Beethoven once said that, “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”
And, as I sit at my desk with his Egmont Overture playing on my iTunes, deep into the online data files of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, researching the historical meaning of the songs selected by OPYO Music Director, Mr. Jesse Collett, I am reminded just how intelligent the universe is and how great the power of music as a uniting force.
Many of the composers you will hear in the OPYO Homeland for the Holidays concert were inspired to write their pieces during times of great political unrest in their countries. Simple freedoms were oppressed, and the “Common Man” depicted by Aaron Copeland was obliged to perform his daily activities not just on the traditional battlefield, but in his “homeland”. There is a fine line between nationalism expressed as music that unites, and stirring patriotism that lies deep in a very personal way and can strike a divisive passionate nerve.
I always tell my children, that freedom isn’t free, and you can hear that in the historically significant work Finlandia by Jean Sibelius . There is a great depth and seriousness in this piece, balanced with a power that is held in check with strong brass and wind notes surrounded by the sublety of serenading strings that sooth; nothing less that an all out war on oppression and the listener’s senses, followed by a victory celebration.
By the time the orchestra plays the Pizzicato Polka by Strauss, I’ve no doubt that we in the audience will feel much like the plucked strings of the violins, violas, celli, and basses all different but resonating in unison……together, free, and grateful to be home for the holidays!
And what a summer it is! I have traveled to and through 8 states in this great county so far and have had many fun adventures along the way! My summer reading list of 20 books is dwindling like the sun setting in the Northwestern horizon as I begin to think about fall.
I have had several requests for information regarding the 2016 Fall Season. While we are still working out some of the details, I would like to share the information that I have thus far for planning purposes.
I am happy to announce that Mr. Jesse Collett our former Presto Conductor has signed on for next season as our Music Director/YSO Conductor. OPYO has a long tradition of celebrating many different teaching types and talents, and I am excited for our musicians to have the opportunity to learn from Mr. Collett in this heightened capacity.
I am also excited to welcome back Mrs. Jenny Castillo to the Andante Ensemble as conductor. Her fun teaching style and enthusiasm for sharing her gift of music really resonates with our youngest musicians and I can't wait to see what she has planned for them this year!
The OPYO Board is wrapping up their search for the perfect Presto Conductor, and as soon as I know something I will let you know!
The audition dates for this season have tentatively been set for Monday, August 8th and 15th from 5-8 pm at Casa Castillo in Bentonville. If you would like to audition for a more advanced ensemble please fill out the online form at http://www.opyo.org/auditions.html, and I will get back with you to confirm your audition time.
If you would like to retain a seat in the orchestra you were in last season go to http://www.opyo.org/auditions.html to register for this fall season.
The first practice will be on Monday, August 22nd hopefully at the same/time place as last season, Arkansas Arts Academy Elementary/Middle School Campus. The Winter Concert will take place then sometime during the week of November 20th.
We are hoping that an earlier season will give families more time to spend together over the holidays, less event stress during the Thanksgiving/Christmas break, allow more people to attend the concert, and offer the community a top notch event to kick off the holiday.
I hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer and I look forward to seeing you in the fall! I will keep you posted on new information as I get it, and thanks to all of you who have written and kept in touch over the break! I will be getting back to everyone soon with audition times and confirmation of registration.
With Warm Regards,
I can’t believe it’s almost time to enjoy the amazing talent of our young musicians again with another spectacular performance! We have been busy practicing and planning for the Spring Concert coming up on May 1st, 2016 at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville, AR, and can’t wait to share the experience with you!
Here is a rundown of important dates and information as the season comes to a close;
SUNDAY, APRIL 24TH 12:00-12:30 pm CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
MARK YOUR CALENDARS OPYO FAMILIES! YSO has been invited to perform in the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges on April 24th, 2016 at Noon in honor of El Dia de Los Ninos. The event is a celebration of cultures and creativity of children throughout our community and will feature entertainment for and by NWA youth in music, dance, art making, and more. Under the Direction of Maestro David Barg, YSO will perform several works including Conga Del Fuego by Marquez Arturo, Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17 - "Little Russian," and Rodeo - IV. Hoedown by Aaron Copeland. This will be a teaser for the upcoming May 1st concert and is free to the public so come on out and support your fellow OPYO musicians!
YSO musicians who are performing in the concert need to meet in the Great Hall at 11:30 am. If you are a YSO student who needs to sign up go to http://www.opyo.org/crystal-bridges-performance.html . How great is that going to look on their college applications and resumes? They get to say they performed in the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges!
MONDAY, APRIL 25TH DRESS REHEARSAL FOR SIDE BY SIDE WITH ALL ORCHESTRAS AT ARKANSAS ARTS ACADEMY
All three orchestras will play “ America the Beautiful” on stage together as a side by side for the grand finale at the Around the World With OPYO Spring Concert, and will have a special rehearsal for that piece on April 24th before their normally scheduled practice at the Arkansas Arts Academy. Please drop your children off at the Gym for this practice.
