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

Youth Orchestra Set To Show Audiences A 'New World'

Troy Peters is the music driector of Youth Orchestras San Antonio.
Jack Morgan | Texas Public Radio
Troy Peters

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio's next concert features something their concerts usually don't. Music Director Troy Peters says that unexpected element in this Sunday's Tobin Center performance isn't even in the music itself.

"We're coming at it in kind of an unusual way. It's a multimedia presentation with video,” he said. They’re teaming up with a video artist to try and manifest in video what people are hearing in the music.

“Adrian Wyard hasn't just edited together the video. He actually performs the video as we perform the music. He's sitting onstage with a laptop, and he times the edits to match the music. So when there are changes in the harmony the video changes along with that."

If this process sounds familiar to you, you may have seen Wyard's work before at a previous YOSA concert.

"We worked with Adrian two years ago with our performance on ‘The Planets,’ and we got great feedback from audiences about hearing the Planets with this interstellar video. And so now we have that same journey with Dvořák,” he said.

He's talking about Dvořák's ‘New World Symphony,’ which was the composer's musical love letter to his new home.

"It's excited. It's beautiful. It's nostalgic. It's a great portrait of the U.S. from a European perspective," Peters said.


IF YOU GO WHAT: YOSA Concert WHERE: Tobin Center WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday COST: $11 to $16

The video Wyard will project behind the orchestra was shot all over that “new world” -- the U.S. -- that Dvořák tried to capture in music.

"Then we also have this great piece by Aaron Copland, “Appalachian Spring,” which of course, is a great American composer looking at what it means to be American, what it means to sound American," he said. "This music kinda created the template for what American music is supposed to sound like. "

Peters is also beginning the program with another piece celebrating spring.

"This little beautiful piece by Lili Boulanger that we're opening the program with -- these are all pieces that are just favorites of mine," Peters said.

Performing these favorite selections is how Peters is marking ten years running YOSA. It’s a gift he’s giving not only to the audience, but to himself.

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

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