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Portland Youth Philharmonic presents Concert-at-Christmas

Portland Youth Philharmonic Musical Director David Hattner invites the public to PYP’s annual, festive, and family-friendly Concert-At-Christmas to be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26, at the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. PYP continues its long-held Christmas tradition with performances by the Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland Youth Wind Ensemble (PYWE), Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra (PYCO), Young String Ensemble (YSE), and an Alumni Orchestra. The popular event features Portland Youth Philharmonic’s entire roster of 300 musicians as well as an orchestra of nearly 100 alumni.

The concert will open with PYP’s Alumni Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s “Slavonic March, Op. 31.” The Alumni Orchestra’s yearly reunion features musicians from the Portland Youth Philharmonic Association’s extensive roster of alumni, spanning the organization’s 92 years. The special ensemble features musicians who played under all five musical directors: Jacques Gershkovitch (1924-1953), Jacob Avshalomov (1954-1995), Huw Edwards (1995-2002), Mei-Ann Chen (2002-2007), and Hattner (2008-present).

The evening continues with dynamic performances by all four of PYP’s ensembles, with conductor Inés Voglar Belgique leading the Young String Ensemble’s renditions of Baroque composer George Frideric Handel’s “Water Music, Suite in D major,” Ryan Kim’s “In Time for the Christmas Tree,” and more. Following YSE, the Portland Youth Wind Ensemble will take the stage under the direction of Dave Matthys. PYWE will present Alfred Reed’s “A Festival Prelude,” Mozart’s “Rondo for Solo and Wind Band,” and more. The Concert-At-Christmas marks Matthys’ first time conducting at the Schnitzer Hall, and the well-known band director shares that he is “looking forward to being a part of this wonderful musical experience.”

Following a brief intermission, the Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra, under the direction of long-time PYCO conductor Lawrence Johnson, will present Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17.” Next, the Philharmonic Orchestra will close out the show, with Hattner conducting. This holiday season, Portland Youth Philharmonic explores the music of Italy with performances of Gioacchino Rossini’s “L’italiana in Algeri” and Ottorino Respighi’s “Fountains of Rome.”

“Fountains of Rome depicts four of Rome’s famous fountains at particular times of day,” Hattner says. “This particular piece challenges our musicians to play with extreme sensitivity and delicacy. Our 118 musicians can’t wait to take the stage to show our audience what they are achieving this year.”

To secure tickets to PYP’s most popular event of the year, call the Portland Youth Philharmonic office at 503-223-5939, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, or visit www.portlandyouthphil.org. Ticket prices range from $24-$50.

Follow PYP on Facebook as the Portland Youth Philharmonic, on Twitter as @PDXYouthPhil, and on Instagram as pdxyouthphil for performance dates, contests, giveaways and more.