September 2 2006, 7:30 PM
Mote Hall, Maidstone
Smetana- Die Moldau
Dvorak- Noonday Witch
Martinu- Memorial to Lidice
Rachmaninoff- Symphony no. 2
KENT COUNTY YOUTH ORCHESTRA (KCYO)
President- Sir Simon Rattle CEB
Patron- Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CBE
Since its formation in 1963, Kent County Youth Orchestra has consistently been acclaimed at home and abroad for its outstanding performances of an impressive range of orchestral masterpieces. Today it is a key part of Kent Music School‘s provision for talented young musicians aged between 13 and 21. The orchestra’s success stems from exceptionally positive esprit de corps, players’ enthusiasm and commitment, and the skill and dedication of the leading professional musicians involved in their training. Many tutors are ex-KCYO players: all have substantial experience with orchestras of world renown.
Performing with top international soloists and guest conductors also enhances achievement. Over recent years the orchestra has worked with Stephen Barlow, Martyn Brabbins, Peter Stark, Chris Adey, Brian Wright, Ian Bousfield, Robert Cohen, Peter Donohoe, Evelyn Glennie, Barry Griffiths, Fiona Kim, John Lill, Joanna MacGregor, Paul Beniston, Paul Silverthorne and John Wallis. Sponsorship helps fund the engagement of such quality artists as well as the purchase of the best specialist instruments and equipment. KCYO usually promotes three public concerts a year. Occasionally one is broadcast by BBC Radio 3 or Radio Kent. The orchestra has been engaged to give concerts for other promoters such as The National Trust, Kent Red Cross, Thanet and Sandwich Rotary Clubs and The Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. The orchestra has been televised for a BBC Television education series and over recent years produced two CD’s.
In 1998, KCYO look part in a new production of Britten’s Peter Grimes. In the same year, it won a prestigious Sainsbury’s Youth Orchestra Series award. In 1999, the orchestra gave its main series of concerts in Maidstone and featured again at the Canterbury Festival with former BBC Young Musician of the Year – Freddie Kempf. The year 2000 saw soloists of world renown playing with KCYO; Joanna MacGregor and Evelyn Glennie. On Easter Saturday 2001, KCYO and a Chorus of 500 singers from Kent performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (The Choral) at The Royal Albert Hall in a concert jointly sponsored by Kent County Council, BBC Radio Kent, Kent Messenger Group Newspapers and Kent Music School. CD’s and Video’s are available of this concert.
KCYO undertakes regular foreign concert tours when players become musical ambassadors for Kent and the UK. In recent years, KCYO has represented the county and country in Argentina (twice), Brazil (twice), Catalonia, France (twice), Holland and Portugal. The high profile visits to Argentina were promoted by the world-famous Teatro Colon Opera House and sponsored by The British Council. In August 2002 KCYO travelled to Italy to take part in the 4th International Festival of European Youth Orchestras. Concert programmes comprise works from the standard symphonic repertoire but new music is sometimes commissioned too, the most recent being Tommy Pearson’s Rant. This was work premiered on 5th January 2003 in Mote Hall, Maidstone. Previous commissions have been Paul Patterson’s White Shadows on a Dark Horizon , Nigel Osborne’s Tracks , Simon Proctor’s Trombone and Viola Concertos and Tommy Pearson’s Time Dances. Tommy, once a percussionist in the orchestra, is now a familiar BBC Radio 3 presenter. Many other former members hold prominent positions in the music profession as orchestral players, teachers or as concert promoters. Several players have achieved notable success in BBC Young Musician of the Year competitions whilst still members of the orchestra.