you know, what do you plan to study in college?
Education, a trade, and music/art are the top contenders right now, but that could change.

 

Senior Spotlight 2019!

Madeline Daly, cello
Mount Mansfield Union

VT Youth Orchestra – 1 year
VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years
VT Youth Strings – 2 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maya Parry, horn
Mount Mansfield Union

VT Youth Orchestra – 2 years
VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you choose your instrument over all of the others?

Daly: I didn’t really consider playing any other instrument than the cello. It is just such a musically versatile instrument. From trad to pop to classical, you can always catch the cello holding down the bass line, or hoping out to steal the melody. I also enjoy how it can be played with literally any other instrument and it will sound good. It makes jam sessions very convenient.

Parry: I used to play trumpet but in 7th grade, my band teacher told me I looked like a horn player and gave me a horn to take home over the summer. I instantly fell in love with the sound and I felt like I had found my voice.

What do you enjoy most about playing in an orchestra?

Parry: I love the community, the music, and the blending of voices.

Daly: I love being in the music I’m playing. It’s one thing to sit at home and just hear yourself, but to sit in the middle of a bunch of notes, rhythms, harmonies, and instruments is magical.

What advice would you give to younger music students as they strive to build their skills?

Daly: Play with friends. Join interesting music groups. Do something other than play by yourself. You learn so much more by going out of your musical comfort zone, and you can meet some cool people. You will be surprised at how much your musicality improves.

Parry: Practice! But practice a variety of things. Yes, long tones and scales are important and will make you into a better player, but if you only practice tiresome things, you’ll loathe practicing. Get a book of pop songs! Have some fun! Return to pieces or excerpts you loved. Play to make yourself happy, not just to get better.

What is your favorite VYOA memory?

Parry: The talent show during Reveille [the season kick-off rehearsals for VYO and VYP]. Whether it was amazing singing, solo piano, cello duets, mad-libs, or kazooing the National Anthem, there was always something exciting and new.

If you know, what do you plan to study in college?

Daly: Digital Media and Film Production

Meet Sebastiaan West

SEBASTIAAN WEST is a senior at Mount Mansfield Union High School, who began studying piano at age 5 in the Netherlands. Currently a student of Paul Orgel, Mr. West has performed with Burlington Chamber Orchestra, Vermont All State Music Festival, Central Vermont Chamber Music Festival and is a member of the Vermont Youth Orchestra. Alongside his classical accomplishments, Sebastiaan leads a youth jazz combo, plays Irish button accordion with Young Tradition Vermont, and was the band leader for Fairfax Community Theater’s production of ‘Beehive: The 60s Musical.’

Sebastiaan is one of three concerto competition winners this season. Mr. West will perform the festive first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 this Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 3pm in the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more.

Welcome, Cleo Flemming!

CLEO FLEMMING received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Psychology from the University of Vermont where she studied with cellist Suzanne Polk. Throughout her undergraduate studies she was the cellist of the Redstone String Quartet and a member of the UVM Symphony Orchestra, where she performed in the annual UVM Concerto Competition in 2017. Cleo is a long standing participant of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and has attended Allegro Vivo, an international chamber music festival in Austria. As a freelance cellist, Cleo has worked for multiple musical theatre productions for FlynnSpace, Stowe Theatre Guild and UVM including FlynnSpace’s off-Broadway production of Fun Home, and the Flynn Summer Youth Theatre Program. She has worked closely with composer and director Randal Pierce on his original work for children’s theatre and has the privilege collaborating with many talented Burlington songwriters, including Honey and Soul, Francesca Blanchard, and Myra Flynn.

As a teacher, Cleo has instructed the after school cello program at Edmund’s School and held a private studio through the Burlington Music Dojo. Cleo organizes her lessons to emphasize the student’s personal musical growth through the style to which they feel most connected, all while deepening an understanding of music theory and practical technique. When she’s not teaching, you can find her at home with her wacky cat, Banana, or out and about making coffee for the vibrant folks of Burlington, Vermont!

 

We’re thrilled Ms. Flemming has joined our lesson program faculty and is accepting new students.

Welcome, Patricia Jancova!

PATRICIA JANCOVA received a Master of Music degree in violin performance from Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music where she studied with renowned violinist/violist and pedagogue, Laura Bossert. During her graduate studies, she played both violin and viola at Setnor as well as for chamber music festivals LyricaFest and Festival Baltimore. While completing her undergraduate degree at the Frost School of Music, Miss Jancova studied abroad at the prestigious Sydney Conservatorium, where she was a student of Alice Waten. Miss Jancova has played in numerous ensembles including the Binghamton Philharmonic, Miami Lyric Opera, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, Philadelphia Sinfonia, the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, the Lyrica-Boston Chamber Orchestra, and the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. Versed in a wide range of musical styles, she has also had the privilege of performing with artists including Mark O’Connor, Bobby McFerrin, George Benson, Chick Corea, Gloria Estefan, and Dawn Upshaw.

As an educator, Miss Jancova has worked with students from the onset of their musical training to the pre-professional level at the Florida Youth Orchestra, the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, the Syracuse Youth Orchestra, and as a Teaching Assistant for the music outreach program at the University of Miami. Her teaching style is a conglomerate influenced by several different pedagogues and schools including the O’Connor and Suzuki methods. Miss Jancova hopes to help VYOA musicians find their unique musical voice, to develop proper technique on their instruments, to hone personal skills such as responsibility and self-motivation, and to foster a general love of music and music-making in their lives.