Tuesday, October 03, 2023

North Valley Music School launches youth symphony

Daily Inter Lake | September 14, 2023 12:00 AM

Student musicians throughout the valley are invited to audition for a new youth symphony through North Valley Music School.

Middle and high school-aged students interested in participating in the Flathead Valley Youth Symphony are asked to apply and submit an audition by Sept. 23. Audition materials are available online at northvalleymusicschool.org.

Rehearsals will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays, starting Oct. 3, at Flathead High School, 644 Fourth Ave. W., Kalispell.

The Flathead Valley Youth Symphony will be led by FHS orchestra director Eric Holdhusen.

A symphony orchestra is made up of string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and is typically large in size. As the name implies, musicians play symphonic works, which are usually longer, complex pieces. Holdhusen recommends students interested in joining have prior experience playing their respective instruments, such as through school or lessons, for example. He said a student should essentially be comfortable playing their instrument.

“Students will make new friends outside of their school and community, create lasting memories, and further develop their musicianship through classical, contemporary and popular orchestral repertoire,” he said.

Holdhusen, who grew up taking music lessons at North Valley Music School and playing instruments at the middle school through college level, said he wanted to start the program because he saw the opportunities for talented youths to rehearse and perform with their peers in a symphonic orchestra setting were lacking in the valley. He said there is the All-State Band, Chorus and Orchestra Festival, however, it’s a quite competitive auditioning process limited to high school students.

“And it’s one weekend out of the year,” he said. “The youth symphony is a year-round experience specifically for middle and high school students.”

The Flathead Valley Youth Symphony will meet for two 12-week semesters. Each semester will culminate with a concert. Tuition is $75 per semester and students need to provide their own instruments. Scholarships are available.

Once established, Holdhusen hopes to build the youth symphony program by adding performances and bringing in guest conductors.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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