Watch the International Music Festival Now!

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 2:00 pm EST

The Flint Youth Symphony Orchestra is proud to host a virtual International Music Festival this year featuring conductors and young musicians of FYSO and “sister” youth orchestras. Enjoy virtual performances of musical video collages – Stravinsky “Berceuse and Finale”, Smith “All Is Well” and Badelt “Pirates of the Caribbean”. We hope you will be able to join us!

Virtual Performance Featuring
Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra (Germany),
Curva Via de Courbevoie (France),
Flint Youth Symphony Orchestra (USA),
Jeunes Orchestre Symphonique de Limonest (France),
Vibo Valentia Youth Orchestra (Italy)

In March 2020, FYSO was gearing up for its bon voyage concert at the Whiting. The group was about to leave on an exciting tour of France and Germany. Then, word came that the pandemic canceled everything. FSPA director Davin Pierson Torre describes the heartbreak that everyone felt.
"It was devastating. We were so looking forward to the trip." Months later, Torre had an idea. She describes it as if a light bulb went off.
FYSO travels every other year to visit an orchestra in another country. As a result, there are informal partnerships called sister relationships with several youth symphonies across the globe.  Those include Jeunes Orchestre Symphonique of Limonest, France; Orchestre Curva Via of Courbevoie, France; Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ahrensburg, Germany; Vibo Valentia Youth Orchestra of Vibo Valentia, Italy.
"Why not take advantage of this challenging situation and partner with our sister orchestras to put together something virtually – an international music festival?" 
Like FYSO, all the sister orchestras practice and play virtually, each musician from their home. Torre reached out to the sister directors and asked if their musicians might be interested in participating in this virtual experiment. The idea is to invite all orchestra members to play and record the same piece of music individually. The musician will upload their solo online. The solo recordings are then sent to a production company to be combined.
"If we have only a few members from each international orchestra participate, we can still create something beautiful. We asked that the musicians from each orchestra wear the same color shirt. So, if you are a musician from France, you might be wearing a red shirt. The German orchestra musicians will be wearing a different color shirt, and FYSO musicians will be wearing yet another color. When the individual pieces of music are edited together, you will see the various color shirts and know they represent a distinctive orchestra."
Diego Ventura, the conductor of Italy's Vibo Valentia Youth Orchestra, says his students are also looking forward to partaking in the international project. "I firmly believe music is the fastest and most effective means to convey emotions, communicate and relate to each other, thanks to its universal language. For this reason, I think the International Music Festival is a great initiative."
Sönke Grohmann, conductor of Germany’s Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra says this of the festival: “It’s great to connect with other orchestras and to see what other students throughout the world are able to play. This motivation can be applied to several situations in music, or sports and learning.”
Carine Mazoyer, Board President of France’s Jeunes Orchestre de Limonest says it couldn't have come at a better time. "This International Music Festival is a very good idea in this sad time of pandemic and containment. We are happy to be back with our FYSO partner and participate in a project that brings together other orchestras we have not played with. This is a large-scale project that requires a lot of preparation and work, and the students are happy to participate in a group project, which gives them motivation and purpose to work. "
All the participating young performers, conductors and staff are looking forward to creating a joyful, beautiful memory. They’ll be able to look back on this International Music Festival and know that, even under very challenging circumstances, they rose to the occasion.