Front Range Youth Symphony students learn from the Colorado Symphony

By Leslie Simon

For many years, our Youth Symphony students, which is the highest level of orchestra in our Front Range Youth Symphony program, attend a musical summer retreat in Breckenridge. Every August, musicians from the Breckenridge Music Festival act as coaches for the kids, providing them with inside tips on playing professionally in a group. The retreat finalizes with the symphony students attending their coaches’ concert.

This is always a highlight of the FRYS program, but as with so many things in our lives recently, COVID has forced us to look for a way to provide a comparable experience that involves less travel for the students. This year the Arvada Center hosted an in-house retreat, and planned it around the August 1st Colorado Symphony concert here at the Center.

“I contacted the Colorado Symphony to see if they would provide clinicians for us, and happily, they said yes,” said Front Range Youth Symphony and Theatre Education Coordinator Julie Payne. “Working in collaboration with the Colorado Symphony has provided us with an extra special opportunity, as Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams agreed to participate and act as a sectional coach for the retreat.”

Hwang-Williams recently performed in our Outdoor Amphitheatre, and we are honored that she is taking this time to work with the students on such a close level.  “There are many aspects of playing in a section that are different from solo playing,” said Hwang-Williams. “I hope to share with the students some tricks of the trade to help them play better together, and hopefully have a more fulfilling experience when playing in an ensemble.”

CSO Concertmaster Yumi Hwang-Williams, photo by Amanda Tipton

These students had a chance to see the Colorado Symphony concert, and the camps continued through this week for the Academy Strings, Chamber Orchestra, and Concert Strings Orchestra students. The Arvada Center is grateful for our partnerships with other local cultural organizations, and everyone’s lives are enriched when we work together to create valuable arts experiences like these.

The Colorado Symphony performs at the Center's Outdoor Amphitheatre, photo by Amanda Tipton

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