Preview: "Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra to join Youth Chorus for March 4 concert"

Cleveland Classical has published a preview of Brett Mitchell's upcoming subscription performance with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra:

On Friday, March 4 at 8:00 pm at Severance Hall, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will perform what director Brett Mitchell says is the most challenging piece the orchestra has played during his tenure. “Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka is certainly a challenging undertaking even for the best of professional orchestras,” Mitchell pointed out during a telephone interview. “But I’ve been with COYO long enough to know that whatever challenge is put in front of the musicians they will, without fail, rise to the challenge. In fact, they always end up exceeding my expectations.”

In order to give his players a head start with learning Stravinsky’s seminal work, Mitchell enlisted the assistance of The Cleveland Orchestra itself. “The first rehearsal back in December was a side-by-side with TCO. The opportunity to sit next to professionals, who have played the piece many times, really helped the young musicians up the confidence factor. As a result they came into the second rehearsal far more assured because of that experience.”

Three days prior to our conversation, Mitchell arranged for a second side-by-side rehearsal. “This is the first time we have ever approached a project like this with side-by-sides at the front and the back ends of the rehearsal process. To watch the professionals and the young musicians come together — and watch the one-on-one mentoring relationships that develop — was heartwarming and speaks miles about our organization and how truly interwoven COYO is into the fabric of TCO. We’re all part of the Musical Arts Association, we’re all in this together with the same mission: to present the best music we possibly can for our audiences.”

The concert’s second half will be dedicated to works for chorus and orchestra. The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, prepared by their director Lisa Wong, will be featured in Aaron Copland’s Canticle of Freedom and Johannes Brahms’s Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny).

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