School of Music

On April 11, the USM Youth Ensembles Perform Their Spring Instrumental Concert at Merrill Auditorium

Youth Ensembles at Merrill Auditorium

Youth Ensembles MerrillThe USM Youth Ensembles continue to provide a unique and vital element to the musical lives of young musicians in Maine, continuing a 71 year tradition that is a testament not only to community founders, but to the value the greater Portland area community places on such a unique organization.

The April 11 concert will be begin at 7:00 p.m. at Merrill Auditorium on Myrtle Street in Portland. Suggested donation at the door is $6 for the general public, $3 for seniors and students.  For more information, call the USM Music Box Office at (207) 780-5555.

The USM School of Music is pleased to continue its stewardship and administration of this program in partnership with Macy's, our generous sponsor.

More than 250 young people from all over southern and central Maine travel to the USM Gorham campus to rehearse each week in order to have the opportunity to work with USM faculty and professional conductors who train and challenge members through the experience of playing in these high caliber ensembles. The four instrumental ensembles perform twice a year at Merrill Auditorium.

On April 11 the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, conducted by Peter Martin, will begin the evening's program with Medieval Suite by Ron Nelson, performed in honor of Everett Firth, who will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Southern Maine this May. Recipient of many honors, and called "the single greatest percussionist anywhere in the world," Firth was for over 50 years, the legendary principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also an educator, composer, and Maine entreprenur, manufacturing the world's top professional quality percuasion drum sticks and gourmet pepper mills. The wind ensemble will also perform Robert Smith's Inchon, which was composed to honor the Korean War Veterans who served in the helecopter assault from the sea of Inchon, South Korea.

The Portland Young People's String Consort, conducted by Deborah Dabczynski, will take the stage to perform Dragon Dances by Soon Hee Newbold; The Lord from Four Royal Dances by Eric Ewazen; and American Gaelic by Shirl Jai Atwell, the andantino movement from Six Easy Dances by Edward Elgar, and Coronation March by Giacomo Meyerbeer.

The Portland Youth Junior Orchestra, conducted by Ferdinand Liva, will then perform Ravel's Pavane and Rossini's Barber of Seville Overture.

The Portland Youth Symphony Orcehstra will perofrm the overture from The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384 by W.A. Mozart, the first movement from Haydn's "London" Symphony, and the first movement from Beethoven's Symphony No. 1, C Major, Opus 21.

Students performing in these four instrumental groups include residents of Arundel, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Buxton, Cape Elizabeth, Casco, Chebeague Island, Cumberland, Dayton, Dover, East Waterboro, Eliot, Falmouth, Freeport, Gorham, Gray, Harpswell, Kennebunk, Limerick, Limington, Litchfield, Long Island, North Yarmouth, New Gloucester, North Waterboro, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Pownal, Raymond, Rockport, Saco, Sanford, Scarborough, Sebago, South Berwick, South Freeport, South Portland, Standish, Topsham, Waterboro, Westbrook, Windham, Yarmouth, and York.

Members of the press, and those needing special accommodations to participate fully in this program, contact Lori Arsenault, (207) 780-5142, larsenault@usm.maine.edu. Hearing impaired: call USM's telex / TDD number (207) 780-5646.