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Pops and Pre-Tour Concert - Young People's Symphony Orchestra
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension
Oakland, CA
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Pops and Pre-Tour Concert - Young People's Symphony Orchestra
Berlioz - Rakoczy March from The Damnation of Faust
Chaminade - Concertino for Flute & Orchestra, Barbara
 Fairweather, flute
Stravinsky - Dance of the Firebird and Infernal Dance from The Firebird Suite
Vaughan Williams - Concerto for Tuba & Orchestra in F minor,
 Riley Baker, tuba
Anderson - Home Stretch
Williams - Medley from The Empire Strikes Back arranged by Whitney
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 4 in F minor, third and fourth movements
Sousa - Stars and Stripes Forever


Young People's Symphony Orchestras Pops and Pre-Tour Concert, which will be the final regular concert of the 2017-18 season before the orchestras departure on a performance tour to the Pacific Northwest, will feature two of the orchestras 2018 concerto competition winners, Music Director and Conductor David Ramadanoff and 85 teenage musicians in a program of Berlioz, Chaminade, and Vaughn Williams, musical highlights from the season of Stravinskys The Firebird Suite, Tchaikovskys Fourth Symphony, and popular music of Anderson, Williams, and Sousa.

Each season, YPSO offers all members who have been in the orchestra for at least one full season the opportunity to enter the Concerto Competition to compete for the opportunity to play a concerto with the orchestra at a regular concert. The orchestras featured two concerto competition winners on the program will be:  Barbara Fairweather, flute, who will play Cecil Chaminades Concertino for Flute; and Riley Baker, tuba, who will play Ralph Vaughn Williams Tuba Concerto.

Cecil Chaminades Concertino for Flute that had its debut in 1902. The composer dedicated the piece to Adolphe Hennebains, professor of flute at the Paris Conservatory. The Flute Concertino is one of the few pieces by Chaminade that has remained in the concert repertoire. It is famous because it showcases both the lyrical and technical ranges of the flute, says Fairweather.

Barbara Fairweather, 17, is a senior at Berkeley High School. She has been playing flute for eight years, and has played in YPSO for two years. She attended the Oakland School for the Arts her freshman year before transferring to Berkeley High. Prior to YPSO, Fairweather played in the Oakland Youth Orchestra in the 2015-16 season and traveled to Cuba with OYO in summer 2016; she was also in the Berkeley Youth Orchestra for three years.  Fairweather attended the Cazadero Music Camp for six summers, and was a Counselor In Training in 2015. Besides flute, Fairweather played the alto sax in jazz band from sixth grade through the ninth grade. She also sang in the San Francisco Girls Chorus for four years.  Outside of music, Fairweathers main interest is biology. In the summer of 2017, she had a research internship at the Childrens Hospital Oakland Research Institute, where she did research in a lab working to use CRISPR/Cas9 as a genetic therapy for Sickle Cell Anemia.  She will attend UC Santa Barbara to study music and biology in the fall of 2018.  

Riley Baker will perform Ralph Vaughn Williams Tuba Concerto.  Composed in 1954 just a few years before the composers death, the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto was the first major tuba concerto and is by far the most commonly performed one. Many criticized the work at first, citing the ridiculousness of featuring such a novelty instrument, but it demands virtuosity and expression from the soloist. Today, it has become a staple of the standard tuba repertoire.

Riley Baker, 17, is a senior at Capuchino High School in San Bruno. Born into a musical family, his mother is a veteran Bay Area radio broadcaster and his dad is a professional jazz musician, and his twin sister Ramona is a pianist. Baker started his musical career at age four singing in the San Francisco Boys Choir and by six he was taking drum lessons. At 12, he was playing drums professionally alongside traditional swing and New Orleans jazz musicians. He started playing tuba in middle school and joined YPSO at 14; this is his third season with the orchestra. Riley has also performed with the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC) All State Orchestras. This year Baker was awarded an outstanding soloist (trombone) award at the College of San Mateo Jazz Festival, and received both the Louis Armstrong and John Phillip Sousa awards from his high school.  Baker will continue music in college. "I just don't think I would enjoy doing anything else other than playing music, it's a big part of who I am as a person, he says.

Each season, as part of the Pops Concert, the orchestra also honors its high school seniors with a graduation ceremony. This season, YPSO will recognize 25 high school seniors who in the fall of 2018 will attend outstanding universities and music schools, including Yale University, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, and The New School in New York City.

After the Pops Concert, the orchestra will embark on a performance tour of the Pacific Northwest from June 16 to 24, where it will perform in Seattle at the University of Washingtons Meany Theatre; in Victoria, British Columbia, at the University of Victorias Farquhar Auditorium; and in Vancouver, Canada at the Kay Meeke Centre and Chan Centre.

Celebrating his 29th season as Music Director/Conductor, David Ramadanoff conducts 85 YPSO musicians who range in age from 12 to 18, who hail from 33 Bay Area cities in eight counties.

Founded in Berkeley in 1936, YPSO is the oldest youth orchestra in California and the second oldest in the nation. The 2017-18 season is the 81st season since violinist and conductor Jessica Marcelli founded YSPO at the suggestion of Clarabelle Bell, an amateur harpist and Berkeley resident, who got the idea after hearing a youth orchestra on a trip to Portland, Oregon.


Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension (View)
4700 Lincoln Ave
Oakland, CA 94602
United States


Music > All Ages
Music > Classical
Music > Symphony

Minimum Age: 5
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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