By Rachel Giffin
The Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra ended its 79th season on May 7, 2017, with the last exciting notes of Arturo Marquez’ “Danzon.” It also featured other well known pieces such as “On The Beautiful Blue Danube” by Strauss and “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky.
DPYO is open to elite musicians who are high school students in the Dayton area. These students attend vigorous rehearsals every Sunday and participate in a campout event every year. Katie Giffin, a junior from Bellbrook High School, reflects in her last two years as a part of this orchestra. “In DPYO,” she says, you have the opportunity to be surrounded by incredibly talented musicians every week, learning beautiful music. Being part of an ensemble like that is an honor.”
Similarly, Maris Haugrud, a senior from Bellbrook High School, said: “DPYO was, for me, the place where I actually felt, for one of the only moments of my life, like my one and only duty was the music. Outside of that and in the rest of my life, I have millions and obligations and weighing thoughts constantly shoving their way to the front of my mind and worrying me to get them done. But in DPYO I was hyper focused on one task, and I put all of my mind and soul into it. It as tremendously rewarding, and filled me with a joy and purpose that was incomparable to any other.”
Haugrud went on to say, “My life was absolutely and completely changed by DPYO. Being a part of it for three years, I learned almost all of what I know about classical music and certain composers now. It continuously renewed my passion for music and solidified my goals for continuing to study it in college. Having been fortunate enough, but also absolutely terrified to have been thrust into principal chair my first year as a weakling sophomore, I was nearly traumatized, but forced to rise to the occasion. I grew lightyears as a player and also as a person. I was forced to have more confidence in myself for the sake of the music, and I can say with certainty that the confidence translated into the rest of my life and my general self-perception. My sections over the years, particularly in 2014 (my first year) when I was most vulnerable, helped me along this journey significantly. They supported me, motivated me, and were just amazing people that I am proud to say were some of my closest friends as I progressed through high school.”
DPYO holds auditions soon for its 80th season, which is certain to be full of exciting music and entertaining for audiences of all ages. Congratulations to all the performers of the 79th season, and good luck in the performances to come.