Youth­ful sounds

Free spring con­cert fea­tures va­ri­ety of pieces

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JamieACIndyNews

Charles County Youth Orches­tra to host spring con­cert Sun­day

Spring is here and mu­sic is in the air with the Charles County Youth Orches­tra pre­par­ing to per­form its Spring 2016 Con­cert.

The con­cert is free to the public and will take place Sun­day at 3:30 p.m. at West­lake High School, 3300 Mid­dle­town Road, Wal­dorf.

“They are all so mo­ti­vated, so ex­cited,” orches­tra di­rec­tor Anne Marie Pat­ter­son said of the per­form­ers. “It is so re­ward­ing to see, not only the work they put in at home, but the ded­i­ca­tion of com­ing here and re­hears­ing week af­ter week.”

Pat­ter­son took over as di­rec­tor of the youth orches­tra four years ago. Since then, the orches­tra has nearly dou­bled in size, with close to 50 stu­dents, mostly high school­ers, per­form­ing.

Mem­ber­ship in the youth orches­tra is by au­di­tion, and in­cludes stu­dents from all parts of the county.

The youth orches­tra will per­form a num­ber of selections, in­clud­ing Beethoven’s Sev­enth Sym­phony, Al­le­gretto and the Rus­lan and Lyud­mila Over­ture by Mikhail Glinka.

“Another piece we’re play­ing is Video Games Live, and hon­estly, some of the kids had tears in their eyes when we played it for the first time. They were so ex­cited to play this mu­sic,” Pat­ter­son said.

Video Games Live is a con­cert se­ries con­sist­ing of video game mu­sic, in­clud­ing Halo, Civ­i­liza­tion IV, Bounty Hunter and King­dom Hearts, per­formed by a live orches­tra.

Two other groups, En­core Strings and En­core Band, ex­ist for stu­dents not yet ready for the orches­tra, mostly mid­dle school per­form­ers. They will also be per­form­ing sev­eral pieces dur­ing the spring con­cert.

“Just this year we started En­core Band. This is a new en­sem­ble be­cause I was see­ing the En­core String kids be­ing trained well and mov­ing up and ex­cited to play in CCYO, but I was al­ways try­ing to draw from the schools to get band play­ers,” Pat­ter­son said.

Alyssa Raqueno, 17, a se­nior at North Point High School, is the orches­tra’s con­cert­mistress, that is, the leader of the first vi­o­lin sec­tion, the con­duc­tor’s right hand — or left hand, as the con­cert­mas­ter or -mistress sits clos­est to the con­duc­tor on the left.

“I have to give the cues, and also help pre­pare the orches­tra be­fore they per­form,” Raqueno said.

Raqueno will also be per­form­ing the DeBe­riot Vi­o­lin Con­certo, which Pat­ter­son said is very chal­leng­ing.

Raqueno has been with the orches­tra four years; this will be her last con­cert with the orches­tra. She said she en­joys the chal­lenge of play­ing in the youth orches­tra.

“The mu­sic we play in school isn’t as hard as in CCYO. In CCYO, ev­ery­one per­forms at a dif­fer­ent range, but it’s gen­er­ally higher than what you’ll find in high school,” Raqueno said.

An­thony Richard­son, 16, a ju­nior at St. Charles High School, is a cel­list in the orches­tra.

“It was harder mu­sic than I’ve ever played be­fore; I had some trou­ble ad­just­ing to it when I came in,” Richard­son said. “But I’ve learned a lot, sort of trial by fire, I’ve im­proved as a player.”

Richard­son said that one of the best parts of be­ing in the youth orches­tra was be­ing part of a greater whole.

“There are some mo­ments where ev­ery­one’s play­ing and it’s gi­gan­tic; it’s like you’re in this sea of sound, and it’s re­ally cool,” Richard­son said.

STAFF PHOTOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Anne Marie Pat­ter­son con­ducts the Charles County Youth Orches­tra dur­ing re­hearsals Tues­day even­ing. The youth orches­tra will per­form its free spring con­cert Sun­day at West­lake High School.

Con­cert­mistress Alyssa Raqueno, a se­nior at North Point High School, re­hearses Tues­day. The Charles County Youth Orches­tra will hold its free spring con­cert Sun­day at West­lake High School.

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