Performance Oklahoma Presents 1st Edition of OK Youth in Classical

Mar 13, 2013

Hear this program Saturday evening, March 16, 2013 at 8:00 on Classical 88.7-1. Listen to a sample.

Performance Oklahoma is delighted to present the 1st edition of OK Youth in Classical! The new breakout series profiles three distinguished Oklahoma high school music ensembles: the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, the Norman North Chorale and the Edmond North Orchestra. Listeners learn about each award-winning ensemble, enjoy delightful commentary from six young musicians, meet the dedicated directors, and hear a sampling of recent performances from each ensemble.

The Edmond Public Schools string orchestra program was founded in 1978 and in 35 years, the program has expanded to include over 800 students in grades 6 through 12In 2002, the Edmond North High School Orchestra welcomed their current director, Mr. Peter Markes. Under his direction, they have been selected by the Oklahoma Music Educator’s Association to perform at the 2008 and 2012 conferences as the high school honor orchestra and have won nine consecutive State Sweepstakes Awards and have been recognized annually by the State of Oklahoma for academic achievement. The Edmond North Orchestra appears in leading performance halls around the country, has performed twice for the Oklahoma Governor's Arts Award ceremony, and was invited to play at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and just this past December joined an elite group with its performance at the premier music education convention Midwest Clinic, held in Chicago. The Norman North High School Chorale has established a tradition of musical excellence and national recognition in its fifteen years under the direction of Tony Gonzalez. The Chorale has earned 15 consecutive State Sweepstakes Awards, won major festivals in cities across the US and has appeared with the Oklahoma Symphony and the Canterbury Choral Society.

The Norman North Chorale made its record seventh appearance as an Oklahoma Music Educator’s Honor Choir during this month of January and has appeared at the American Choral Directors Association in NYC in 2003, in Miami in 2007, and in OKC in 2009 and in the Southwest American Choral Directors Association in Kansas City in 2008. In 2011, the Chorale was a featured performer on NPR's radio show From the Top, co-sponsored by KCSC and was heard on 276 radio stations across the country.

The Oklahoma Youth Orchestras program, founded in 1977, provides advanced orchestral education and performance opportunities for talented middle and high school musicians. The Harrison Academy seeks to strengthen existing school instrumental music programs, and to supplement instrumental music programs that do not include orchestra, providing a weekly opportunity for youth musicians from many different schools across Oklahoma to work together to challenge their performance skills under the direction of respected conductors and music educators. OYO, the flagship ensemble of the program, is comprised of the most advanced high school orchestral musicians who perform standard repertoire as well as music from contemporary composers, regularly tours throughout the world and has been conducted since 1992 by Dr. John Clinton. This past November, the ensemble celebrated its 35th anniversary with a special concert offered at the Civic Center Music Hall.