If you want to see what young people are doing these days in classical music, all you have to do is go to a Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus concert.
And you’re in luck. There’s a concert at 7 tonight at Legacy Hall, which if you don’t know by now, is inside RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway.
James Palmer is back for his second tour as conductor and music director of YOGC. He was gone for three years as he built a youth orchestra in Cobb County. This is his second year back in Columbus and I know everyone is happy to have him back.
Some of the older students worked with him before, and the younger ones are really gaining a lot of experience with him now.
“When I came back, some of them who were in the younger group are all grown up,” Palmer said. “I can tell that they have been working really hard.”
I watched a little bit of a rehearsal of the String Orchestra, which features the younger musicians and in just 20 minutes or so, even I could tell the difference in how they were playing.
Seeing these children and teenagers today will make you glad that YOGC is here because these are the next generation of musicians who will be playing in other symphonies around the country.
Not only are these orchestra members special, so is their conductor.
“I realized that my true love is in artistic leadership,” Palmer said. “Being away from here made me realize how very special this orchestra is.”
The youngest in the orchestra is 10 years old, and the oldest are 18. And it’s called the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus because it attracts youngsters from other communities near and far. Some come from the Newnan area, while others come from Auburn/Opelika in Alabama and as far south as Albany.
This first concert is special because it features a guest artist, organist Rick McKnight. Rick is really happy that YOGC exists because as a musician, he’s sad that funding has been so reduced in public schools.
I think you’ll enjoy the concert, if just to see how much these young musicians love performing.
Art at Pasaquan
I’ve whined about this a few years now: Pasaquan’s celebration of the arts is the same day as Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. I have to cover Steeplechase for the L-E, so I can’t go to Pasaquan.
If you’re not into horses but love the arts, go on down to Buena Vista to Pasaquan, the home of the late visionary artist, Eddie Owens Martin.
It’s open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and artists include Kenneth Bridger, Judy Callaway, Christen Holloway, Anita Dugat-Greene, Mike Howard, Peggy Sue, Madeline Smith, Maureen Smith and David Snyder. Performers include Sean Rox, Michael Schoff, Celeste Mathews and Friends, Jim Patrick, Rusty Bridgers, the Gini Woolfolk Band and the Bibb City Ramblers.
Admission is $5.
For more information or directions, call John S. Rogers at 229-649-7513.