The Mercury News

Go to school with S.F. Symphony

- — Georgia Rowe, Correspond­ent

When the pandemic hit last year, Seth Ducey, executive director of the Golden State Youth Orchestra, knew the South Bay ensemble’s nearly 350 young musicians needed something to keep them engaged. So he turned to classical music profession­als, inviting players from the San Francisco Symphony and other top orchestras to lead a series of virtual master classes.

The programs started last fall with David Kim, concertmas­ter of the Philadelph­ia Orchestra, followed by the San Francisco Symphony’s assistant principal cellist Amos Yang and principal trumpet Mark Inouye. Still to come are S.F. Symphony clarinetis­t Jerome Simas (Saturday) and flutist Catherine Payne (March 27).

The first classes were an instant hit with the Golden State musicians, ages 8 to 18. Ducey said meeting these seasoned artists was akin to aspiring basketball players coming face to face with Steph Curry.

Awe turned to engagement when the pros began to share their expertise. “They’re consummate educators — honest, constructi­ve, supportive and inspiring,” said Ducey. “They make it a positive, fun experience. And it never fails. You can see the kids grow as musicians in a matter of minutes.”

Ducey says that the community is welcome to sit in on the master classes; the streamed videos are available to music lovers of all ages.

Details: 3 p.m. Saturday and March 27; $15 suggested donation, free to GSYO members; www.gsyomusic.org.

 ?? SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY ?? Clarinetis­t Jerome Simas leads a master class on Saturday.
SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY Clarinetis­t Jerome Simas leads a master class on Saturday.

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