Monday, March 14, 2011

Them young'uns can hang...


a highlight for me each symphony season is the concert featuring the amarillo youth symphony and the winner of the young performers competition.  this past saturday marked the 2010-11 edition of the youth symphony concert.  presented this year was Faust's: Ballet Music.  beginning with Les Nubiennes, progressing through Adagio, Danse antique, Variations de Cleopatre, Le Troyens and Variations du miroir, i sat thinking "this is all pleasant enough but Maestro Kimbo must have picked pieces any good high school orchestra could handle" and "boy the professionals must be bored to tears playing this stuff." 

au contraire, mon cher.  at last the coda, Danse de Phyrne. I'm here to tell you, them kids can hang-- the pace built toward frenetic throughout, the young players matched the pros stroke for stroke, note for note.  it was enough to leave an old fool breathless and in tears.  in a word "wow." credit goes to the youth symphony conductors in preparing these young players for this most excellent performance.

up next was the winner of the young performers competition; J.T. Hassell, 14, a student at St. Andrew's (and a student of Jim Rausher ??) on piano, playing the 1st movement of Camille St. Saeen's Piano Concerto #2.

Take heart good people. A rare gem has been mined from the dust of the panhandle plains.  In a word "amazing"  and even more so in light of this age of video games and limited ambition. That J.T. has the grit, determination and dedication to hone his skill speaks to his character and hints at what might be in his future should he stay the course.

the extended "standing os" and shouted "bravos" were much deserved.

in all, it was an exciting evening capped by an always satisfying ASO performance, Brahms' Symphony # 4 in E minor, Opus 98.

again, these young musicians can hang.  the future of  classical music 'round these parts is in good hands.  already, i'm awaiting the 2012 concert with bated breath.  i hope to see you all there next year. aio

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