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

Youth Orchestra Turns Up The Heat With Competition

Courtesy YOSA
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio has an interesting concert scheduled for this weekend. I spoke recently to YOSA Music Director Troy Peters.

“This Saturday, YOSA’s going to be holding our annual concerto competition. We’ve got 10 of our most advanced musicians, who are going to be playing at two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, at St. David’s Episcopal Church. And then, one of them will be named a winner, and will appear as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony.”

This is a competition, albeit a friendly one.

“There is a kind of an American Idol element to the process; there are judges and there is a winner. But everybody gets a chance to perform; everybody gets the support of the audience, and then the winner becomes a part of this collective music making. That is part of why orchestras are so great.”

The winner of Saturday’s competition can then look forward to that standout performance in January.

“So this Concerto Competition winner will be playing with the San Antonio Symphony on Jan. 18, in a concert where YOSA and the San Antonio Symphony play side-by-side, together. So all our musicians get to learn from their older peers and mentors in the symphony, which is really an exhilarating thing.”

Judges come from the symphony itself.

“We have the associate conductor, Akiko Fujimoto, and we have the Concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony [Eric Gratz] as judges for the Concerto Competition, so again, our students get to learn from the local Olympians, the greatest Classical Musicians in town.”

More on the concert here.

More on YOSA itself here.

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