Youth Symphony in Tune with Okanagan Spring Concerts – Lake Country Calendar

Amazing talent, dedication to excellence and passion for music will be on full display when the Okanagan Youth Symphony Orchestra closes out the 2021/2022 season with its Spring Concert.

Like its professional counterpart, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, OSYO performs in all three Okanagan cities.

Performances are Saturday, May 28 at Trinity United Church in Vernon at 7 p.m.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our OSYO musicians and are thrilled to feature two soloists and two composers at this concert,” said co-conductor Rosemary Thomson.

Original works by Dryden Bennett (Mayflower Fields) and Alex Thiessen (The Lagoon) will be performed

Bennett “fell in love with the music” during his first rehearsal with OSYO three years ago.

“Hearing these new sounds from the orchestra really inspired me,” said Bennett, who started composing in March 2020 to keep a connection to the music while the pandemic put OSYO rehearsals on hold. “I quickly became passionate about composing – I was composing every day until I found something I liked.”

Thiessen is a multi-instrumentalist in his third season as a violist with OSYO; he is also an accomplished pianist and singer who was recommended to represent the Kelowna Kiwanis Festival at the BC Provincials. Reflecting on his first piano lessons, Thiessen recalls thinking, “What’s the point of playing these songs? I should write them down.

The OSYO also offers possibilities for the interpretation of concertos to “soloists in the making”. This concert offers a rare opportunity for something rarely considered a solo instrument – the timpani. The percussionist Emma Barnett will prove the opposite by interpreting a movement of the Concerto for Timpani by Ney Rosauro, composed in 2003. Barnett has been playing percussion for seven years.

Flutist Alice Nie, second soloist of the concerto in this program, will perform Fantasia from Carmen by Georges Bizet (arranged by Guiot/Egner). Nie is an accomplished young musician, having previously served as principal flute/piccolo with the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she has won the Gold Medal for Level 10 Woodwinds from the Royal Conservatory.

The young musicians are thrilled to present their first spring concert in three years, said co-conductor Dennis Colpitts.

OSYO’s lower ticket price makes high-quality classical music affordable for a broad market of music fans. Tickets can be purchased at

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