The annual Youth Symphony Retreat took place on the August 27th weekend. It is a two-day, weekend-long event where YS musicians spend the weekend at Camp Carol Joy Holling rehearsing and bonding. Musicians rehearsed with Guest Conductor, Jeffrey Domoto, who recently concluded his tenure as Music Director of the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, one of the ten largest independent youth orchestras in the United States. As conductor of the VYO, he led performances with a wide variety of repertoire and led tours to Iceland, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Along with rehearsals, musicians participated in breakout sessions on instrument repair, Injury prevention, music therapy, and Youth Composes. This retreat is often looked back on as one of the best experiences our students have in OAYO, and this year was no different.

OAYO Senior Scholarship Jackson BrownJackson Brown, a 3 year OAYO member, has been named the 2015-2016 Deborah L. Gilmore Memorial Scholarship Recipient. Throughout Jackson Brown’s high school career, he participated in OAYO, Chamber Ensembles, School Music Groups, All State, and College Honor Bands. In the fall of 2016, Jackson will be attending St. Olaf College to major in Clarinet Performance, where he hopes to be a Concerto Competition Winner in a few years and to eventually play for a major orchestra. Jackson’s love of music and OAYO is obvious when he discusses the role of instruments in an orchestra or the feeling of playing Shostakovitch 5 his senior year in OAYO. “OAYO has helped me see a different way of thinking, but it has also helped me find music in a sense. Growing up, I didn’t really listen to music because I always found better things to do. OAYO helped me find this lost gem in my life and formulate it into my life, and I can’t stop listening to it or playing it or studying it. It has helped me figure out who I am and what I love in life.”

 

OAYO Senior Scholarship Ann Marie SchubertAnnemarie Schubert, a 3 year OAYO member, has been named the 2015-2016 James W. Kirkpatrick Award for Outstanding Achievement Recipient. Not only has she been actively involved in her music community, but she has soared in Academics as a National Merit Finalist and a Presidential Scholar Candidate. In the fall of 2016, Annemarie Schubert will be attending Oberlin College to major in Violin Performance and Biochemistry, eventually pursuing a role in a professional orchestra or as a Neuroscientist studying Music and the Brain. “The Musicians I have met have been an amazing influence on my life, and have taught me so many skills and shown me who I want to be in life. Aviva and OAYO has provided me with so many opportunities and I will be forever thankful.”

Those of you in OAYO last year may remember we charged a $60 program book fee which helped to offset the cost of printing the program book. We are currently doing an analysis on this fee and deciding if a fundraiser or a ticket-selling requirement would be a better use of your time as well as more in line with the mission of the organization. We will keep you posted on this and are welcome to your suggestions.

OAYO’s first concert of the season is October 20th at the UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center, featuring OAYO Chamber Ensembles. Experience UNO’s International Concert and get a sneak peak at the extraordinary talent of our musicians. Our four Audition-based Orchestras (YCS, YCO, YP, and YS) will dazzle audiences at our All-Orchestra Concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center on October 30th at 6:30pm. Please check the concerts calendar for more information on this season’s events.

The musicians of OAYO continue to be music stewards in our community and embody the true definition of music excellence. Each season’s repertoire is perfectly chosen to inspire audiences, challenge musicians, and create a sense of community. Musicians not only will experience essential orchestra repertoire, but they will have the chance to hear and play new music that is shaping our world. If you haven’t heard OAYO in concert for a while, it is time to come back, whether it be a chamber concert, a new music Ensemble, or the renowned All-Orchestra concert at Holland Hall. There is nothing like an OAYO concert.

Alums! Welcome! We had a great 57th Anniversary season last year and are prepping for the upcoming 60th anniversary which seems just around the corner. Can you believe it?

Please join the OAYO Facebook and the OAYO Alumni Group on Facebook. If you ever have any questions, fill out the contact form on the website.

Be sure to send us information and photos about accomplishments and cool events that are happening. We would love to add things to our website and share with our students and families what our amazing Alumni are doing throughout the country.

This summer, the OAYO office hired three summer interns to work in the office.

Megan Gehle
Megan Gehle

Born and raised in Millard, Megan Gehle is a proud Omaha native. From singing, to piano, to French horn, music has been in her life since she was a child. During her six years in OAYO, her love and passion for French horn and orchestral music grew. After graduating from Millard West High School in 2014, Megan moved to Northfield, Minnesota to pursue a degree in Nursing and Women’s and Gender Studies at St. Olaf College. As a St. Olaf Junior, she is a member of the prestigious St. Olaf band, the St. Olaf Horn Club, the Volunteer Network, and the Student Nurses Association. After she graduates St. Olaf, she hopes to receive her master’s degree in public health. Her favorite activities are cooking, listening to the Berlin Horns, singing to the Beatles, reading, and volunteering with kids.

Brandon Armstrong
Brandon Armstrong

Brandon Armstrong is a Nebraska native, born and raised in Bellevue. He is a graduate of Bellevue West High School and currently studies music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Brandon’s love for music goes all the way back to when he was two years old drumming on mom’s pots and pans.  Brandon has performed with many well-known artists such as the Brubeck Brothers, the Day Star Singers, Da Dra Greathouse and many more. In his future, he hopes to play professionally alongside great musicians or start his own touring group. In his free time, he plays basketball, discovers new artists, and explores Omaha.

Emilie Rackley
Emilie Rackley

Emilie Rackley is a Bellevue East graduate and Nebraska native. She is a music performance major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Her days are music filled with rehearsals, practicing, and listening to artists from all different avenues. In the future, she hopes to have her own percussion studio to share her passion for teaching and music. In her free time, she loves going on adventures, eating meatloaf, and she is a self-proclaimed neat freak.