Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Ark-La-Tex Youth Symphony (ALTYSO) in concert with our professional musicians - Monday May 16, 2011

Please join us as The Ark-La-Tex Youth Symphony Orchestra presents its annual side by side concert with the professional musicians of the Ark-La-TX, Monday evening May 16, in the Byrd High School Auditorium - 7:00 PM

The concert is free
and you are invited to an after concert reception

Chris Allen

Conducting the "side by side" segment of the program will be its Music Director, Christopher Allen. Beverly Houston will be conducting the ALTYSO Sinfonia comprised of the organization's younger students.

photo of Beverly Houston provided by ALTYSO

What a treat it has been for me as a professional Horn player to participate in this annual event first held in the old Expo Hall, then at the riverfront parkway amphi - theatre and in recent years in the Byrd High School auditorium. I am told that the students eagerly look forward to this event with great anticipation through out the school year. Imagine, your opportunity to play a concert with professional musicians seated right next to you on stage!!

Many years ago I experienced this rare opportunity in the late 50's when the SSO with Music Director, Maestro John Shenaut, needed extra horns to play some Richard Strauss. My friend Judy Causey, (who will be playing in this side by side concert with me) my sister Donna and I (all three of us high school band students at FPHS) were asked to join the orchestra for the Strauss selection, Don Juan. From the moment I first sat down amongst the hallowed and revered professionals I felt as though I were in culture shock and I couldn't imagine how those horn players could play so loud and so perfectly, but the word "nervous" was not in our young vocabulary at the time and the professionals coached us through the piece until we were convinced that we would actually add to, not take from the performance.  It was my first experience playing in a professional orchestra and I never forgot it.

Below are a few candid shots from our rehearsal in the C.E. Byrd band hall with the ALTYSO musicians.

professional musician Mike Scarlato
whose dad was a member of the SSO when I first played as a student

professional musician Tom Phillips

professional musicians Sally Horak, Theresa Bridges and Peter Haas

professional musician Peter Haas

professional musicians Dan Santelices and Joe Cooper

To view additional photos of the participating students and professional musicians, please, jump to my blog page @

I will be posting the concert photos on my blog later this week.

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