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South Okanagan students shine with youth orchestra at the Shatford

Penticton musician Jonathan Stuchberry will be one of the featured composers this weekend with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Playing on the French horn, Stuchberry will wrap his time with the youth orchestra before moving on to McGill University.

“He is a great young man and actually played a guitar concerto for us in our first concert this season. He wrote us a lovely composition and is one of four student composers that will be featured this weekend,” said co-conductor Dennis Colpitts.

The OSYO brings musicians from as far north as Salmon Arm to as far south as Keremeos together. This includes Amanada Jerowsky, from Keremeos, who also will be performing her own composition. Colpitts said there has been a resurgence in the youth orchestra.

“We have been very aggressive getting the word out to the students and teachers what we are doing. We had a significant boost in numbers last year and now we are getting phone calls of people saying they have heard about us and they want us to come watch them play,” said Colpitts.

Colpitts said playing a concert in front of an audience is a thrill for the young musicians, but for them it’s more than just that.

“I know they are thrilled with the time they get together and just play. Instruments are social things and aren’t made to be played in your house individually all the time,” said Colpitts. “These kids are spending hundreds of hours every month practising their individual skills, but to be able to put it together and be able to make the beautiful music these kids are doing it is a thrill from them and we hear that all the time.”

They are performing at the Shatford Centre on May 3 at 7 p.m. Conductors Colpitts and Rosemary Thompson will oversee the program with Nicholas Denton on the cello as guest soloist. Students will perform Beethonven’s Symphony No. 5, In Cymbalis Benesonantibus by Imant Raminsh, Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor by Saint Saens and their own student compositions. A celebratory collaboration of OSYO students and alumni will perform Wagner’s Die Meistersinger. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students.

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