Andante arrives at 5:30 pm.
Presto arrives at 5:45 pm
YSO should arrive at 5:45 pm at the latest.
Attached Music below
I am attaching the music for your convenience and ask that students practice their part over the weekend. We will only have two opportunities to practice as a group, and want to be sure to make it count!
SUNDAY, MAY 1ST, DRESS REHEARSAL FOR THE SPRING CONCERT AT THE AREND ARTS CENTER
The dress rehearsal for the spring concert will take place right before the concert and the schedule is as follows;
Andante arrives at the Arend Arts Center at 12:45 pm and is on stage at 1:00 pm.
Presto arrives at the Arend Arts Center at 1:15 pm and is on stage at 1:30 pm.
YSO arrives at the Arend Arts Center at 1:45 pm and is on stage at 2:00 pm.
All Orchestras need to be on stage at 2:30 pm to rehearse the side by side America the Beautiful.
The concert will begin at 3:15 pm.
SUNDAY, MAY 1ST, “AROUND THE WORLD WITH OPYO” SPRING CONCERT AT THE AREND ARTS CENTER FROM 3-5 pm
The Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestras will give a concert this spring celebrating classical music from around the world. The concert will take place on May 1st, 2016 at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville Arkansas from 3-5 pm. Invite your family and friends to travel with the Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestras as they play their way around the World through various works and noted composers!
The Andante Ensemble and Jenny Castillo will start the trip off followed by Jesse Collett and Presto with a performance of Blue Ridge Run by Alan Lee Silva among many other favorites. The Youth Symphonic Orchestra, under the direction of David Barg, will make stops in Eastern Europe in old Ukraine with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, affectionately dubbed the “Little Russian” by Tchaikovsky’s fellow Russian composers, and Latin America with their fiery performance of Conga del Fuego Nuevo by Arturo Marquez featuring YSO’s fabulous horn, wind, and percussion section with the violins, viola, cellos, and basses nearly burning their bows to their strings. As the trumpets usher the audience off into the South American sunset, and home to the good old USA, the Youth Symphonic Orchestra will close their performance with Aaron Copeland’s Rodeo: IV Hoedown. Then for the Grand Finale; The strings will really stand out when Andante, Presto, and YSO Orchestras unite onstage to play “America the Beautiful”. In addition, our Concerto Competition winner, violinist Maran Scott, will play Concerto No.2 in G major by Joseph Haydn.
Parents, to reserve a seats for family and friends go to http://www.opyo.org/around-the-world-with-opyo.html.
MONDAY, MAY 2ND, END OF THE SEASON OPYO PARTY HOSTED BY PARENTS GUILD AT FAST LANES
Still in the planning phase, but should be tons of fun and a great opportunity to get all three orchestras together for one last hoorah!
WE NEED PARENT VOLUNTEERS FOR THE DRESS REHEARSAL AND CONCERT
We are need of some parent volunteers for the upcoming “Around the World With OPYO” Concert and Dress Rehearsal. Please go to http://www.opyo.org/concert-volunteer-sign-up.html if you can help out!
FREE TICKETS AVAILABLE TO ARKANSAS PHILHARMONIC CONCERT THIS SATURDAY
The Arkansas Philharmonic would like to invite OPYO members and their families to attend the “American Innovations” concert this Saturday, April 16th at 7:30pm in the Arend Arts Center. To get the tickets just let me know the total number of adult and student tickets being requested by going to http://www.opyo.org/free-tickets.html and I will leave them at Will Call under OPYO. There will be a conductor chat at 6:40pm. Doors open at 6:00pm.”
If you haven’t paid your Spring tuition yet, it is past due! Please email me at email@example.com so we can make arrangements.
I know this is a ton of information to take in, and thank you for your support! Best Wishes,
The Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestra kicked off its 2016 Spring Season on Monday, January 12th at the Arkansas Arts Academy. Orchestras were at capacity with new and returning music students. The group had auditioned 18 students the day before and was happy to fill open positions with talented musicians from all over Northwest Arkansas and Missouri. Andante was buzzing with excitement as Mrs. Castillo handed out new music and told her class they would be allowed to choose one of the pieces for the spring concert. Presto warmly welcomed new students (a few who had moved up from Andante and some new to OPYO), and then got to work with Mr. Collett demonstrating on his viola. Under the artistic leadership of Mr. Barg, YSO tackled Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, “Little Russian” and then friends caught up with each other after being off for the break. I enjoyed meeting all of our new parents and students, and welcoming so many familiar faces who have become friends back to the orchestra. It looks to be a season filled with the promise of spring!
