During the month of February, Time Warner Cable News is committed to informing our viewers of the sometimes alarming trends facing our kids’ health as well as providing helpful tips for busy parents. Get more information on Fit Kids February, including the Fit Kids Challenge, healthy shopping suggestions and ways you can get involved to help make you and your children healthier.
Now composed of 350 musicians and eight different orchestras, the orchestra seeks to help kids through music. Youth Orchestra of San Antonio director Troy Peters says through the orchestra, kids get an enlarged sense of their own potential — both in music and whatever else they pursue.
“YOSA changes kids’ lives through music here in San Antonio,” Peters said. “We work with hundreds of kids throughout the city on unleashing their own musical potential.”
Find out more in the special Fit Kids edition of “Local Wonders.”
Chris Gokelman is the winner of the 2014/15 YOSA Concerto Competition and will perform William Walton’s Viola Concerto with the San Antonio Symphony on January 18, 2015. Chris currently studies with Allyson Dawkins, Principal Violist of the San Antonio Symphony. He is a past student of Christopher Parsons, has studied with Roger Myers at the University of Texas at Austin, and has participated in a master class with Peter Slowik of Oberlin Conservatory.
Chris is a senior at St. Anthony Catholic High School and has been playing the viola for nearly six years. He has been a part of YOSA since 2009, serving as Principal Violist for both the YOSA Sinfonietta Strings and YOSA Symphony Orchestras and as the current Principal for the YOSA Philharmonic, of which he has been a member for four years. During his time with the YOSA Philharmonic, Chris has performed alongside notable soloists Edgar Meyer, Abdiel Vázquez, Richard Stoltzman, Tracy Silverman, Kenji Bunch, Christopher O’Riley, and Branford Marsalis (in February 2015), and has played with YOSA during the 2012 England and Wales Tour. Prior to his participation in the YOSA Philharmonic, Chris was invited to be a member of the Orchestra of the Incarnate Word/University of the Incarnate Word as an eighth grader.
For the past two years, Chris has been selected to participate in the Castleman Quartet Program East, founded by virtuoso violinist Charles Castleman, in Fredonia, New York. There he has studied with Charles Castleman, Allyson Dawkins, Laura Bossert, and Basil Vendryes, and performed in both chamber and solo recitals. He has also participated in the Summer Music Institute at the University of Texas, San Antonio, in 2011, during which he performed with the top chamber group. Chris has served as the Principal Violist for the Texas Music Educator’s Association Region 12 Orchestra for the past two years, and was the Principal Violist for the Texas All-State String Orchestra in 2014.
An active liturgical musician, he has performed for the Taizé Pilgrimage in Austin, Texas, has been a frequent convention musician for several major publisher showcases during the national conventions of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians since 2012, and has been a regular violist for church services and civic events since 2010. Chris has also been a featured performer of the annual American Guild of Organists “Organ Plus” Concert Series since 2013. As a member of his school’s jazz band, Chris was recognized as an exemplary soloist during the ensemble’s perfect score performance in the 2013 Texas Christian Interscholastic League All-State Competition. In 2014, he was awarded gold medal in the Division 1 of the Central Catholic Button Band Solo Competition.
For more information about this concert, please visit:
Open the door to a “That could be me someday!” musical experience for the kids: bring them to see the inspiring talent of the YOSA Philharmonic musicians as they perform side-by-side with professional musicians of the San Antonio Symphony! Recently returned from a successful tour of Vermont and Quebec, Canada, the YOSA Philharmonic is represented by 70 of the San Antonio area’s top musicians of high-school age. Discover the kid-friendly “Enigma Variations” by English composer Edward Elgar, who wrote a set of short variations based on an “enigma” melody to describe the character of each of his friends. Musical examples and narration will help to better enjoy the work!
Family Concerts are designed for children age 4-11, but can be enjoyed by persons of all ages. Bring the whole family for an afternoon of family fun!
There are no tickets for this event – admission is FREE! – first come, first seated.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, H-E-B Performance Hall NEA Jazz Master and three-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. In a rare San Antonio visit, Marsalis will present the same program he played in a 2011 New York Philharmonic concert that the New York Times hailed for its “gracious poise, supple tone, and insouciant swagger.” YOSA Music Director Troy Peters will also conduct Elgar’s popular “Enigma” Variations, a symphonic masterpiece that also contains 14 musical portraits of Elgar’s friends and family. The concert will open with the bluesy strut of American composer Kenji Bunch’s Supermaximum. Don’t miss this evening of exciting music with the YOSA Philharmonic, San Antonio’s very best young musicians.
YOSA’s season started in November and has been in full swing since. In one season alone (November to May), YOSA performs over 25 concerts. What you see (or what we hope you see) is a polished, errorless concert. But what kind of work goes on before that concert?
Rehearsal: our students practice once a week with their orchestras, giving up about two hours of their Tuesdays or Sundays (depending on what orchestra they’re in). Aside from orchestra rehearsal, most of our members take private lessons, are in their school music program and practice on their free time.
Moving Equipment: our diligent operations team (shout out to Alexandra Wood and Ahmad Mayes) gave up their weekends a long time ago. These two are to thank for making sure all of the percussion instruments make it safely to each concert. Has anyone ever had to drag a timpani across a room? A timpani can weigh over 150 pounds easily (the equivalent to an average teenage boy).
Marketing: before each set of concerts, I’m in charge of putting the program book together. This 40 page plus book contains valuable info like members’ names, schools, concert listing, ads, bios, etc. We produce three program books per season. In addition to the program books, I have to pitch story ideas to the media, in hopes that cameras will show to our concerts. I also work on PSAs (public service announcements) and handle the YOSA merchandise. If you want to buy a YOSA hoodie, I’m the one to call.
But we’re not the only people who work to make sure these concerts are made possible. We couldn’t perform all of our many concerts without the tremendous support of our parents, conductors, instrumental directors, private teachers, school teachers, board members, donors and fans.
Thank you for allowing YOSA to bring music to you!
This year sees many new adventures for YOSA. Our new Music Director, Troy Peters, has moved to San Antonio after 14 successful years in Vermont; the new Music Learning Center after-school program is now in high gear with Maggie Raveneau and her team of teachers providing beginning string classes for over 100 students in San Antonio’s West Side; and YOSA embarking on it’s eighth international tour next summer to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. So what better time to start a blog to keep everyone up to date.
You will find posts from our staff and teachers on the latest activities at YOSA and keep up to date with the frenzy of activities. We hope you will enjoy it.