YMMC concerts are family events, and we do mean big family events. When you add together all the young musicians from OITS (Orchestra in the Schools), and the young musicians from YMMC’s Youth and Honors Orchestra, it amounts to about 125 young players, who with their parents and siblings bring to each concert a capacity audience that fills Sunset Center in Carmel. It is also gratifying to see the level of generous community support as evidenced by the long list of donors and angels in the printed program — with Patricia & George Yellich, deserving a special mention as sponsors of this afternoon’s program.
The hardworking President of YMMC, Dorothy Micheletti, directed a small army of volunteers who helped out backstage, as well as moved chairs and music stands in between sets during the course of the program. President of the Carmel Music Society, Peter Thorp, was also much in evidence yesterday as an outstanding new addition to the hard working volunteers.
This afternoon’s concert represents the last appearance of Music Director and Conductor Farkhad Khudyev with the YMMC Youth & Honors Orchestra, since he will be departing soon to become Director of the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra at the Butler School of Music in Austin. We always knew that Farkhad was destined for greater things, but while he has been with us he has made a tremendous contribution as a guiding light in raising performance standards and personally inspiring young students in rehearsals and performance.
Khudyev presented awards onstage to distinguished players in the Honors Orchestra — Daniel Regaldo (horn), Kelly Wong (Viola), Amadeus Soria (bassoon), and the Ruth Phillips Fenton Award to trumpeter Adam Shapiro. Since these honorees are graduating seniors, they will be missed
The first half of the afternoon’s program featured some demanding works. We heard Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the March to the Scaffold from Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Highlights from Bernstein’s West Side Story. Mixed in between were some interesting works by smaller groups of players — Fantasy No. 4 by Alan Hovhanes featuring the YMMC Brass Ensemble, the Allegro from Beethoven’s Wind Octet in E-flat Major featuring the YMMC Woodwind Ensemble, and the Vivace Movement from Bach’s Concerto for 2 Violins in D Minor. The Bach Concerto for two Violins featured the two winners of the Junior Youth Orchestra Competition, Emily Kim and Elise Yoona Yi, who gave a good account of this very demanding work.
After intermission we heard the YMMC Chamber Players in a brilliant sextet arrangement by Erica Horn of Schubert’s Quintet, Op. 163. Wrapping up the program was the YMMC Honors Orchestra in very satisfying performances of the Intermezzo Sinfonico by Mascagni, and the showstopper of the afternoon. a Porgy & Bess Medley by Gershwin. It was great to hear how the Honors Orchestra players pulled us into the magic of these great tunes. What a way to end a concert!
The patio outside Sunset Center’s lobby was set up for a post concert party. We observed lot of happy musicians and a lot of happy parents.