Because of the unique size of this ensemble (approximately 30 total violin, viola, cello and bass players), Sinfonietta members experience a heightened sense of the importance of each part and each individual musician. Sinfonietta members are in the 11th grade or younger.
This ensemble focuses on cross-listening between sections, blend and balance, expressing various styles of music, and pursuing detailed, mature music making. Sinfonietta members demonstrate advanced shifting and bowing technique and are introduced to challenging string literature.
Under direction of Jim Frank, the Sinfonietta performs three concerts annually.
Rehearsals and Requirements
The Sinfonietta rehearsals are from 6:00-8:00 on Sunday evenings at the Sammons Center for the Arts. All GDYO musicians are expected to participate in their school music programs.
James Frank, Sinfonietta Conductor
A third generation musician and native Texan, James Frank graduated from the Juilliard School in 1981, where he studied applied French horn with James Chambers as a Rubenstein scholar.
As a French hornist, Mr. Frank enjoyed a six year career as Co-principal in the Columbus Symphony and a member of the Columbus Symphony Woodwind Quintet.
He has also performed with The National Orchestral Association and The Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City, The Aspen Music Festival and Chamber Orchestras, the Sinfonia da Camera and Pro Musica Chamber Orchestras, The A.I.M.S. Orchestra in Graz, Austria, and as a Blossom Music Festival Fellow. Locally, he has performed with the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Richardson Symphony and the Plano Symphony Orchestra.
As an educator, Mr. Frank received his teaching certificate from the Ohio State University in 1987 and returned to Texas to lead the orchestras of Richardson High School, Vines High School and Plano Senior High School. In addition to being consistent sweepstakes winners at U.I.L. contest, orchestras under his direction were named “Best in Class” and “Grand Champion of Texas” three times by American Classic Music Festivals. In 1999, Plano Senior High School Chamber Orchestra was named the TMEA Honor String Orchestra for Texas. Mr. Frank has also worked as a Southern Association Evaluator and Region III Orchestra Chairman and continues to serve as a guest clinician, a panelist and as a frequent adjudicator for U.IL. and other major festivals.
As a conductor, Mr. Frank is in his twentieth season as director of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra Philharmonic and the thirteenth season as director of the GDYO Sinfonietta. He has conducted the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphonies, and was the Youth Concert Series conductor for the Dallas Symphony for the 2008-2009 season. Mr. Frank has also served as director of orchestras at the Red Lodge Music Festival in Montana and as a guest conductor of the New Philharmonic of Irving and the Allen Philharmonic. He currently lives in Dallas with his wife Marilyn and has a daughter named Lauren.
Violin: Susan Younghans, Sondra Brudnak, Marian Jacobs
Viola: Vern Lewis
Cello: Jeff Hood
Bass: Mike Lelevich