NORTH BENNINGTON --On March 16 at 4 p.m. the Sage City Symphony will present its annual Youth Concert. The orchestra will premiere works by six students from area colleges (Bennington College, Williams College, and the College of Saint Rose). Since 2009, we have performed one concert each season that includes five or six works by students, alternating yearly between college and high school composers. Only two had already written for orchestra.
The students write compositions of five or six minutes duration, and provide their own program notes and biographical information, just as they would "out there" in the professional world. Some choose to write for a particular segment drawn from the orchestra, and some move beyond its usual boundaries (as in this year's concerto for electric guitar and orchestra). The students participating in this year's concert include four from Bennington College (Seamus Carey, Liam Dailey, Christian Mailloux, Zack Weishaus), one from Williams College (Sato Matsui), and one from the College of Saint Rose (Tom Monkell).
Their backgrounds and interests vary considerably: from involvement in garage bands, rock and jazz ensembles, to study of classical violin, Irish fiddling, mandolin, electric guitar, and brass instruments.
Asked about how the program is working, Michael Finckel mentioned that the variety among the compositions always surprises and delights him.
The program benefits the orchestra as well as the students and their music programs, in part simply by bringing in a broader audience.
The concert is free and open to the public. It will be held in Greenwall Auditorium, VAPA Building, on the Bennington College campus. The venue is handicapped accessible and parking is free.