Children’s choir and youth symphony join for Nov. 19 concert

The Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir and the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony will perform a fall concert together on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 4 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium on the Eastern Mennonite University campus.

A $7 suggested donation will benefit the ensembles’ scholarship funds. Currently 52 students are receiving scholarship assistance for an annual total of $20,000.

SVCC’s Treble and Concert Choirs, directed by Janet Hostetter, will sing a selection of works including classical, contemporary, folk, Christmas and world music.

Katrina Kirilyuk is the featured soloist for the Nov. 19 concert. (Courtesy photo)

The symphony will perform a variety of music, from Debussy’s “Ballet” from “Petite Suite” to selections from Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suites.” The performance is the first with new conductor Dr. Yi-Ping Chen.

The concert will conclude with selections performed by the combined groups.

SVCC is a program of EMU, while the symphony is part of EMU’s Preparatory Music Program.

Featured soloist

The featured soloist, selected in a spring 2017 audition, is violinist and concertmaster Katrina Kirilyuk, performing Saint-Saens “Introduction and Rondo Cappriccioso.” A senior at Harrisonburg High School, Katrina started playing violin at age eight in the EMU Preparatory Music Program. She currently studies with Dr. Wanchi Huang, professor of violin at JMU.

A member of the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony for eight years, she has played in several orchestras and groups including the Senior Regional Orchestra, All-State Orchestra and Waynesboro Choral Society. Katrina teaches violin in the EMU Preparatory Music Program and volunteers in the after-school violin program at Thomas Harrison Middle School.

New conductor

Youth symphony in rehearsal. (EMU file photo)

Chen is a conducting instructor at JMU and executive director of JMU’s Spring String Thing camp. Previously she directed the joint orchestra of University Orchestra at Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University, as well as youth orchestras in Grand Forks, North Dakota, for five years.

She will be serving her fifth year as conductor of Fargo-Moorhead Ballet Company’s Wonderland Orchestra in their annual production of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.” She received the Distinguished Service Award from North Dakota String Teacher’s Association, and holds two degrees: a DMA in conducting from University of Minnesota and a master’s in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University.

Upcoming performances

SVCC hosts “On a Silent Night,” a Christmas concert Sunday Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. in Lehman Auditorium. All choirs will perform with guest harpist Anastasia Jellison and cellist Ed Gant. The concert is sold out.

Stay tuned for SVCC’s upcoming YouTube video clip “A Christmas Blessing,” to be released around Thanksgiving.

Choristers will also sing carols on Saturday, Dec. 9, in downtown Harrisonburg and perform Monday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Staunton Augusta Church Relief Association charity event at Memorial Baptist Church in Staunton.

Students in the preparatory music program will perform in a series of community concerts in December:

  • Saturday, Dec. 9, 1 p.m. at Massanutten Regional Library, Harrisonburg;
  • Sunday, Dec. 10, 2 p.m. at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Strite Auditorium;
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m., Sunnyside Communities: Assisted Living, Harrisonburg;
  • Saturday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m., Bridgewater Retirement Community, Maple Terrace, Bridgewater;
  • Thursday, Dec. 21, 11 a.m., Hahn Cancer Center, Sentara RMH, Harrisonburg.