I want to take the opportunity to welcome you to the OPYO 2016 Spring Season, and pass on some important dates and information! There was much enthusiasm generated from our Holiday Wonder Concert, and we are excited to begin the next season! It makes me so proud to see that 20 musicians have already signed up to return and/or audition for this next season on our website, and we haven’t even officially announced it, the Program Director from The National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center saw our concert video and has asked if we have musicians interested in their summer program, and YSO was invited to play with SoNA! These are just a few of the exciting opportunities we are working on for our musicians this season in addition to the important business of growing both interpersonally and musically as artists. I hope that you will find the following information helpful in starting this new season and look forward to being a part of the magic again this spring. Thanks in advance for your continued support and interest in the program.
ONLINE SIGNUPS JANUARY 3RD-JANUARY 8TH
For returning musicians wishing to hold their spot in their respective orchestras or returning musicians that would like to audition for a more advanced ensemble for the 2016 Spring Season, go to OPYO.org and fill out the form under the Auditions Tab, and we will reserve a place for you. If you are returning but not auditioning, all you need to do then, is bring your tuition with you to the first practice on January 11th at the Arkansas Arts Academy, same practice time and place. This online signup is very important, because if you do not reserve your place in the orchestra, we will give your seat to a musician on either our audition or waiting list.
AUDITIONS JANUARY 10TH, 2016 CASA CASTILLO 11:00-6:00 PM
Auditions for returning musicians who would like to move to a more advanced ensemble or for musicians looking to be accepted into the OPYO Program for the first time go to http://www.opyo.org/auditions.html to request an audition time.
The date for the Concerto Competition has been set for February 29th. We are still working out the details, and will have more information soon!
SoNA AND OPYO TO PERFORM TOGETHER ON MARCH 19TH AT THE WALTON ARTS CENTER
SoNA has invited YSO to play Dvorak's Slavonic Dance #8 with them onstage at their Masterworks II Performance. SoNA will also be playing Elgar, Serenade for Strings, Ibert, Concerto for Flute, Haydn, Symphony No. 104. All OPYO musicians are invited to attend the dress rehearsal at the Walton Arts Center on March 19th from 11:00 am - 1:30 pm, and a question and answer with SoNA Music Director Paul Haas.
SPRING CONCERT MAY 1ST AT THE AREND ARTS CENTER
We have reserved the Arend Arts Center for our spring concert on Sunday, May 1st, and will have the dress rehearsal right before the concert on the same day.
CALLING ALL OPYO ALUMNI
We are creating a webpage on our OPYO.org website to honor all of our Alums from 1984 on. If you know of an OPYO alumni who would like to be included in this very special group just direct them to http://www.opyo.org/alumni.html.
YSO MUSIC FOR SPRING SEASON FROM MR. BARG
I hope you had a great holiday vacation and I congratulate you again on your wonderful playing at our Holiday Concert at Horton Farms - What a hoot That was!!! Looking forward to our first rehearsal on the 11th: one of the two or three works we'll play at the spring concert will the the last movement of Tchaikovsky's 2nd Symphony (Little Russian). It's a gas! Even though the tempi are faster that ours will be, here's a good recording to listen to and get excited about - I do whenever I hear it.
PARTS: Please print out your parts and practice them before the 11th. Nobody should be sight-reading their part.
1. Go to the imslp site for this work.
2. Click on 2.2.1 Version B under the Parts Tab (2.2)
3. Click on and print our your part: double sided, then taped together in booklet form. DO NOT COME WITH LOOSE SHEETS
STRINGS: Click on your instrument and copy the bowings and fingerings you're taken to (actual NY Philharmonic parts!)
Cello & Bass (4th movement starts on right-hand page)
I look forward so much to making music with you again. Mr. Barg.
PHOTOS FROM THE DRESS REHEARSAL
Thank you for your patience, I am a little over half way done with processing the portraits that I took at the dress rehearsal and expect to have them all up on smugmug.com by the end of the week. I like to make any processing adjustments individually and these extra steps can be very time consuming, but well worth the wait. I hope that you will be as thrilled as I have been with the results!
I look forward to seeing everyone on either January 10th or the 11th!
Santa took time out from his busy schedule to stop by the OPYO Dress Rehearsal, and to make sure none of the OPYO musicians, including its Director, Mr. Barg, were on his naughty list. He helped generate an abundance of Holiday Wonder and Good Will that is sure to carry over to the OPYO Winter concert this Monday, December 14th, 2015 at 7:30 pm at Horton Farms. If you would like to experience some of the magic, merriment, and mystery that this jolly old elf embodies you can reserve your seats today at OPYO.org for their Holiday Wonder Concert.
