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Passing the baton to the kids

Youth Sympony and SSO will share stage.


Youth and experience, more than 100 strong, will celebrate musical mentors and masters, as the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Youth Symphony combine Saturday.

This third event of the Symphony’s NightLights Series will be at 8 p.m. at the Clark State Performing Arts Center’s Kuss Auditorium.

Symphony conductor Peter Stafford Wilson wanted to emphasize the relationship between master composers and their mentors this season. Combining the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Youth Symphony for the first time in two years seemed natural.

“Our youth symphony started in 1959, and this was a good chance to put them side by side,” said symphony executive director David Deitrick.

The Symphony Orchestra will play the first half of the show, performing works from Rossini, Haydn and Beethoven. But a touch of youth will be added.

Special guest piano prodigy Taylor Wang will make her symphony orchestra debut by joining the Orchestra for Mozart’s Concerto Rondo.

The 10-year-old Wang, who has played with the Springfield Youth Symphony for three years, won the gold and grand prizes in the World Piano Competition in 2011 and played at Carnegie Hall at age 9.

“She’s unique in that she’s so young. We are excited about having her with us,” said Deitrick.

The full Youth Symphony will join the Symphony Orchestra in the show’s second half, performing works including selections from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and from three other master composers. Deitrick said the Youth Symphony has members from at least seven different area counties.

“In learning from a master, we hope we’re passing on a tradition,” said Deitrick.

The NightLights Series is a chance to gain more insight into the program at 7:15 p.m. during the Opening Notes talk in the Turner Studio. The Springfield Youth String Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra will feature during a performance prelude also at 7:15.



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