Capping a stellar season with a repertoire that ranged from Bach to Wagner, the 80 brass, wind, string and percussion musicians in the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), one of the six unique program divisions of the renowned PYO Music Institute organization, will take the stage for the last time this year at the ensemble’s 19th annual Festival Concert.  Conducted by Rosalind Erwin and Narrated by WRTI’s Jill Pasternak, PYAO will play selections from Verdi, Haydn, Brahms and Britten.  Tickets are $10-$20; for ticket information, call 215-893-1999.

The Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra is comprised of promising instrumentalists ages 10-18 from across the Tri-State region who are selected through audition and travel weekly to Philadelphia for comprehensive rehearsals that often include instruction from leading professional musicians.   It will be the last PYAO performance for several members who will be graduating this spring.

The PYO Music Institute organization was delighted to welcome the talented and highly experienced Maestra Erwin as the PYAO’s newest director and conductor this year.  Erwin, a leader in the field of orchestral music who has worked with established music organizations all over the world, also conducts the Drexel University Orchestra and is one of the few female conductors of a large orchestra in the United States.

“This is a wonderful way to celebrate a year of incredible dedication and very hard work by this amazing group of young musicians,” notes Maestra Erwin. “It is especially significant to have Jill Pasternak, who is such a prominent spokesperson and promoter of classical music, join us as narrator of the event.” Pasternak, who for 14 years has been one of the region’s most respected classical music radio hosts on WRTI, is also a professional harpist and graduate of The Julliard School of Music.