OPYO invites you to experience the Wonder of the Holidays with them at their Winter Concert on December 14th, 2015 at 7:30 pm at Horton Farms. Reservations are going fast! To make yours just go to OPYO.org under the rehearsal/concert tab and reserve your seats today! Your sense of joy will thank you later when the notes of Dvorak, Bach, and Holst soar to new heights in the Grand Sierra Hall under 50,000 twinkling lights.
Organizing a Winter Concert is no small task. It takes an army of volunteers, creatives, sponsors, talent, and a little luck and magic too. Last night the Parents Guild Board, keynote parents, and a new friend Anne Mclaughlin who’s daughter Gwen plays flute in YSO all met up at Horton Farms to get a sense of the place, help take photos for a poster, and walk through the production schedule from Mr.Barg. Horton Farms was very nice to let us use the place for a few hours to get accustomed to the layout and plan the event onsite. While Susan Jones, Kim Kendrick, Patty Branham, Kelly Clark, Stephanie Summitt worked out the finer details inside, Theresa Fennell, Sandy Brunner, and Anne helped me wrangle some enthusiastic and some reluctant musician models outside. Our plan was to have a quartet in front of the barn illuminated by 30 or so OPYO musicians holding candles or sparklers for the Winter Concert Poster. Well, what do you do when only 5 kids show up, the sparklers and candles won’t stay lit due to humidity and wind, and it’s cold?……. You know you'll have to make some of your own magic in photoshop, supplement with stock if needed, and feel pretty thankful that Anne who is a graphic designer has offered to help out! The show must go on! At least that’s what my ballet teacher always said, and I have the calloused toes where burning blisters once screamed, “please stop” to prove it! There’s still time to be a part of the fun, parents. Be on the look out for a sign up genius coming your way soon!
Congratulations to the OPYO students who tried out for the 2015 All Region Orchestra on All Hallows Eve and made it! This year's event was successfully hosted by Jesse Collett at Bentonville High School. Can't wait to hear the boo-ti-ful music at the November 14th concert at Fayetteville High School. I am so proud of all our young musicians who challenged themselves and tried out. Their dedication will be the foundation of future musical and personal growth. If there are any students who would be interested in going to the concert in November to cheer their fellow musicians on just let me know and we will make plans to go together!
Andrea Abarca (18th Concert Violin)
Isabella Adams (1st Cadet Violin)
Charlie Agnacian (1st Cadet Bass)
Emily Graham (5th Cadet Violin)
Timothy Jones (22nd Cadet Violin)
Jasmine Lee (16th Cadet Violin)
Jakob Lemmon (2nd Concert Alt Cello)
Brett Shadduck (8th Cadet Viola)
Hailee Dyer (5th Concert Violin)
Jake Fennell (7th Concert Violin)
Caroline Irwin (8th Concert Violin)
Jessica Kuykendall (22nd Concert Violin)
Will Nagel (24th Concert Violin)
Sonya Welloffman (10th Concert Cello)
Lily Agnacian (4th Concert Cello)
Tanner Burgess (8th Concert Bass)
Grace Clark (1st Symphonic Viola)
McKay Clark (6th Symphonic Bass)
Beau Cross (6th Symphonic Viola)
William Cross (4th Concert Bass)
Jenelle Edwards (4th Symphonic Alternate)
Kahley Mitchell (1st Concert Flute)
Liam O’Dell (1st Concert Bass)
Layne Rogers (1st Symphonic Cello)
Jackson Springman (3rd Cadet Violin)
Inga Welloffman (9th Symphonic Violin)
Jacob White (2nd Symphonic Viola)
OPYO Parents come on out and support our young musicians at the first Parents Guild meeting of the season scheduled for Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 6:00 pm in the Annex building at the Arkansas Arts Academy. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes at OPYO, and we couldn't keep smiling without the help of all our dedicated parents! You truly are the wind beneath our wings! A special thank you to President Elect-Susan Jones, VP Elect-Kim Kendrick, Treasurer-Patty Barnham, and Secretary Elect-Kelly Clark for volunteering to serve on the board. On the agenda for this meeting; 1) to get the new slate of officers elected, and 2) to start working on the Winter Concert.
Hello my name is Chari Cross, and I am excited to take on the role of OPYO Manager! I will be writing this blog (My Cavatina) to share what's going on behind the scenes at OPYO. I have been involved with the arts since studying classical ballet at age 8, have played acoustic guitar, and love to express my artistic vision through photography. I also have a BBA from the University of Michigan, am a General Motors Corporation alum and have two sons in YSO, and one at the U of A. In my free time I enjoy playing in the dirt and creating lasting beauty with the Benton County Master Gardeners which I have done for the past 15 years, writing poetry, and researching my family geneology. The arts have always provided me with nourishment for my soul, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to connect with others who share in this love that transcends the linear aspect of time as well as an amalgam of diverse artisic mediums and cultures, and pass it on!