Penrith Youth Orchestra debut

Established in February 2018 by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Joan and the Penrith Symphony Orchestra with support from the Crown Resorts Foundation’s Western Sydney Arts Initiative, the newly formed Penrith Youth Orchestra (PYO) performed their debut concert on Sunday 20 May at the Joan Sutherland Centre of Performing Arts.

Penrith Youth Orchestra debut

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The PYO offers young musicians from Western Sydney unprecedented opportunities to develop their musical and orchestral skills. It is comprised of 44 talented young musicians aged between 8-21, who gather together at The Joan each week to rehearse under the expert guidance of Artistic Director Paul Terracini, alongside professional musicians from the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) and members of the Penrith Symphony Orchestra (PSO).

The Youth Orchestra is an extension of the highly successful Penrith Strings program, which established by the ACO, The Joan and the PSO in 2015.

Hania Radvan, CEO of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts, said, “It is of vital importance to Western Sydney that young artists are offered opportunity to learn and perform alongside some of the best musicians that our region - and this country - has to offer. Bringing together our own Orchestra-inResidence, one of Australia’s very best chamber orchestras, and some of tomorrow’s brightest musicians helps us build a dynamic and sustainable future for music education and programming, and also offers local audiences a unique opportunity to appreciate the beauty of live performance with a deep connection to our own community.”

The ACO runs an extensive range of music-education programs around the country. Education Manager Vicki Norton commented, “The Penrith Strings program has been one of the ACO’s most successful education activities ever. Along with the unique combination of expertise brought to it by the three partners, the strength of local commitment has been a major key to its success.”

The creation of the Youth Orchestra is a doubly significant milestone for the PSO, which this year also celebrates its 30th anniversary.

PSO President John Pearce said, “Throughout its history, the PSO has provided opportunities for young musicians. Our extremely popular annual children’s concerts have introduced literally thousands of young children to classical music, and many musicians who played with PSO in their youth have gone on to build successful musical careers in Australia and beyond. The success of Penrith Strings, and now the creation of the Youth Orchestra, takes PSO’s contribution to music in its community to a whole new level.”

The PYO’s debut performance will feature music by Schubert, Bizet and Tchaikovsky. The concert will also include a performance by the ACO Ensemble, who will play three works for string quartet.

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