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Jean Oelrich
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Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles kick off 2015-16 season: Wind Ensemble blows everyone away with “Europa,” while Santiago Strings celebrates 25 years with “Fantasize This!”

Orange County, Calif. — November 15, 2015

PSYWEThe young and highly talented Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings (PSSS) and Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (PSYWE) are preparing to launch their first concerts of the 2015-16 season. First, the talented brass, woodwind and percussion musicians of PSYWE breeze onto the stage to perform a selection of European classics from the wind ensemble canon on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 1 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The program, “Europa,” features Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Procession of the Nobles,” Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy” and Walton’s “Crown Imperial.” Then, PSSS celebrates its 25th anniversary and pays tribute to its founder, Lonie Bosserman, whose dream it was to create a middle-school string ensemble, by performing dream-like music for “Fantasize This!,” taking place Sunday, Nov. 22, at 4 p.m., at Friends Church in Yorba Linda.

Well regarded as one of the few premier youth wind symphonies in the nation, PSYWE is led by renowned band educator Gregory X. Whitmore. All PSYE concerts this season are free to attend, thanks to the generosity of sponsors. PSYWE’s “Europa” performance has been graciously sponsored by Dolores Grunigen and Dorothy Lazier. To reserve a general admission ticket, call the Symphony’s box office at (714) 755-5799 or visit www.Pacific Symphony.org.

“This season marks PSYWE’s ninth season as an ensemble and it’s off to a great start,” says PSYWE Music Director Whitmore. “The ensemble is eager, energetic, talented and dedicated to making great music. Rehearsals this fall have been a blast.”

Bursting to life with a rousing fanfare, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Procession of the Nobles” opens the concert with a boisterous and joyful display of royalty entering a village trade festival.

The piece opened Act II of the opera-ballet “Mlada,” which was heavily influenced by Wagner and Russian folk music. Traveling to England, the ensemble performs the grazioso movement from Malcolm Arnold’s “English Dances—Set Two” before embracing the folksongs of Percy Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posey.” The concert concludes with William Walton’s “Crown Imperial,” which was written as a coronation march for King Edward VIII, and more recently performed at Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding in 2011.

“I am very excited to be playing Percy Grainger’s ‘Lincolnshire Posy’ as the centerpiece of the concert,” says Whitmore. “‘Lincolnshire Posy’ is perhaps one of the greatest pieces of literature for winds, and I’m excited for the wind ensemble members to have the opportunity to perform this all-important work.”

PSSSLed by Irene Kroesen, the 6th-9th grade musicians of Santiago Strings open their 25th anniversary season with a concert that’s evocative of fantasy and dreams. The program begins with the Overture to Mozart’s comic opera, “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” which gives listeners a window to faraway lands of Turkish princes, a kidnapping and a daring rescue. A composition by Edvard Grieg accompanies the fairy-tale of “Peer Gynt.” A lyrical impressionist work by Brian Balmages titled “Dreams” precedes Mike Forbes’ “Dance of the Trolls,’ which features a dark and mysterious waltz. And to conclude, PSSS performs Jeffrey Bishop’s “Assemble the Minions” alongside Prelude for Strings.

Both PSSS concerts this season are free to attend thanks to the generosity of sponsors. The concert “Fantasize This!” is being sponsored by Frances Fukuda, The Thagard Foundation and The Carlson-Solmssen Foundation. No tickets are required to attend. For more information about the concert, call the Symphony’s box office at (714) 755-5799 or visit www.Pacific Symphony.org.

This concert prepares PSSS for an exciting trip (considered a coup) to the American String Teachers Association National Orchestra Festival (ASTA) in Tampa, Fla., in March 2016, when the group—by special invitation—performs for three nationally renowned strings educators followed by a 45-minute clinic with one of the ASTA clinicians.

“This is a marvelous opportunity for our members to learn from these top-notch string specialists as they make suggestions to improve their performance skills and also for me to grow in my teaching techniques. I am ecstatic that Santiago Strings has met a benchmark of excellence by being selected to participate in this highly regarded music conference as well as an experience our musicians will remember and cherish forever.”

 

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