Performance pieces

The three ensembles of the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon will perform this weekend as part of their Southern Oregon Winter 2008 Concert Series.

Pianist Joseph Yungen will be the featured soloist with the Youth Symphony in a performance of three movements from Serge Prokofiev's "Piano Concerto No. 5." A graduate of Crater High School, Yungen is majoring in piano performance at Southern Oregon University, where he is a student of Dr. Alexander Tutunov.

The Youth Symphony will also perform Franz Liszt's "Les Preludes." The musicians of Youth Orchestra will play the "Poet Peasant Overture" by Franz von Supp&

233;, M.L. Daniels' "Festique" and "Blessed Are They" from Johannes Brahms' "German Requiem." Youth Strings will perform works by G.F. Handel, Jean Baptiste Lully and Sheila Nelson.

Cynthia Hutton, YSSO music director and conductor of the Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra, marks her 13th season with the YSSO this year. Dr. Hutton is associate professor of music and director of bands at Southern Oregon University. She is a member of the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra and the SOU Faculty Brass Quintet. Prior to coming to Southern Oregon, Dr. Hutton served as director of bands and horn instructor at the University of California, San Diego, and was assistant conductor of the La Jolla Civic University Orchestra. She received her doctorate in conducting from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Faina Podolnaya, YSSO associate conductor, is in her seventh year with the YSSO as conductor of youth strings. Upon completion of her studies in violin performance and teaching at the Soviet Conservatory of Music, she accepted a teaching position at Kazakhstan's most prestigious music academy, where she worked privately with students, lectured and coached ensembles preparing for competitions and concerts. Podolnaya has been the recipient of numerous awards, including her selection as the Soviet Union's Teacher of the Year. She teaches violin and viola.

The performances are: Friday at 7:30 p.m. on at Grants Pass High School's Performing Arts Center; Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater in Medford; and Sunday at — p.m. at Southern Oregon University's Music Recital Hall in Ashland.

Tickets, $5 for students/seniors and $10 for adults, are available at Paddington Station in Ashland and Larry's Music in both Medford and Grants Pass. Tickets for the Febr. 23 performance in Medford are also available through the Craterian Theater's box office.

The Carpenter Foundation, City of Ashland, U.S. Bancorp Foundation and Avista Fund have provided funding for 2007-08 YSSO concert series performances. The project is also funded in part by the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. This year marks the YSSO's 20th season of performances.

The YSSO is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing young people with opportunities to expand their knowledge of classical music by learning and performing challenging symphonic repertoire. The mission of the YSSO is to provide high-quality performance experiences for young musicians under the leadership of professional conductors and music coaches and to foster a lifelong appreciation of classical music and the arts.

For more information about the YSSO and its programs, contact the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, P.O. Box 4291, Medford, OR 97501, call 858-8859, e-mail or visit the Web site .

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