Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra

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The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra’s 57th Season opens with an October 13th concert featuring all four of the organization’s orchestras and distinguished cellist David Bjella, who enjoys a successful career as both an educator and performer.

The orchestras – Overture Strings, a string training orchestra with performers 7 to 14 years old; Prelude, whose musicians are age 9 to 15; Philharmonia, featuring 11 to 18-year-olds; and Symphonic, a pre-professional group whose members are age 13 to 20 – will present works from composers including Verdi, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. The Symphonic orchestra program will feature a piece for solo cello and orchestra with cellist David Bjella: currently Associate Professor of Cello and Director of the Chamber Music program at Stetson University and Co-Principal of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Michael Stern.

Mr. Bjella will be performing Gabriel Faure’s Elegie for cello and orchestra; a piece he believes stands apart as both beautiful and emotive. When asked to speak about the piece Mr. Bjella:

“It [The Elegie] is a solo cello piece with orchestra that is extremely emotional and gut wrenching at its core. It has the full range of dynamics and it is written in the incredibly dark key of c minor. It is also an “old friend” of mine and I absolutely love the way Faure has orchestrated the piece”.

The most special and attractive aspect of this piece is a “dark singing quality I love… It should soar above the orchestra”. He says. “The biggest challenge is bringing across the emotional element of the music along with projecting beyond the symphonic sound.” This piece will be the special focus of the opening concert.

The professor has spent time with various FSYO students helping them to strengthen their skills, but this will be the first time he has played with an FSYO orchestra in concert. “I love the FSYO! I have had students in this group for the last 20 years and I have found this group is quite professional in every way– the conductors, the administration, the students and parents.”

Mr. Bjella sees playing for a live audience essential to a young developing musician. “Playing music with an audience is the best for any of us! There is an edge that comes with a live performance that one can never duplicate in the practice room or rehearsal. The art of communication is a wonderful thing to feel and react to as well. I love it and it is important for kids to experience that as well”.

Audience members can join this exciting event by purchasing tickets, which range from $8 to $16, through the FSYO website (www.fsyo.org).  The concert begins at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 13, at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, 401 W. Livingston St. This concert is part of the Season Subscription Package.

ABOUT: The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra aims to educate and inspire Florida’s top young musicians through programs committed to strengthening musical talents and developing appreciation of the arts through classical music. The FSYO, in its 57th Concert Season, comprises three full orchestras and one string training orchestra made up of more than 250 students from eight Central Florida counties.
Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Darden Restaurant Foundation; Universal Orlando Foundation; and United Arts of Central Florida. The FSYO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, please visit www.fsyo.org.

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