MARQUETTE — Some of the best middle and high school aged musicians from across the UP are preparing for their last performance of the season.
It’s the last performance of the season for the Upper Peninsula Youth Orchestra. The group consists of over 30 students from across the U.P. who are mentored by local professional musicians. The program features arrangements from Mahler’s Symphony #1 along with selections from ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.’
“We hit all of the basic points,” said Co–Director Alex Flannery, “all of the major themes, all of the major melodies and harmonies. What the arranger did is was, he pieced them all together in a cohesive piece.”
The music selections alone will leave the audience entertained, but they’ll become entranced hearing them played by such talented musicians.
“I think it’s a great group,” said Norway Violist Hannah Hayes, “everyone is really advanced and everyone is really focused, which is why I like coming. There’s not a lot of talking or messing around. So it’s super fun to be here, the environment is great. It’s ideal for learning.”
Within that ideal learning environment is two levels of learning. The first is the student learning about music themselves and what their sound is.
“The second level,” added Flannery, “they’re learning about how to play in an ensemble with 30 other kids who are trying to do the exact same thing.”
“Honestly I think this is what has made me grow as a musician the most,” said Escanaba Flutist Lizzy Lynch, “because there’s only so much you can do in high school band and high school orchestra. So coming here it’s like, these are people who want to be here, these are people who are on the same level as me.”
The orchestra is conducted by Matthew Mitchell. The concert will be held at 3 p.m. on May 8th at Reynolds Recital Hall on NMU’s campus. Admission for the event is free, but donations will be accepted.
The event page can be found here.