A Sneak Peek at Our Next Program

Did you know that the U.S. has more than 400 youth orchestras involving more than 80,000 young musicians? Among them is the Oakland Mills High School Chamber Orchestra, which will perform for us on March 3. Directed by Sarah Castrillon, they’ll showcase their youthful talent by performing a variety of compositions representing several different styles of music. Here are a few highlights of what’s to come!

“Andante Festivo” is a work by noted Scandinavian composer Jean Sibelius. Originally a law student, he quickly abandoned his legal studies to pursue music, eventually studying in Berlin and Vienna. Highly successful in Europe in the early 1900s, he conducted “Andante Festivo” during a live, worldwide New Year’s radio broadcast in 1939 for the World Exhibition in New York. It has been called “a balm our world once again sadly requires.”

If you’re a fan of Broadway tunes, you’ll especially enjoy “For Good,” composed by Stephen Schwartz for the musical Wicked. One of the best-known songs in the musical, the piece is a duet between Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba and Good Witch of the South Glinda.

Composer Liam Ramsey-White hails from Indianapolis and creates music for orchestras and chamber groups. Oakland Mills will perform his work “Sea of Stars,” which refers to the sparkling waters off the coast of the island of Vaadhoo in the Maldives. A species of plankton in those waters turn blue when disturbed by the waves crashing against the shore, creating a stunning effect.

Another work inspired by nature is “Bright River” by contemporary composer Kathryn Griesinger. This joyous composition, reminiscent of sunlight sparking on moving water, is aptly described as having a flowing theme.

Not to worry, the classics will also be represented! Among them will be “Miniatures for 2 Violins and Viola, Op. 75a” by Antonin Dvořák. He actually wrote this piece for a trio consisting of himself, a housemate, and his housemate’s violin student.

And that brings us full circle. Student musicians have long been essential to the landscape of classical music. Perhaps one of our March 3 performers will go on to inspire or create great music themselves!