Capping a stellar season that spanned the music of Bach to Wagner, the 93-member Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO) will take the stage for the last time this season for the ensemble’s 21st Annual Festival Concert. Under the direction of Maestra Rosalind Erwin, PYAO’s accomplished brass, wind, string, and percussion students will play stirring selections that include Rossini’s Overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia, Hanson’s Symphony No. 2, Romantic, selections from Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo, and Vieuxtemps’ Concerto No. 4 for Violin, Mvt. 1 performed by PYAO Young Artists Solo Competition Winner and Concertmaster, Esther Kim.

The 21st Annual Festival Concert — which marks the last PYAO performance for several members who will be graduating this spring — will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 22nd in Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia. Tickets, priced at $10-$20, are available by calling 215-893-1999.

Esther Kim began her violin studies with Shelley Beard at the age of 4. Since 2012, she has studied with Lee Snyder at the Settlement Music School, where she is currently a scholarship recipient. She placed 2nd in the Kennett Symphony Orchestra competition, and was runner-up in the Delaware Young Artist Concerto Competition.  Esther is a 7th grader at the Springton Lake Middle School in Media, Pa., where she enjoys participating in the strings program and in Science Olympiad.

“We are very proud of Esther and the entire PYAO ensemble,” says Maestra Erwin. “We look forward to showcasing our students’ accomplishments, and we commend them for their hard work, dedication and tremendous musical growth throughout the 2015-16 season.”

The Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra is one of the five unique program divisions of the renowned PYO Music Institute organization comprised of promising instrumentalists ages 12-18. The students, who hail from across the tri-state region and are selected through audition, travel weekly to Philadelphia for comprehensive rehearsals that often include master classes with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and leading area professional musicians.

About Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra
Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra prepares students through a sophisticated repertoire and rigorous intellectual and musical discipline. PYAO further provides the opportunity to work with highly regarded Conductor Rosalind Erwin, who is also Music Director and Conductor of the Drexel University Orchestra, as well as other experienced professional musicians and teachers; to rehearse a standard orchestral repertoire at a professional level; to participate in a concerto competition; and to perform in high-profile professional venues throughout the greater Philadelphia region, including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

 About PYO Music Institute
Now in its 76th year, the renowned PYO Music Institute organization, led by President and Music Director, Maestro Louis Scaglione, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance programs, providing talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training. Students go on to excel in many diverse fields, and it is with pride that PYO Music Institute notes that many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are alumni.  The organization is comprised of five independent program ensembles designed to meet specific needs and experience levels of students selected through a competitive audition process. The anchor group is the PYO Music Institute (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 125 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 14-21. Young musicians 12-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who is Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute Dean of Faculty and Students, Paul Bryan, is an all brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. PRYSM (Philadelphia Region Youth String Music) and PRYSM Young Artists ensembles provide string large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of PRYSM is Gloria DePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of PRSYM Young Artists is Jessica Villante. Tune Up Philly (TUP) is PYO’s engagement program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on the creating and inspiring true community by providing children in underserved communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum.