Johnstown Youth Orchestra to perform with IUP Symphony, world-renowned fiddlers

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Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra (photo creds: Johnstown Symphony Orchestra)

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra (JSYO) announced they will perform with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Symphony Orchestra and two world-renowned fiddlers.

The JSYO, led by conductor David Anderson, and the IUP Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Alexandra Dee, will perform with award-winning fiddle superstars Mark and Maggie O’Connor Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. at IUP’s Fisher Auditorium. Tickets are available on IUP’s Events webpage.

The featured piece will be Mark O’Connor’s The Improvised Violin Concerto with the composer as the soloist, according to the JSO. Also on the program is Aaron Copland’s An Outdoor Overture. With the combined orchestras and guest high school musicians, there will be over 100 players onstage for the performance.

A full biography of O’Connor can be found on his website.

The event is the culmination of a residency with Mark and Maggie O’Conner that will involve a Fiddle Workshop for students and a combined rehearsal where high school string players around the region will join with the IUP Symphony Orchestra and JSYO string players, they said. They will play pieces from the O’Connor Method, which will also be part of the performance at the concert.

“There’s something truly special that happens when you are on stage together making music with an artist of the caliber of Mark O’Connor,” Anderson said. “You become a better player in that moment, and the kind of collaboration that happens helps take you to a place beyond thinking about all the technical things. It’s purely music and the powerful emotions expressed to the audience.”

Anderson added that it’s incredible that students get to experience a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity.

“It’s my privilege to be part of the preparation and realization of this meaningful moment in their education as musicians and people,” he said.

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