Chesapeake Youth Symphony planning 1994 European tour


The Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, in only its fourth year, already is planning a European tour.

The orchestra is scheduled to spend two weeks next June touring the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The members will lodge with their counterparts overseas as part of a cultural exchange. The tour tentatively will take the musicians to concerts in Prague, Bratislava and Brno.

Maestro Arne Running, the Philadelphia clarinetist and conductor who is starting his second season with the orchestra, already is planning a program that will include the "New World Symphony" of Dvorak and Smetana's "The Moldau," two masterworks by Czech composers who continue to warm the hearts of their countrymen today. American music also will be featured.

"I've always loved going on tour," says Mr. Running. "It's a wonderful experience on many levels, musically, culturally and socially. And, of course, it should be a great drawing card for attracting accomplished young musicians into the orchestra."

But the music is the main thing.

"Once an orchestra has trained hard and well, I'm glad for any extra opportunities to perform," he says. "I don't care if they are in Czechoslovakia or at Ginger Cove."

A younger ensemble composed of string players age 9 and older will be formed in the fall.

Auditions for that orchestra have been set for Aug. 27-29 and Sept. 2. Interested players should call 647-9056 or 647-7494 for details.

"We simply want to create a love of music in younger children," says Betty McGinnis of Arnold, president of the youth orchestra's board. "We want them to enjoy an orchestral experience and to have them feel challenged without the pressure of competition."

Ms. McGinnis is quick to point out that the as-yet-unnamed ensemble is not merely a training orchestra for the senior group. It will rehearse separately from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings at the Phoenix Center in Annapolis and will perform its own concert schedule.

The new orchestra should draw many younger players, Ms. McGinnis says, since popular demand played a significant role in its founding.

"We had many inquiries, at least two or three calls a week all year, and that's really what made us determined to do this," she says.

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