On with the main event: Halloween concerts are done and it's Holiday concert time here in the States - and that means a bunch of new concert videos have popped up on YouTube. Let's have a look at a few of the really good ones:
Up first is the Vivace Advanced Orchestra killing it with Pioneer Sky at the Central Indiana All-Region middle School Orchestra Festival. They perform some nice dynamics and give the piece the right energy - bristling accents in the ostinatos, soulful legato in the lyrical parts. Nice job!
Next, the Mansfield Youth Strings of Mansfield, Ohio open their concert with North Pole Workshop, complete with percussion parts! Fantastic tempo, nice precise playing and good style. I hope this one catches on. Great job, MYS!
Up next, Angie Cimbalo leads the Region 24 Sinfonia Orchestra at the Middle School Texas Music Educators Association All-Region Concert with a furious performance of Dragonfly. This is a piece that requires intense focus and these young musicians are right up to the task all the way through the end, never letting up. An arranger did a really great job with the harp parts as well - writing for harp is one of my favorite things to do but I seldom do it because so few school orchestras have harp players. But it really works well in this setting and it makes me wish I'd written that part myself. It's a fantastic performance.
Finally, the Olentangy Orange Middle School 7th Grade Orchestra performs Gauntlet. It's a good performance made all the more special by some awesome rock star stage lighting. Excellent tempo, nice expression, and they stick the landing beautifully. Nicely done!