The Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra marks a 75th anniversary this weekend, and 90-year-old William Foster is one of many music lovers looking forward to the celebration.
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HOW TO GO:
WHAT: Spring Concert of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and 75th Anniversary Celebration
WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5. A reception will follow the concert.
WHERE: The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton
TICKETS: $6 at the door or reserve by calling (937) 224-3521, ext. 1136
Did You Know?
- In 1937, The Dayton Philharmonic Training Orchestra was founded by Paul Katz, conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. It is the third oldest youth orchestra program in America, after the Portland, Ore., and Berkeley, Califo., orchestras. Early concerts were at the Dayton Art Institute.
- The orchestra’s three longest tenured conductors have been Marjorie Kline (1940- 1967), William Steinorht (1978 - 1995) and Patrick Reynolds (2000-today.)
- In 1961, DPYO became the orchestra for the annual KinderConcert and in 2005 became the orchestra for the second concert of the annual DPO Family Concert Series. It has partnered with the groups ranging from the Magic Circle Mime Company to Dayton Ballet II.
- In 1988, for its 50th anniversary, the DPYO performed at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall.
- In 2002, 2004 and 2006, DPYO was invited to perform at the Ohio Music Educators’ Conference.
- Former members of the youth orchestra have included: Daniel Pilarczyk , Archbishop of Cincinnati; Steven Reineke, Conductor, New York Pops; Emilie Kim, Engineer, Apple Computers; Lindsey Kleiser, Principal Oboe, Sarajevo Philharmonic; Charles Dimmick, Concertmaster, Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra; Kimberly Trout, Officer, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Member DPO; Adrian Lauf, Assistant Professor Computer Engineering, University of Louisville.
- The orchestra performs at the Schuster Center three times a year — two classical concerts and one family concert.
Reflections from past and present members of the Youth Orchestra
“What I have really enjoyed about being a part of the orchestra is meeting other musicians who love music as much as I do. You have to communicate with your fellow musicians, but most importantly you are communicating with the audience. We don’t need to speak the same language in order to appreciate a piece of music.
— Ashley Overby, viola, DPYO, Kettering
“We had some of Dayton’s finest young musicians in the group at that time and we played some very good and challenging orchestral literature, just as they do today. We learned to be dependable by being regular in attendance for all rehearsals and concerts and to come well prepared. I am just completing my 50th year of performing with this (Dayton Philharmonic) orchestra, and it has been wonderful.”
— Bob Gray, second clarinet, Dayton Philharmonic, Springfield
Being a member of an orchestra does not simply depend upon skill; it requires an attitude and perspective of its own. When a player steps into a rehearsal or a performance, he has to put on a certain persona. He must integrate the dynamics of the ensemble, the essence of the music, and his own knowledge and experience into the blend that will best communicate that music to the listener. And he does it automatically.
But this is something that has to be learned, and the earlier the young musician is introduced to it, the more natural it becomes. The instrumental skills can be learned independently, but it is by living in the orchestra that one learns the music behind the written page, the mind of the composer, the genres of repertoire, and all the influences that enable the ensemble to present music as it was meant to be heard.”
— Katherine Ballester, violin, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and former member of DPYO, Sugarcreek Twp.
“Despite our different backgrounds and personalities, DPYO members have something in common: we all want to make beautiful music. The exhilaration of creating beautiful music with so many passionate peers is beyond words. Music is an avenue for me to share my passion with the community. Practicing the violin or rehearsing with an orchestra helps relax my nerves and allows me to refocus.”
— Joseph Lin, violin, concertmaster, DPYO, Centerville
“I still remember the first down beat by Dr. Reynolds and how amazed I was at the music being created by all these high school musicians. This is when my passion and love of classical music began to grow.”
— Valerie Ankeney, horn, DPYO, Miamisburg
I was a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra during the 1984-85 season. My experiences led me to a life of music and a music educator. Twenty-seven years later, I watched my daughter Kirsten Boninsegna become a member of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. I can’t begin to tell you the feeling of pride I feel and the memories it has allowed me to remember concerning my own time with DPYO.
— Michael Boninsegna, Englewood
BEHIND THE SCENES
Today, we share a special Milestone being celebrated by the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, which has been making music and teaching valuable, lifelong lessons for its members for 75 years. For our story, we talked to the conductor, as well as members of the youth orchestra from the present and past — including a 90-year-old man part of the orchestra at its very beginning.
Through Milestones, we are celebrating the many accomplishments of local groups and showcasing what’s possible through hard work and dedication.
If you know of a group that is marking an important milestone, send your nominations to arts and entertainment reporter Meredith Moss at Meredith.Moss@CoxInc.com.