The Vail Youth Symphony Season Finale by Rena Wittwer

The Vail Youth Symphony wrapped up its third season at a Season Finale Performance on Saturday, May 6th, at the Vail Theatre of the Arts. The String Orchestra opened the afternoon with classical, Celtic, and fiddle music that enlivened the nearly full theatre. The Chamber Orchestra followed with more great fiddling, a masterfully played Sonatina featuring Sal Ramirez on piano, and a powerful rendition of 1812 Overture.

When the symphony orchestra took the stage, the crowd was awed with the opener, The Tempest, followed by the technically challenging Csardas featuring soloists, Keenan Montoya and Kayla Wittwer on violin. Next up was Ashokan Farewell which opened with a moving flute solo by Madeleine John with guest conductor, Thomas Gerald, the symphony’s tubist. The percussion section brought down the house with the next number — The Dark Night Rises and were followed by solo vocalist and bass player, Asiamarie Smith on Take Five. The performance concluded with a standing ovation after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Scholarships are awarded to students selected each year for excellence, growth, and dedication. Recipients this year included: Austin Linn (Strings), Tristin Torres and Brianna Harris (Chamber), and Abby Goforth and Rebecca Lane (Symphony).

VYS’s year was one that created lifelong memories for its participants. They enjoyed intensive rehearsals, games, and fun at their annual retreat to the COD Ranch in October. And, the symphony orchestra headed out on tour to its first festival in Hollywood earning a silver rating! Students enjoyed two days at Universal Studios and took in a symphony performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

How grateful I am that my daughter is inspired by the wonderful influences and passion in her directors and fellow musicians of VYS! A special thank you goes out to director and founder, Jessica Breen, who bid her students a touching farewell and will be handing over the symphony orchestra next season to a new director, Mr. Kenneth Marrs.

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