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Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra Spring concert features U.S. composers

Posted March 07, 2019 in Press Releases

LORAIN COUNTY, OH—The Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra announces its Spring Concert, which will take place March 31 at 3:30 p.m. in Finney Chapel on the Oberlin College campus. This performance caps NOYO’s milestone 50t h anniversary season, and there will be a post-concert celebration and reception at the college’s Carnegie Building (52 West Lorain St.) immediately following the performance.

Additionally, the organization is renaming its composer-in-residence program — which commissions a young composer annually to write new music for the organization — the Arlene and Larry Dunn Composer-In-Residence program in honor of a major gift from patrons Arlene and Larry Dunn. Their contribution to NOYO’s 50th anniversary endowment campaign will provide for the commissioning of a new world premiere from an Oberlin Conservatory composition student each season. The Arlene and Larry Dunn Composer-In-Residence program is specifically intended to promote the music of composers from underrepresented groups.

Larry Dunn was a board member when NOYO instituted its composer-in-residence program. “I was an ardent supporter of starting this program because it so closely aligns with what Arlene and I find essential about contemporary music,” he said. “For most of the selected composers, this will be their first commission, which is so exciting for us and them. NOYO's 50th anniversary is the perfect time for Arlene and I to ensure the program’s funding for the future, as this is also the year of our 50th wedding anniversary.” Arlene Dunn adds that “as a lifelong social justice activist, I am particularly excited that the composer-in-residence program is providing opportunities to young people from communities too often excluded from the ranks of composers, including people of color, women, and other gender identities.”

The Spring Concert includes all four ensembles, the Amati Strings, the Wind Symphony, Sinfonietta Strings and the Philharmonia Orchestra, in music by composers ranging from John Philip Sousa and Paul Desmond to Aaron Copland and George Gershwin. The concert will culminate in a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with piano soloist Elena Loskova, an Oberlin Conservatory faculty pianist, with David Pope leading the Philharmonia Orchestra.

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