The New York Youth Symphony have worked throughout the pandemic to create their first studio recording, set to release on April 8th. The recording features four pieces by Florence Price, Valerie Coleman and Jessie Montgomery.
The New York Youth Symphony has achieved something remarkable by creating and releasing their first studio recording. It features a number of member premieres, as well as work from three talented Black women composers. Recorded in the midst of the pandemic at the DiMenna Center in Manhattan, the orchestra had to be socially distanced, with one section recording at a time. The set up was created by Grammy winning producer, Judith Sherman.
A majority of the recording centers itself around different aspects of the Black experience. Price’s pieces blend African American folk with the European Romantic tradition she was trained in. Coleman transformed a simple song meant for a women’s chorus into an orchestral piece while maintaining the feel of a traditional drum circle. NYYS alum, Montgomery drew inspiration from MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech to create her piece, ‘Soul Force’.
The symphony is made up of some of the most talented young musicians available, ranging from ages 12 to 22. While focus is on the performance aspect of the orchestra, at its’ core, the NYYS is here to contribute to the musical education of young musicians. Executive Director, Shauna Quill cites the recording process as “an important and invaluable skill” for students to learn.
“We put a lot of thought and energy into creating a special project that NYYS students could accomplish during this difficult time. I couldn’t be prouder to have led this amazing orchestra in these performances, and for the resiliency of the students who always play at such a high level and with incredible spirit.”Conductor Michael Repper
In addition to the new release, NYYS will be returning to the stage with performances at Dizzy’s Club on 3/7, Carnegie Hall on 3/13, Scandinavia House on 5/4 and the Times Center on 5/9. More information can be found here.
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