|Soloist Misty Rose Knol and Youth Symphony of the Okanagan conductor Dennis Colpitts compare the sizes of her piccolo and his baton.|
"The piccolo is the secondary instrument for someone who plays flute and I'm doing my solo on this little instrument," said Knol, who will be the featured soloist.
Holding the tiny wind instrument up, in comparison it's not much bigger than the baton conductor Dennis Colpitts will use to lead her and the orchestra.
Knol will be joined by the rest of the
68-member YSO as they turn the page into a new era - one without founding music director Imant Raminsch at the helm.
Rosemary Thomson, music director of Okanagan Symphony, has now taken over as co-music director along with Colpitts, who joined to help Raminsch a few years ago.
"It was a big decision for Imant," said Thomson.
Raminsch founded the YSO 23 years ago.
"We're really proud to be bringing the YSO under the wing of the OSO, as a flagship for our outreach and education program," she said.
The new partnership between Thomson and Colpitts certainly has its advantages. "Dennis has so much experience with winds and brass, and teaching winds and brass, the fingering, etc., and I have that experience with strings," said Thomson. "So it's a really good fit."
It also enables them to break into groups for more intensive rehearsal time.
For Knol, it gives her extra time working with Colpitts to prepare her for the upcoming spotlight cameo she will have when the orchestra plays Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme.
Knol, who now lives in Kaleden, started her music training on piano with only a computer, a keyboard and a willingness to learn.
"My first piano teacher was a computer and I have to say, I learned a lot of bad habits from it," she said.
When they finally moved to town, when she was in Grade 5, she got a real teacher. But with her family moving a lot from small town to small town, teaching was inconsistent.
"I just wasn't progressing," she said.
At age 15, however, she discovered the flute and with the help of an excellent teacher who challenged and encouraged her, she flourished as a flutist.
Now 27 years old, she's one of the oldest members of the YSO.
Thomson said that was one of the changes they have implemented this year.
"There are a couple of 20-somethings in the orchestra, but we made a policy when the kids were auditioning that nobody in high school or younger would be bumped from a position by someone who was in their 20s or older."
Thomson knows first hand just how great an experience it can be for a young musician to have the opportunity to play with an orchestra and recalled what it was like for her. She plays cello, and although the rule was that they had to be 12 to join the orchestra, both her and a friend were permitted to join at the age of 10 due to a shortage of cellos.
"The first year I played, I probably only got about 20 per cent of the notes, but because I played that first year, by the next year I could play 80 per cent of the notes and by the time I was 12 I could play 100 per cent of the notes," said Thomson.
As such she's encouraging younger kids to come out and join the orchestra, telling them, "Even if they can't get all the notes, it's a great way to learn because the older kids will pull them along and it will step up their game that much faster."
Featured on the program, in addition to the Tchaikovsky piece, are Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre, Elgar's Three Bavarian Dances and Copland's Rodeo.
Members of the YSO come from as far away as Salmon Arm to the north and Okanagan Falls to the south, and so rehearsals alternate between the North, Central and South Okanagan. With the help of carpooling, it makes it so nobody gets stuck having to drive too much every weekend.
What: Youth Symphony of the Okanagan's concert Music that Dances!
Where: Vernon's Trinity United Church, Penticton's Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle Church and Kelowna's First Lutheran Church
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 in Vernon; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25 in Penticton; 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25 in Kelowna
Tickets: $15 general admission, $10 seniors and youth, $5 for 12 and under, available at the door or through Vernon and Kelowna Community Music Schools or Penticton Academy of Music