Cheering crowds welcomed the Music School of Delaware’s Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO) at recent summer performances throughout Italy. Led by music director Simeone Tartaglione, the DYSO took advantage of this incredible opportunity by traveling to several cities throughout the country, and they were joined by the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras (MCYO) as part of the American Celebration of Music, July 6-14.
The American Celebration of Music is an annual festival sponsored by government officials, music associations and tourist boards around the world.
“The DYSO has grown tremendously over the past three years,” says Tartaglione of the decision to tour. “We felt it was time to provide our players an unforgettable experience – to perform in renowned venues in Rome, Firenze and Cremona.”
There is one location they visited that is a lesser known venue – the Royal Palace in Caserta, which was the location of the ensembles’ first concert. Tartaglione considers the space even more beautiful than Versailles. “It’s astonishing and huge,” he describes. “The beauty of the building and the surrounding park are breathtaking.”
The orchestras performed for the Stradivarius celebration in Caserta then moving to a special meeting in Cremona, the home of the world’s best violin makers like Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati. The students met with the current violinmakers who spoke with them about strings and violins, how to care for them and other advice.
Tartaglione knows that the trip had an impact on his young musicians. “I often talk to them about different styles and ways to play and feel the music,” he notes, “but nothing can be better than first-hand experience.” They had the language of music to communicate with people in Italy, so there was a wonderful exchange, he remembers. I know they’ve been transformed into a different orchestra after this journey.”
The DYSO experience provides opportunities including regular sectionals led by highly qualified coaches (strings, winds, brass and percussion) from the Music School and major East Coast orchestras; professional guest conductors; and exclusive performance opportunities for members. Wind, brass and percussion players join the DYSO after marching band season in November. To participate, a student must participate in their school orchestra unless one does not exist or the student has been excused by their school orchestra director.
The DYSO is holding open auditions for students Saturday, September 9, 9:00am-3:00pm and Sunday, September 10, 2:00-5:00pm at the Music School’s Wilmington Branch. Students will be asked to play 2 scales (or 1 scale and 1 arpeggio) in 2 keys of choice and to play both legato and staccato, and at fast and slow tempos. Additionally, up to two solo pieces are required demonstrating contrasting styles (accompaniment and memorization are not required). Those interested may call to schedule.