FIRST COAST YOUTH ORCHESTRAS founded in Northeast Florida
Region’s talented musicians to join area’s newest Music Education initiative
Jacksonville, FL (July 7, 2017) —- A major new arts education program has been created in North Florida. The First Coast Youth Orchestras has been founded under the auspices of the First Coast Community Music School as a large ensemble program catering to young musicians from the First Coast ages 7 through 21. The announcement was made by Tami Chacon, Administrative Director and Camille Clement Gregg, Director of Marketing and Development.
The First Coast Youth Orchestras will enroll up to 300 students, playing in five levels of ensembles covering a diverse range of abilities, starting with the youngest string players in Debut Strings and progressing through Intermezzo Strings and Aria Strings. More experienced players will join the two full orchestra programs. The Youth Philharmonic will be for advancing Middle and High School instrumentalists and the Youth Symphony for advanced High School, College, and Pre-Conservatory students. A chamber music program will be offered for musicians in its top two orchestras.
FCYO’s season will run from September through May with regular rehearsals on the weekends. The season will consist of four concerts, with the Inaugural Concert being presented on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 at the University of North Florida’s Lazzara Concert Hall.
FCYO will present a unique experience to its students in that the Youth Orchestra will be a division of the First Coast Community Music School, a non-profit educational institution founded in 2004 by Gregg and local philanthropist James Winston. FCCMS has more than 200 students studying with experienced area professional musicians in private lessons and chamber music.
Heading the program is Maestro Scott Gregg, Executive Director of the First Coast Community Music School and 22-year veteran as Music Director of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras. Gregg will conduct both the Youth Symphony and the Youth Philharmonic and serve as Artistic Director of the FCYO. “The enthusiasm this project has generated in student musicians all over the First Coast, along with the 60+ years of combined experience our conducting staff has had nurturing a culture of excellence in young musicians, and the potential for innovative programming between the School and the Youth Orchestras is going to be a powerful combination. The most successful youth orchestra programs across the country are independent of any parent symphony and I’m looking forward to testing how far we can grow,” said Gregg.
Serving alongside Gregg will be Maestra Judith Steinmeyer, another veteran of area youth ensemble programs as well as an accomplished teacher. Steinmeyer will take charge of the Aria Strings. “I was honored when asked to join the FCYO team. I could not pass up the opportunity to work with advancing string players in this newly formed organization,” said Steinmeyer. The conductors for Intermezzo and Debut Strings have just been engaged and will be announced in the next week.
The First Coast Youth Orchestras will have an active Board of Directors as well as Parent Booster Association. Founding Board member, Mrs. Ronald Masucci (Susan), says “it’s a testament to Maestro Gregg and his artistic and administrative staff that they are committed to continuing their lifelong dedication developing the best young musicians in Northeast Florida.” Community Music School patrons, Pete and Marilyn Carpenter, said, “we’re thrilled to see the Music School join forces with this new exciting Youth Orchestra. The combination will make an immense impact on the area’s talented youth.”
The FCYO is NOW ACCEPTING applications for membership with auditions in mid-August with the season kicking off in September. Visit www.firstcoastyo.com to apply or for more information, and LIKE us on Facebook at facebook.com/firstcoastyo.