Kids! of the Month
Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!
month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing
things. We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire
other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements.
Kid! of the Month for May, 2008:
“Music, more than any other subject, has made me a whole person.”
Andrew Izumi, French Horn player,
“It is a great joy for me to have the opportunity to work with these fine musicians. Their dedication and musicianship is inspiring. I work on improving their orchestral skills and introducing them to new and great repertoire. I derive great satisfaction in the progress that each of the players shows over the course of a year. It is my hope that their time in the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra will enable them to grow as artists, and provide a strong foundation for future years of music making and music appreciation.”
Michael Hall, Music Director,
Our May 2008 Amazing Kids! of the Month:
The Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO) has been performing for 15 years and today it consists of musicians from 40 different schools around Orange County, California. The kids who are part of the orchestra get an opportunity to learn music from professional musicians and perform at the world class Renee and Henry Segerstrom Hall. Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra has not only helped these kids to be better musicians but has also made them better individuals and leaders. Read more to see how this has been a life changing experience for so many young people.
Don't forget: If you, or a young person
(or persons!) you know, has an
amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill,
ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids!
know about it! Simply complete our
Amazing Kids! of the Month award online
form, visit our AKOM nomination information page
Table of Contents
In 1993, the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra gave its first performance in Orange County, California. Today, these amazing musicians come from 40 different schools in the area. To become an orchestra member, talented musicians between 12 and 18 years of age must audition. Then, individuals are selected by judges who are professional musicians with the Pacific Symphony. Last year, 310 musicians auditioned for the youth orchestra.—103 were chosen.
Amazing Young Co-Principal Trombonist Danny Lawlor
The number of musicians playing each instrument in the orchestra follows:
1st Violin---18, 2nd Violin---18, Viola---12, Cello---12, Bass---4, Flute---4
Oboe---4, Clarinet---4, Bassoon---4, French Horn---6, Trumpet---4
Trombone---4, Tuba---1, Percussion---6, Harp---2
It is important to note that members of the youth ensemble for one year are not always picked the next year. As you might imagine, the competition is tough!
Amazing PSYO Conductor Michael Hall
The Music Director of PSYO is Michael Hall. He is also the Associate Conductor of the Pacific Symphony. Michael is very caring and a great inspiration to the kids. The Pacific Symphony Music Director, Carl St. Clair, acts as artistic advisor to the PSYO. Periodically, he conducts the group in rehearsals. Every now and then, guest artists performing with the Pacific Symphony work with the PSYO. The kids thus have the benefit of learning from the experiences of several great musicians.
Dimitri Shotakovich - Festive Overture
Frank Ticheli - Radiant Voices
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake Suite
In addition, the PSYO has one performance where they play beside the Pacific Symphony. Young musicians get the chance to listen and learn from professional musicians. It is truly a unique and valuable experience.
Here's the schedule of their final performances for this season:
PSYO Chamber Concert, Sunday, May 11. 4PM. Laguna Woods, California
Early this season, the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra members spent a weekend at a Palomar Mountain retreat in Palomar, California. It was an excellent opportunity for everyone to get to know each other. Participants shared fun-filled activities. And yes, intensive rehearsal time was definitely part of the program. Everybody involved had a great time!
Each and every individual in PSYO is talented and absolutely wonderful. Though we don't have enough space here to share all their stories, let's meet a few of these amazing young musicians from PYSO.
Amazing Young Principal Violist, Sean Chung
“I say with confidence that performing and interacting with everyone involved in the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra has been a positive experience that not only has changed my vision for music but also helped to develop a sense for leadership.” says Sean Chung, the Principle Violist with the orchestra. Although he was passionate about music from the beginning, playing with the orchestra has taught him a lot. “I now pay so much more attention to technical details without losing the sensitive feeling for musical expression.” he says. The experience has not only made him a better musician but a better leader too. “I found that the condescending approach to forcing certain ideas to be ineffective; rather I saw more meaning from having a patient, courteous, and collaborative personality.” he says as he explains the true meaning of leadership.
Amazing Young French Horn Player, Elyse Woodruff
“As a member of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, I have had the honor to perform in the brand new Rene and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which has been a dream come true.” Elyse says. Elyse's older sister encouraged her to be a musician. Before being a part of Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, she has been a part of BIOLA Youth Instrumental Music program which has played for various retirement homes, hospitals for children with disabilities, and for the homeless. She has also participated in marching band at La Habra High School and Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra. “My future holds music as a primary focus, only second to my other passion which is art. I am planning on attending California State University Long Beach in the fall semester of 2008 to double major in Music Performance and Art. I am so excited to broaden my horizons and my skills, and I can’t wait to see what else Music has in store for me.” she says.
Amazing Young Principal Bass Player, Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith, 17 has been the Principal Bass of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra for two years.
Amazing Young Percussionist, Emily Backal
Seventeen year old Emily Backal is a junior at Orange County High School of Arts and is a Percussionist in PSYO. She has been part of a number of musical groups like Honor Orchestra San Juan Capistrano School District, Pacific Coast Church Youth music leader, Orange County High School of the Arts Symphony 2007-2008 and Wind Ensemble 2005-2008 to name a few. She was also awarded Rookie of the year for Wind Ensemble in 2006. When she’s not playing or practicing her instrument, she enjoys hiking, hanging out with her friends, and watching Lost and Project Runway. She plans on attending a four year music conservatory with a dream of performing with a major city symphony and Broadway musicals someday.
Related Links and Contact Information
It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered. (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!)
If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it! Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are! We are always looking for new stories. And don't be shy! We'd love to hear from you!
WHY NOT HELP OTHERS SEE THEIR OWN POTENTIAL?
If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them? Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talent.Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors. If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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