On March 1, 2015 at 7:30pm, Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra will feature a young virtuoso. Each year, the GDYO program offers concerto competitions for four of the ensembles, including the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. These competitions cultivate solo performance, encourage personal excellence, and acknowledge the high degree of talent and hard work exhibited by individual musicians in the program. Dallas area professional musicians will judge the orchestra members at their competition in early September, 2014. The winner of the competition is eighth grade cellist, Sai Sai, who will perform Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, Mvt. 1 on this concert. Also featured on this concert will be Barber’s Overture to the School for Scandal, Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances Set III, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9.
Single tickets are $10-$40 (and $8 student tickets are available at the door). You can purchase tickets online and at the door on Sunday. The Meyerson is located at 2301 Flora Street in Dallas.
Cellist Sai Sai, age 13, is a third generation musician. He began playing piano at age 4 and cello at age 6, with Mr. Xie and Mrs. Zou. By the age of 8, he had performed his first solo cello recital in Shanghai. Sai Sai was admitted to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Affiliated Primary School at age 9, attaining first place in his professional field. Sai Sai and his family immigrated to North Texas in October of 2012. Sai Sai is currently studying with Ko Iwasaki. Since arriving in the United States, Sai Sai has been recognized by the Carlson Cello Foundation and plays on the Leo Aschauer cello (on long term loan). He also performed his second solo recital, in Richardson, Texas in 2014. Sai Sai is in 8th grade at Evens Middle School in McKinney.
The young cellist is a prize winner of numerous national and international competitions, including first place in the Fourth Aegean Sea Cup National Cello Competition (Beijing) in August 2010, first place in the 21st Heran International Cello Competition (Prague) in April 2011, first place in the 9th International Solo Competition (Ukraine) in 2011, first place in the S. Knushevitsky International Cello Competition (Moscow) in 2012, first prize in the Junior Division of the First and Second International Conservatory of Music Competition in 2013 and 2014, and first place in the Lake Lewisville Symphony Young Artist Competition in 2013. Most recently, he was grand prize winner for both the Lewisville Lake Competition in 2015 and the Collin County Young Artist Competition in 2015.
GDYO’s Wind Symphony will share the stage with the Dallas Winds on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 in a side by side concert. The concert, which begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Meyerson Symphony Center, offers high school students from throughout the Dallas area the opportunity to rehearse and perform challenging repertoire alongside professional musicians.
“Education is a huge part of what we do here at the Dallas Winds,” said founder and executive director Kim Campbell. “Our musicians are also band leaders, private teachers, and clinicians who work with many of these students through their school bands, as well as the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra.”
“The kids love the opportunity to perform alongside these musicians, whom they all look up to,” said Chuck Moore, executive director of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. “The word ‘awesome’ comes up a lot. I overheard one say, ‘Who would ever have thought I would get to play with these guys?’ It means a lot to them. It’s something they all want to do.”
The 59-member GDYO Wind Symphony kicks off the concert with three selections under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Williams, Assistant Director of Wind Studies and Director of the Green Brigade Marching Band at the University of North Texas. Following the GDYO performance, the Dallas Winds will take the stage under the direction of Artistic Director and Conductor Jerry Junkin. The concert will culminate with the combined GDYO/DW ensemble performing with Junkin again conducting.
The repertoire for this concert includes: David Biedenbender’s Melodius Thunk, Julie Giroux’s Riften Wed, Percy Grainger’s The Gum-Suckers March, Hector Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Claude Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair, Joseph Schwantner’s and the mountains rising nowhere..., and Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Weber.
“This concert gives young musicians an opportunity to rehearse and perform with some of the top professionals in the area,” Campbell said. “It really raises the bar for everyone. The students want to play well for their teachers and mentors, and the pros are extra careful not to mess up in front of their students. Everyone has a great time, but the real winners are the people in the audience, who get to hear a great concert, and see the future of band music up there on the stage.”