A unique evening of contemporary American music featuring world-premiere of Play, at Proctors, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11
Bouncing from a world premiere to selections from the Grateful Dead and West Side Story, an evening of collaboration between the Empire State Youth Orchestra and the world-renowned artists of the Fireworks Ensemble will “play” with audience perceptions of contemporary American chamber and instrumental music.
The concert — at Proctors, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 — will blend Fireworks Ensemble’s contemporary American vision of chamber music with the talent of the region’s premier youth musicians. It will showcase daring improvisation and a sampling of chamber, solo and orchestra performances that crisscross genres, including the world premiere of Play, commissioned by ESYO.
Play, written by Fireworks founder and bassist Brian Coughlin specifically for youth musicians, blends the nuance of chamber performance with the strength of a full orchestra. The creation of the work was supported in part by New Music USA, an organization helping new music reach new ears every day by providing over $1 million each year in grant support for the creation and performance of new work and community building throughout the country.
In addition to the world premiere of Play, the youth orchestra will perform Michael Torke’s rousing Javelin and a West Side Story medley alongside Fireworks members. Fireworks Ensemble will offer a full set of uniquely arranged, New American classics including material from Derrick May, the Grateful Dead, Mercer Ellington and A Tribe Called Quest.
Fireworks has been working closely to mentor the members of the youth orchestra during its rehearsals. As part of a three-day residency in Schenectady just before the concert, Fireworks will also conduct interactive performances and workshops at several schools in the capital region, each designed to introduce young musicians to the concepts and techniques used in improvisation.
Tickets for Fireworks Ensemble with Empire State Youth Orchestra, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, $20-$30, are available at the Box Office at Proctors, 432 State Street.