On Tuesday, May 8, the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO) will greet the arrival of spring with a medley of "songs," written from the Baroque era to today, in tribute to the season. The free performance, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, will include works ranging from a Concerto grosso by Arcangelo Corelli and Ravel's Pavanne for a Dead Princess to an Irish reel, Molly on the Shore, by Percy Grainger and Spring Breezes, a Taiwanese folksong arranged by former PYSO Music Director Richard Meyer. Sponsored by The Pasadena Symphony, the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra attracts talented middle school musicians from throughout Southern California. Students audition in the spring -- auditions for the 2007-2008 season will take place May 19 and May 20 at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music -- to participate in one of three ensembles under the PYSO umbrella: the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra; the PYSO Chamber Orchestra, an all-string ensemble; and the PYSO Wind Ensemble.
Among the musicians participating in PYSO are La Cañada residents Jonwei Hwang on violin and Philip Cho on cello as well as La Crescenta students Sarah Biagini on violin and James Ossiff on viola. "It's an extensive, award-winning program for young musicians, with weekly rehearsals, coaching from professional musicians and a weekend music retreat," says Music Director Jack Taylor, who, as a young student, was a member of the orchestra. "But a major part of that experience," Taylor continues, "is the opportunity to share what they learn with an audience. We look forward to performing before a packed house at the Civic."
To learn more about PYSO, the upcoming performance or its auditions in May, call (626) 793-7172, ext. 23 or ext. 14 or visit the orchestra's website, www.pasadenapyso.org.