Hilbert Circle Theater; May 13
The New World Youth Symphony Orchestras are comprised of three ensembles, totaling a mighty 183 students, from first grade to senior year in high school. These kids are GOOD, too, from the young string-only Debut Orchestra, to the intermediate full orchestra of the Philharmonic, to the most advanced group, the Symphony. Conductors Susan Kitterman and Nana Gaskins Vaughn have done a good job of encouraging and bringing the best out of these kids, and that was displayed in all of the ensembles. Before the concert started, we were treated to Mendelsohn’s “Octet” by a group of mature Symphony musicians. Later, the Philharmonic played the ever-popular “Carmen Suite” by Bizet, and the Symphony tackled pieces such as Barber’s “Second Essay” and the last movement of Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony. Were there flubs and mistakes? Yes, occasionally. But I didn’t find them taking away from the experience as much as I would listening to a professional orchestra. These kids were passionate and serious about their music making, and it was obvious they were all putting 100 percent towards it, which made for a very enjoyable musical experience.