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Youth Orchestra, Children’s Choir Announce Concert


The Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC) and the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra will present a joint concert 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, in Lehman Auditorium on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University (EMU).

The 33-member youth symphony, part of EMU’s Preparatory Music program, will perform George Frideric Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks Overture” and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Dances from “The Nutcracker.” In addition, Dance & Company will perform four of the dances.

Nicholas Gardner, oboe, will perform “Concerto for Oboe in A minor” by Antonio Vivaldi and Breton Nicholas, French horn, will perform “Morceau de Concert” by Camille Saint-Saens.

The Orchestra, conducted by Maria Lorcas, a violin teacher with preparatory music, consists of high school players from Page, Shenandoah, Rockingham and Augusta counties. EMU and James Madison Universitystudents will also participate in addition to several community members.

Julia White, Artistic Director and Founder, will conduct the concert choir in “Viva la Musica,” by Michael Praetorius; “Laudamus Te (Duet from Gloria),” by Vivaldi, arranged by Doreen Rao; “Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind,” text by William Shakespeare and music by John Rutter; and “Sesere eeye,” a traditional song and dance from the Torres Straight Island, arranged by Matthew Doyle.

The Treble Choir set will include “The Heavens Declare,” from William Selby, arranged by Barbara Owen; “I Will Bring You Brooches,” text by Robert Louis Stevenson and music by Ruth Boshkoff; and “Sourwood Mountain,” a southern folk song arranged by Shirley McRae with Lorcas on violin.

The fall concert is a precursor to the SVCC Christmas Concert with the Washington Symphonic Brass Quintet 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, and 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4, in Lehman Auditorium.

A suggested $5 donation at the door will benefit EMU’s Preparatory Music scholarship program and SVCC tuition assistance fund.

About the soloists

Breton Nicholas is an active member of both the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society and HHS Tri-M music honor society. He attended the 2011 Summer Residential Governor’s School for the Humanities at Radford University and the 2009 Valley Ridge Summer Regional

Governor’s School in Environmental Science at JMU.

Nicholas co-founded the HHS Bike Club and Rocktown Racing and earned a varsity letter in swimming. He is in his fourth year as a member of the HHS Symphonic Band, playing first chair horn the last two years. Nicholas has been first chair horn in both Harrisonburg city and Rockingham County Honors band and District band last year.

In addition, he is an active member of Boy Scout Troop 40 of Harrisonburg and will have completed all requirements for the highest award, Eagle Scout, by December of 2011. Nicholas hopes to study music and science in college. He is the son of Leslie Nicholas and Joan Griffing.

Nicholas Gardner is a senior at Spotswood High School (SHS). He has played oboe in the concert and Symphonic bands at SHS since his freshman year. He is in his seventh year of private instruction and has been a member of the EMU Youth Orchestra since the spring of 2010. In the spring of 2011, he was awarded the medallion and academic awards for music at SHS.

Gardner held the position of luminary chairman for the Rockingham County Relay for Life in 2011 and is a member of the National Social Studies Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society.

Gardner is a member of Boy Scout Troop 40 where he is finishing requirements for his Eagle Scout rank. He has held the position of senior patrol leader and was on the team teaching the Boy Scout’s National Youth Leadership Training program. He plans to study music education in college. He is the son of Nichola and Richard Gardner.

History of Shenandoah Valley Youth Orchestra

The orchestra began in 1990 as a strong ensemble and in part through a grant from the Virginia Commission of the Arts. The ensemble grew to a full orchestra in its next season and is the only opportunity for instrumental students to participate in such a group this side of Charlottesville and Winchester. Students become members by audition and perform three or four public concerts per year.  Rising seniors may audition to play a solo with the orchestra.

This semester the Orchestra has partnered with Dance & Company to perform four dances from “The Nutcracker.” It is a unique opportunity for dancers to perform to live music and for musicians to have their music interpreted before a live audience. On October 23, they presented a “Musical Treats” concert in costume for about 75 area children.

Sharon Miller is the program director. Inquiries to the Shenandoah Valley Youth Orchestra should be made to 540-432-4277 or prepmusic@emu.edu.

More on the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir

The SVCC is part of the music department at Eastern Mennonite University.  The SVCC includes over 150 children in three auditioned choirs and two classes for young children, a staff of five and a rigorous performing and touring schedule.

The SVCC’s fifteenth compact disc entitled “Twenty Years of Song” was released October 15, 2011, to mark the twentieth anniversary year.  A compilation of the last two years of song repertoire, the CD includes both general music and Christmas selections.  The Preparatory, Treble, and Concert Choirs are featured separately and guests including the Sons of the Day, Washington Symphonic Brass, and guest musicians Nick Merillat and Pedro Aponte are featured.

For more information on SVCC or to order a compact disc visit  www.emu.edu/svcc, email svcc@emu.edu or call Yvette Peake, choir manager at 540-432-4650.

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