The Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus has received its biggest award yet for this year’s fall concert.
The $18,537 award was given in recognition of the YOGC’s influence on the local economy through their presence downtown.
The award was presented through a joint effort of the Columbus Cultural Arts Alliance and the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau. It is the highest award amount that the YOGC has ever received from these organizations.
Since 1993, the YOGC has worked to develop the musical knowledge and skills of thousands of students in the Chattahoochee Valley. Every year, the program works with over 100 students from 20 different public, private and home schools in the area. Auditions are held at the beginning and end of each school year. The last audition date for the 2017 season is Aug. 19.
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The YOGC’s Fall Concert will take place Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Heard Theatre at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. The evening will present performances by the YOGC Violin Ensemble under the direction of Jessica Bennett, and the String and Youth Orchestras directed by YOGC Maestro Jim Palmer. The concert will feature guest violinist Boris Abramov, an international soloist and professor at Columbus State University.
In addition to the concert, an art show with artists from The Columbus Artists’ Guild will be presented in the lobby. All proceeds from the art sale will benefit the Youth Orchestra.
Stephanie Erdman Payne, the Youth Orchestra’s executive director, said she is grateful for the award and proud of the work the YOGC is doing to benefit the local economy.
“We are thankful to be recognized for our work to help stimulate the local economy,” she said. “Every week, students come from as far away as Harris County, Georgia, Auburn and Eufaula, Alabama, for YOGC rehearsals. Students and their parents are getting dinner and coffee from local downtown restaurants.”
There are other ways the economy is impacted by the YOGC. Payne noted how parents have contributed to the city’s growth.
“The parents will go watch a Columbus State University concert in Legacy Hall or explore the RiverWalk while their child is in rehearsal,” she said.
Payne said the Columbus Cultural Arts Alliance and the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau recognize that the orchestra also impacts the economy by holding all of the ensemble’s concerts and events downtown as well. She said this is yet another way the YOGC promotes economic growth.
“Our concerts draw hundreds of audience members, many of whom are out of town family members who come to hear their niece, nephew, or grandchild perform,” she said.
The orchestra’s impact stretches beyond the economy, however. Payne said she is proud of the way the ensemble benefits the well-being of the community, but pointed out the orchestra’s most important goal is working with the students.
“It’s a great way to promote the talent and attractions we have here in Columbus while educating the creative workforce of tomorrow,” she said.
For more information on the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus or to find out how to get your student involved, visit the organization’s website at yogc.org.
If you go
What: Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus’ Fall Concert
When: 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7
Where: Heard Theatre, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts
Cost: The concert is free, but prices in the art show will vary.