It's time once again for a group of the region's young talented musicians to take the stage and do their part to enrich the musical landscape.
The Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra will perform its spring concert Sunday at Morton High School Auditorium in Hammond.
"We're excited to present this concert," said Philip Bauman, youth orchestra conductor. Bauman said he's particularly happy to have violinist Patrick Bieszke step into the spotlight in this show. Bieszke, a resident of Orland Park, Ill., is the orchestra's 2013 Concerto Competition Winner. He's also a regular member of the youth orchestra.
"He's a very expressive and very consistent player," Bauman said of Bieszke. "He's a rock solid player and is serious about what he does."
The young violinist, who's played with the orchestra for the past three years, captured the top prize of the concerto competition in January.
Bauman said Bieszke will perform the first movement of Eduard Lalo's "Symphonie Espagnole," which he called a "very descriptive piece" involving the entire orchestra.
"It's the first time since I've been the orchestra's conductor that we'll be playing this piece," Bauman said, adding he's been wanting to include it in the repertoire for awhile.
The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra is comprised of 60 members who hail from various areas of the region, including Lake, Porter, Newton, Jasper and LaPorte counties as well as Cook County in Illinois.
On the concert performance schedule Sunday will also be the music from "Gladiator" by Hans Zimmer and Dvorak's' "Slavonic Dance No. 1" and "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast" by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Bauman said he enthusiastically welcomes the 80-voice Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus, directed by Nancy Menk, who'll perform on the bill with the youth orchestra. The chorus will perform "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast," featuring tenor soloist Thomas Olsen.
'It's the first time we've put the youth orchestra and chorus together under my baton," Bauman said.
The youth orchestra presents two major concerts a year, including one in the fall. They also perform for different showcases including the recent Leap Into the Arts fundraiser, held in February, and they get a chance to work with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra side-by-side once a year.
Young musicians interested in the group may want to tune up their instruments to audition for the youth orchestra. Every May, Bauman auditions new members.
Auditions will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. May 28 and 29 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road, in Munster.
"We're asking people to come and prepare a solo piece," Bauman said, adding they'll visit the website to download a piece of music and come prepared to play it.
"We'll be looking for how well they have mastered their instruments technically and also their musicality," he said.
Auditions are open to string players entering 8th grade and wind, brass and percussion players entering the 9th grade through the age of 21. Next year, the youth orchestra will participate in a tour of Europe, where they'll explore and perform in Germany and Austria. The tour is scheduled for June 23 to July 1, 2014.