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

Youth Orchestra of San Antonio to bring their music to NYC, Boston and Philadelphia

Libby Day

Every two years, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio create and then embark on a tour — sometimes traveling across the U.S., or internationally. After a coronavirus-induced hiatus, they’re now back to that norm.

But before the students begin their tour late this week, friends and fans have an opportunity to see their performance. Troy Peters is Music Director.

“Thursday night's concert is going to be the program that will take out on the road, and it's a program of all kinds of music that's mostly festive, mostly celebratory,” Peters said. “And so we're doing George Gershwin at the center of it. A lot of people know his Rhapsody in Blue. Like a lot of great popular artists, when he had a hit, he wrote a sequel. And so we're performing the Second Rhapsody.”

They will also perform a number of other selections, but the big story here is the mini-tour they’re taking shortly afterwards.

“In 2020, we were set to travel and play Carnegie Hall in New York and also go to Boston and Philadelphia. And then, of course, the COVID pandemic started and we had to cancel the tour,” he said. “As a result, we had some musicians from two years ago who were not able to go and have gone on to college.”

Because of that delay, those former students are no longer in YOSA, but they’re now getting to take that performance tour they were denied.

“We have a few alumni who are coming back, and we have some of our next generation of philharmonic musicians who are just about to move up the ladder,” Peters said.

Sarah Brooke Lyons

Joining this YOSA tour is Adam Tendler, a student Troy taught 20 years ago when he was a youth orchestra director in Burlington, Vermont.

“Adam is a really fine award winning pianist. He won a Lincoln Center Emerging Artists Award a couple of years ago, and he gives concerts all over the United States,” he said.

Coming together to play anywhere is probably a thrill for these kids, but Peters said doing so at the other end of the country has got to be an intense experience.

“Travel for the orchestra is always one of the most exciting things we do because you get to go out and play in world class concert halls and represent San Antonio, go out to the rest of the world and show them the talent that we have down here,” he said.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

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