Youth Orchestra Serenades Spring

The Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra will present its spring concert 7 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 20, in Lehman Auditorium at Eastern Mennonite University.

The 22-member Junior Strings ensemble, directed by Sharon M.D. Miller, will open the program with the third movement of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 by Bach and the "Finale" from Symphony No. 2 in C by Tchaikovsky.

These intermediate string players come from Shenandoah, Rockingham and Augusta Counties, as well as Harrisonburg, New Market, Staunton and Waynesboro. Miller is the administrative director of the EMU Preparatory Music Program where she also teaches Suzuki violin and viola, music education and Suzuki pedagogy courses. She has taught at EMU since 1989.

The string members of the youth symphony will perform three movements of Corelli’s "Concerto VIII" featuring violinists Jessica Peck and Benjamin Roth as well as cellist Nathan Bontrager and Bergen White on harpsichord.

The full orchestra, conducted by Maria Lorcas, will perform Mozart’s "Overture to Don Giovanni," the "Romanian Folk Dances" by Bartok and two movements from Beethoven’s "Symphony No. 7." Seven graduating seniors will be recognized at the concert, followed by a reception for the students and audience.

The Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony consists of 37 members from a three-county area representing 11 public and private middle and high schools. Students are selected by audition.

Ms. Lorcas is in her third season as the youth symphony conductor. She began her undergraduate studies in her native country of Venezuela and later received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music (violin performance) from Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon Universities, respectively.

Lorcas has been teaching privately and coaching orchestra strings since 1993. She is also a trained Suzuki violin teacher, has a studio in the Preparatory Music Program and teaches in the Outreach Project.

The Youth Symphony has been a part of the Shenandoah Valley Preparatory Music Program since 1990. Musical instruction is given to 310 students in the following areas: Instrumental (violin, viola, cello, piano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, guitar, Suzuki violin), Musikgarten (ages 18 months to 6 years), and the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra/Junior Strings (grades 4-12), and the Violin Outreach Project (funded in part by
the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Arts Council of the Valley).

Admission to the concert is a suggested $5 donation at the door.