Vermont Youth Chorus’ Winter Concert, entitled Madrigalia: the Music of the Word explores the role of text in vocal music. The program features Madrigals from 15th century Spain and Italy as well as modern popular music set in this distinctive style. The program also showcases Shakespearean lyrics from Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and Much Ado About Nothing in a contemporary choral triptych by Emma Lou Diemer. Experience the powerful liturgical Latin text from the Matins service set by Mozart’s teacher Giovanni Battista Martini. Finally, enjoy a collection of modern Hebrew “poetic postcards” written by Hila Plitmann to her husband Eric Whitacre who sets them delicately in his Five Hebrew Love Songs.
Who are the seniors in the VYOA’s Class of 2017?! Each week we will introduce you to a couple of our senior students who will play their last concert with us this Spring before heading off for future adventures!
Rainbow Chen, double bass
Winooski High School
Joined VYOA in 2013
VYO – 2 years
VYPhilharmonia – 1 year
VYSinfonia – 1 year
Mary Fitzgerald, oboe
Joined VYOA in 2012
VYO – 2 years
VYPhilharmonia – 1 year
VYSinfonia – 1 year
VYChamberWinds – 1 year
Daniel Wagner, percussion
Rice Memorial High School
Joined VYOA in 2011
VYO – 1 year
VYPhilharmonia – 2 years
VYSinfonia – 1 year
VYChamber Winds – 2 years
What do you love about playing your instrument?
Mary: I love that oboe is unique and difficult to play well. It’s a struggle a lot of the time but it’s worth it.
Daniel: I love how percussion is a special part of the orchestra, and has a very unique role from the other instruments. It is primarily focused on rhythm, but also consists of 15+ instruments, all of which you need to know how to play, which I think is just fascinating.
What is your favorite or most memorable piece that you performed with any VYOA ensemble?
Rainbow: Overture to West Side Story with the VYO last year. It was a package of fun, romance, and beauty in one piece, but most importantly, the bassists got to spin their basses in the mambo! (which went unnoticed to many members of the orchestra and those watching)
Mary: I loved playing in the New Year’s Eve concert. Playing the Danube Waltz and American in Paris was a lot of fun. Hearing them so much and finally being able to actually create them was really cool.
What is your favorite VYOA memory?
Rainbow: I have too many great VYOA memories, but one of my favorites would have to be in VYPhilharmonia when my section was trying to spin our basses without Dr. Kono noticing. We probably did this for a few minutes until Dr. Kono asked for everyone to begin at rehearsal 4 without spinning our instruments.
Mary: There’s a lot of memories but I think just making so many friends overall is my favorite. We have a lot of fun on breaks and at Reveille but are all still very passionate about music.
Daniel: My favorite memory from the VYO would have to be all the times I was able to hang out with my close group of friends which I made at the VYO. As a friend and proud member of the Orchdorks, I can say without a doubt that my close friends in the VYO made my experience an amazing one. They made every memory the best memory.
What do you look forward to in playing your final VYO concert?
Rainbow: I am most looking forward to performing with the VYOA family one last time. I hope it’ll be an incredible performance that’ll send off the graduating seniors with a boom. However, I’m not looking forward to saying goodbye…
Daniel: I look forward to the break right before the concert, as it will be the last break on Church Street I ever take. I always enjoyed just hanging out and helping each other to relieve the stress of the concert.
What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
Rainbow: I am the voting student representative on the Vermont State Board of Education, a member of the Winooski School Board, part of the Youth Leadership Institute planning team, and I’m a proud Orchdork. I am also involved in public speaking, the VYO String Squad, the Vermont All State Music Festival, and Upward Bound.
Mary: I run cross country, nordic ski, and play ultimate frisbee and also a National Honor Society member.
Daniel: I am the Captain of my High School’s Drumline, and was on the varsity Cross Country team, which won the state championships this past fall. I also participate in the Drama club (as their drummer) and Model UN.
If you could perform with any musician, who would it be & why?
Rainbow: I’d love to perform with Miles Davis or Giovanni Bottesini. I have a soft spot for jazz and performing jazz alongside Miles Davis would be amazing. As for Bottesini, it’s pretty self-explanatory since Bottesini was a double bass virtuoso and composed incredible works for the double bass.
Mary: Beyonce / Oboe duet
Daniel: Adele, because, come on, it’s Adele. She’s such a talented singer, and I just love her music so much, how could I not want to play a couple songs with her?
What are your plans after graduation?
Rainbow: I will be majoring in an education policy-related field in college and I plan on continuing my bass journey whether it be minoring in music and/or playing in ensembles.
Mary: Attending college majoring in graphic design.
Daniel: I plan to go to college, studying filmmaking.
Come back for next week’s Senior Spotlight!
This season’s OrchestraChorusPalooza was an inspiring showcase of the talent and dedication of VYOA musicians and conductors. Each ensemble performed at such a high level, and the programming was diverse and engaging. Click here to download and purchase the recording from OrchestraChorusPalooza on December 11, 2016. It’s truly an experience to treasure!
This month, our e-Newsletter tells about many great performances and opportunities for people of all ages. The Vermont Youth Orchestra’s Winter Concert, on Sunday, January 22nd at 3pm, features two amazing soloists. Tickets are available through flynntix.org. We’ve opened up registration for the Spring session of Presto, our ensemble for beginning string players. Tickets are now available for the Spring Rug Concert, an interactive performance experience for children ages 5 & under. Our Fall Rug Concert was sold out. Click here to reserve your tickets in advance – seating is limited! The VYO String Squad and Vermont Youth Chorus will perform in the longstanding State House tradition, Farmer’s Night on Wednesday, February 8th. Also in this issue, we announce our 2017 Online Auction. For more details on all of these exciting events, click here to read our January e-Newsletter.
This Sunday, January 15th at 3:45pm, Kevin Lawrence will give a masterclass for VYOA string players here at the Elley-Long Music Center. Mr. Lawrence is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he studied with Ivan Galamian and Margaret Pardee. He is on the violin faculty at University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts where he is also chair of the string department. Mr. Lawrence is the founder and Artistic Director of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival. We’re very excited for our students to have the opportunity to learn from this world-renowned educator and performer. This event is free & open to all VYOA students. Non-VYOA members interested in attending should email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space. Seating is limited!
Our November e-Newsletter is full of opportunities to hear the VYOA this holiday season. Enjoy an exploration of the role of text in vocal music at our Winter Choral Concert entitled Madrigalia: the Music of the Word. Catch a FREE concert while holiday shopping as Vermont Youth Strings performs at University Mall. Hear music ranging from Bach to The Beatles at our annual OrchestraChorusPalooza. Rally your 6th & 7th graders for a Holiday Sing Along with all the festive fixings. Get details about these exciting events in our November e-Newsletter! Click here for the full November e-Newsletter.
We would like to extend a big thank you to RETN, our media partner for filming and producing our Flynn Center performance of the Vermont Youth Orchestra from Sunday, September 25, 2016. The full performance is now available for free online streaming here. We hope you enjoy watching these talented young musicians and look forward to seeing you at our next performance! For a full calendar of events, click here.