youth playing in concert

Sinfonia

Sinfonia is an advanced intermediate orchestra in the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra organization. Sinfonia employs full symphonic instrumentation (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion). The typical Sinfonia student has had some private instruction and school ensemble experience and is developing solid technical skills and musical understanding.

Sinfonia provides advancing students the opportunity to perform challenging literature for full orchestra. Past works performed include Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, and Barroso’s Aquarela do Brazil.

Sample of Sinfonia:

Conductor: Barney Blough

Barney Blough holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from Central Washington University, a Teaching Certificate from Seattle Pacific University, and a Professional Certificate from Pacific Lutheran University. He has served as Music Director of the Seattle Chamber Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Rainier Symphony, and Assistant Conductor of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra. Learn more.

Contact Barney Blough at sinfonia@byso.org

Messages from the Conductor

Our Fall Showcase concert is on Monday, November 5th at the Meydenbauer Theatre.  Please arrive at 5:30pm so that you are unpacked, onstage, and ready for our warm-up at 5:45pm sharp – we only have a few minutes to warm-up!  The concert begins at 7:00pm.  For the Meydenbauer Theatre address, please click on the “Fall Highlight” concert link on the right side of this page.

For our concert attire, be sure to double check Sinfonia’s concert outfit details on this page:  https://www.byso.org/enrollment/required-attire/

SINFONIA ORCHESTRA PROGRAM NOTES

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875 – 1912) was an English composer and conductor of mixed race; his father Daniel Taylor was descended from African-American slaves who were freed by the British and evacuated from the colonies at the end of the American Revolutionary War. Coleridge-Taylor sought to draw from traditional African music and integrate it into the classical tradition, as he admired how Johannes Brahms did this with Hungarian music and Antonín Dvořák with Bohemian music. As a result, his music was widely performed, and he had great support among African Americans. Coleridge-Taylor’s greatest success was undoubtedly his cantata “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast,” based on the epic poem “Song of Hiawatha” by American Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which was widely performed by choral groups in England during Coleridge-Taylor’s lifetime and in the decades after his death. Its popularity was rivalled only by the choral standards Handel’s “Messiah” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” In 1904, on his first tour to the United States, Coleridge-Taylor was received by President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House, a rare event in those days for a man of African descent. Besides more ambitious works, he also composed lighter compositions, of which the most enduring was the “Petite Suite de Concert,” a work that set a standard for many subsequent four-movement suites. It begins with the coquettish “La caprice de Nanette,” which Sinfonia will be playing tonight.

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was a Czech composer who followed the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana by absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them in the symphonic tradition. Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, better known as the “New World Symphony,” has become one of the most popular and treasured works throughout the world. During Dvořák’s first trip to America, he was greatly impressed by the music of the American Negro and decided to utilize its style and mannerisms in music of his own creation. Many scholars claim he used distinct Indian and Negro melodies, however, Dvorak stated in a newspaper interview that he was interested in the spirit of Negro and Indian music and tried to capture that in his ninth symphony, but he did not use any of the actual melodies. At the premiere of the symphony, each movement of the piece was given thunderous applause and Dvorak was prompted by the audience to stand and bow from his box.

Professional recordings on YouTube:

Petite Suite De Concert

Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony

New World Symphony Analysis

 

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