Countdown to Forces of Destiny

It’s been a busy semester so far for the Dunedin Youth Orchestra. We’ve had secondary schools’ chamber music contests, Play with the Sinfonia events, and snow days filling up our calendars — and that’s before we even get to DYO rehearsals! However, we are now fully in gear for our next concert Forces of Destiny, which will be held 7:30pm, Thursday 25 September, at Knox Church.

As we blogged previously, this concert includes the very challenging Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The Youth Orchestra previously played Beethoven at some time last century! And one of the members of the orchestra at that time told me that he thinks that this year’s iteration of the DYO will trump the original performance.

We are also grappling with Sam van Betuw’s new compostion, The Soprano Sorceress, which DYO will premiere this concert. Sam, who studies composition at the University of Otago, was the most recent winner of the Audrey Reid Composition Prize. His piece includes some exciting percussion parts — which are fun for the percussionists but nearly deafening for everyone in front of them!

DYO Poster 2014 September redThe other major works we will perform are the Force of Destiny Overture (Verdi), which is perhaps best known as the theme to the Stella Artois television advertisements, and Stanford’s Clarinet Concerto ably performed by DYO soloist and 2013 Young Musicians Award recipient Natasha Kumar. We enjoyed Natasha coming in front of the orchestra last rehearsal so we could put our accompaniment with her solo.

Two further DYO Young Musicians Awards will be presented in this semester’s concert, and we look forward to hearing those musicians perform next year.

But of course before we get to the concert we still have three weeks of rehearsals. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra arrives in Dunedin today for their concert HADYN: The Creation tomorrow evening and we’ve managed to arrange some sectional rehearsals with David Bremner (brass), David Angus (wind), Donald Armstrong, and Joan Perarnau Garriga (both strings). We’ll share some photographs of this event with you later in the week.

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