Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra Perform This Weekend: media article submission

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Story Submitted by: Milton OrrisIf you are worried about the Millennium Generation doing a good job of caring for the future, this weekend plan to come and see the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra performance in Vernon, Penticton or Kelowna.  This is a group of nearly 80 very talented and dedicated young people who love music and express this love through their performances. They are dedicated, committed to excellence and have a deep respect and connection with each other. You will love them.You will find that the music they produce brings tears to your eyes, joy to your heart and fills your mind with beauty.  And some of what they play – they have composed! This I learned at the rehearsal this past Sunday when they were getting ready for their fall concert series.The concert in Penticton on Sunday afternoon, November 27, will feature traditional classical music, a newly written composition by a member of the orchestra, and the wonderful themes from the musical Oklahoma, among other pieces.  The locally composed selection is by Wynn Nordlund of Penticton.  Conductor Rosemary promises starting at 2 o’clock so they will finish in time for you to get home for the Grey Cup game.These young musicians come from all over the Okanagan – Penticton, Summerland, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Coldstream, Vernon, Salmon Arm, White Lake and Lake Country and they gather together every Sunday afternoon in Kelowna for three hours to rehearse under the direction of co-conductors Rosemary Thomson and Dennis Colpitts.  The orchestra members range in age from 10 to 20 with a balance of young guys and gals from many cultural backgrounds.How do Rosemary and Dennis find such dedicated, talented young people?  They visit and listen to players in the school bands, ask teachers to recommend developing musicians, and get referrals from private lesson teachers in the communities. As Dennis says they are always looking for horn players and right now need additional oboe, bassoon and bass players if you are interested.In speaking to a number of the youth members of the OYSO they all had the same message – “we are all so much alike, we enjoy each other and love making music together”.  Or as one member of the orchestra put it “after my first practice session with them I knew – these are my people”.In explaining how they view leading the orchestra Rosemary commented “each piece we do teaches them something different. We provide a rigorous orchestral education, and they pick it up so fast! Also we see the side benefits from being part of the orchestra – joy, pride, connection and knowing they are at the top of their game.”As Dennis commented “these are the nicest kids to work with. It is amazing to hear so many youthful performers responding so effectively all together. They really like each other and get along and they learn at the speed of lighting”. He also commented that the opportunity to play in the orchestra now often led to an on-going and continuing participation in music in their future.In observing them at the rehearsal it was clear that Rosemary and Dennis provide a positive leadership and instruction to all those in the orchestra. This was confirmed by many of the young musicians who expressed their appreciation for the positive learning and performing environment that was always there when they come together.Several of the musically experienced members of the Youth Orchestra are often invited to also play with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra at their concerts.Many parents encourage their children to take up a musical instrument, and many of them find it difficult to keep their young musicians motivated to practice and continue playing.  A great idea is to bring your children to the concert Sunday afternoon so they can see what could be ahead for them if they keep practicing. The fun that playing brings, that they will see on the faces of those now in the orchestra, will motivate them.The best way the citizens of the area can express their appreciation for the discipline, hard work and passion these young people demonstrate and the beautiful music that results is to attend the concert and through your applause show what a wonderful experience they have shared with all of us.The concerts are on Saturday, November 26 at 3pm at Trinity United Church, 3300 Alexis Park Drive; Sunday, November 27 at 2 pm at the Cleland Theatre in Penticton and Sunday, November 27 at 7:00pm at First Lutheran Church, 4091 Lakeshore Rd.  Tickets may be purchased on line through the OSO web site, or by phoning 250-763-7544 or from members of the orchestra, or at the door.Wynn Nordlund – A Youthful ComposerWynn Nordlund, a grade 12 student at Pen High, is an outstanding member of the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra. He plays the French Horn and is also a composer.  One of his compositions, Une Legende Symphonique, will be featured at the performance next Sunday.  This is one of his many compositions, the others include piano works, piano trios, as well as music for bands, now underway.His music career started very young. He began piano lessons when he was five and became as he puts it “a voracious piano player” by the age of 10. He is now working towards a diploma in classical piano. Then at 15 he began playing the French Horn at Pen High with the school band, and joined the OSYO orchestra shortly after.  He can also play the clarinet, saxophone and trumpet.Why did he join the OSYO?  “It is hard to find a situation where I could play with so many people. The OSYO is a cool atmosphere.  After the first practice with them I knew I had found my people. And I love the music”.How does he describe his symphonic composition? “It is a symphonic poem and story. What is important to me is what does it create in your own mind and heart when you hear it”. You will be able to find out how it moves you this coming Sunday when the OSYO performs it at the Cleland Centre at 2 p.m.Last summer he attended a summer school of music at Sonoma University in California.  Next year he will be off to University to pursue a double major in Music Composition and Mathematics and then go on to graduate school to prepare to become a career professional composer.He is also a member of the Pen High Concert and Jazz bands playing French Horn, trumpet and piano.  He recently performed one of his piano compositions at the joint Pen High and Princess Margaret High School concert.He comes by his musical talent in part through family example – his father is Dennis Nordlund, a very well known local musician and teacher and his mother Maria, an interior designer also has a music background.  He has a brother and two sisters all deeply involved in music. You will recognize Wynn at Sunday’s concert as he is one of four French Horn players and is 6 feet, 3 inches tall.For more information on the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra visit their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YouthSymphonyOkanagan

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