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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

YOSA & SAY Si Recreate 'Pictures At An Exhibition'

John Clare
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

The upcoming Youth Orchestras of San Antonio concert on Monday night promises something big and unusual.

"We have collaborated with SAY Sí, this wonderful, after school, year-round arts program for high school students, to create new art inspired by [Modest Petrovich] Mussorgsky’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition,' " said YOSA Music Director Troy Peters.

SAY Sí does with arts largely what YOSA does with music, gives young people a creative outlet. Peters explained exactly what they're doing with SAY Si.

"This orchestral classic, that’s a composer reacting to art -- we now have artists reacting to the composer, and so these video and media artists have created new video art that will be projected over the orchestra while we play," Peters said.

The Monday night concert is at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium.

“Every seat in the house offers a good view of the orchestra, and in this case, of the arts we’re going to be projecting," said Peters.

I asked him to describe the music people will be hearing with "Pictures at An Exhibition."

" 'Pictures at An Exhibition' is a real barn-burner -- a big, fiery, explosive piece of music" Peters explained. "It also has some real delicate and tender spots in it, but it’s a crowd pleaser, it’s a piece that really brings down the house."

I asked him about Christopher O’Riley, who's also playing with YOSA on Monday.

“Well, on top of this great collaboration with SAY Sí we’re also collaborating with a really great pianist, Christopher O’Riley" Peters said. "A lot of public radio listeners will know him from the program 'From the Top' that airs on TPR Classical (KPAC 88.3 FM), that airs on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings. And so we’re doing the Grieg piano concerto with him (which) may be the most popular piano concerto there is."

YOSA operates seven different orchestras and I found out that Monday’s performers are called the YOSA Philharmonic.

"The YOSA Philharmonic is our top orchestra, so these are the hundred and ten most advanced high school and early college musicians in the San Antonio area" said Peters.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii