Wynn Nordlund is one of the featured performers for the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra. Western News file photo

Youth Symphony kicks off season with concert series

Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra to perform in Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna

The Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra will feature in performances across the Okanagan Valley, performing classical pieces in their spring concert series.

The 80 talented musicians that are part of the OSYO will perform over two days (May 13 and 14) in Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna.

“Our youth musicians are so incredibly talented, they will impress every music lover; attendees will truly enjoy this show,” said Dennis Colpitts, music co-director for the OSYO. “These musicians work so hard all year and love what they do. Many will make performing in orchestras part of their lifetime careers.”

The featured soloist for this concert series is the multi-talented Jasmine Schweitzer, a violinist and alto saxophone musician from Salmon Arm. Schweitzer began playing the violin at the age of six, and joined the OSYO in 2015 and has loved everything the ensemble has to offer. She had her first experience in performing with an orchestra when she was chosen to be one of the student soloists in the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s series of school shows in 2016, where she performed the first movement of Vivaldi’s Spring. After high school she plans to pursue music at the post-secondary level and to eventually become a professional musician and teacher.

Penticton’s Wynn Nordlund will perform a student composition. Nordlund started learning how to play piano when he was five years old. Last summer he attended a composition camp in California, joining an international group of young composers and chamber musicians.

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“It brings everyone so much enjoyment to see how these musicians grow during their time with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra,” said Colpitts. “They learn so much from each other and their mentors. Their hard work and dedication will show at their performances this weekend.”

The Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra Spring concert series is in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre (325 Power St.) on May 14 at 2 p.m. The series opens Saturday, May 13 at 3 p.m. in Vernon at Trinity United Church (3300 Alexis Park Dr.) and the final performance is on Sunday, May 14 at 7 p.m. in Kelowna at First Lutheran Church (4091 Lakeshore Dr.). Tickets are general admission and are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and youth, and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased from OSYO members, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra office (865 Bernard Ave, Kelowna), online at www.okanagansymphony.com and at the door.

The OSYO is under the umbrella of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) as part of the OSO’s Outreach and Education program. OSYO exists to provide the youth of the Okanagan with opportunities to engage in advanced orchestral playing together with their peers who share a love for classical music, to learn to compose and conduct their own pieces under professional guidance, and to contribute to the cultural life and artistic expression of the Okanagan community. Conducted by Rosemary Thomson and Colpitts and mentored by professional players from the OSO, the OSYO provides a rigorous musical education to string, wind, brass and percussion players throughout the valley.