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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

From Orange County to China, energy and passion fuel Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra as the talented young musicians take off on their biggest season to date!

Orange County, Calif. — November 05, 2015

An exceptional season awaits the highly gifted Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO), led by new Assistant Conductor Roger Kalia—kicking off this fall and culminating in a once-in-a-lifetime 10-day international tour of China next summer. To launch this landmark season, PSYO offers an exciting palette of colors in three orchestral pillars: Sibelius’ lush “Finlandia,” Bizet’s energetic Suite No. 1 from “Carmen” and Mussorgsky’s grand “Pictures at an Exhibition,” on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. This season, all PSYO concerts are free to attend, thanks to the generosity of sponsors (PSYO’s fall concert is sponsored by Judith Posnikoff). To reserve a general admission ticket, call the Symphony’s box office at (714) 755-5799 or visit

“I have been extremely pleased by the sheer energy and passion that PSYO brings to each rehearsal,” says Maestro Kalia. “These young musicians have so much on their plates between school, extracurricular activities, sports, etc., and they arrive to rehearsal completely prepared and willing to learn. I can tell that each and every musician in PSYO wants to improve as a musician every week and I am extremely blessed to be able to lead such a group of dedicated musicians.”

For PSYO’s opening concert, Kalia chose pieces that not only highlight the different sections of the orchestra, but that also challenge the musicians in a unique way. The wind and percussion instruments shine in both Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” which requires a lushness of sound, and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” which is grand and majestic. Bizet’s “Carmen” Suite No. 1 prominently features the strings and is highly energetic rhythmically and requires a certain lightness of sound. The pieces also offer numerous solo passages that showcase individual musicians.

“These pieces on our opening concert address a variety of areas that will be important as we prepare for our tour of China, which I couldn’t be more thrilled to lead,” says Kalia. “Among these qualities are heart (first and foremost), technicality, character, power, grandeur, suppleness, delicate passages, listening, chamber moments and unity among sections. These are great works to provide all these opportunities and more. And, it is fun, not only to teach, but to conduct!”

Under the artistic direction and guidance of the Symphony’s renowned Music Director Carl St.Clair, PSYO is recognized as one of the most outstanding youth orchestras in the country. Founded in 1993, PSYO presents a three-concert series, generously sponsored by the Cheng Family Foundation. Members also participate in a side-by-side concert with Pacific Symphony, where students perform with their professional counterparts as part of the Symphony’s Family Musical Mornings. The final performance of each season features the winner of the annual concerto competition, for which auditions are exclusive to current members of the Youth Orchestra. Students also enjoy interaction with Maestro St.Clair, as well as with guest artists and the Symphony’s professional musicians. Students also engage in an annual weekend retreat and are offered free and discounted tickets to Symphony performances throughout the season.

PSYO is one of three youth ensembles (along with Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble and Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings) that fall under the umbrella of the Symphony’s education programs. More than 600 students auditioned for Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles this past spring, and of those, 250 outstanding musicians were admitted to one of the three ensembles. Together, they represent 75 school music programs in and beyond Orange County, bringing their enthusiasm for performing music with them every time they get together.