Youth orchestra plans holiday concertsWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In November, Yang Kun Song led the Greater Toledo International Youth Orchestra (GTiYO) in an inaugural concert.
The show at the Westgate Chapel, 2500 Wilford Drive, consisted of 45 teenagers from Northwest Ohio, southeast Michigan, eastern Indiana and an exchange student from Spain. The members range from grade six to 12.
“The best way for me to give back to the community is to help others, so I start[ed] this orchestra with no charge; I never charge anything … we’re a nonprofit organization right now,” Song said.
GTiYO was founded by Song, a native of Beijing, China, who studied at the Beijing Conservatory of Music in 1976. He later became assistant principal cellist of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, according to a news release.
In 1988, Song came to Toledo, studying at the University of Toledo and graduating cum laude in 1993. He now maintains a private studio in the area for student instruction of all string instruments. He is a music educator for Toledo Public Schools.
“It started when I wanted to teach my daughter traditional Chinese music,” Song said in the release. “Other children in the neighborhood asked if they could play also and of course I said yes.”
Just as his daughter was taught the music of her heritage, GTiYO represents more than 20 nationalities either directly or through immigrant ancestors, making up a diverse group coming together through music.
GTiYO will make two appearances at the 13abc “Hope for the Holidays” toy drive, first at noon and then at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at 13abc’s studio, 4247 Dorr St. Other performances include a Christmas concert at 4 p.m. Dec. 22 at Westgate Chapel and a Dec. 28 charity event at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, 2445 Monroe St., Orchestra Manager David Asselin said in an email.
Each year, GTiYO holds auditions for new members. Song said anyone interested can contact him at any time directly at (419) 704-0068.
Tags: Beijing, Beijing Conservatory of Music, China, Greater Toledo International Youth Orchestra, GTiYO, Orchestra Manager David Asselin, Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, Toledo Public Schools, University of Toledo, Westgate Chapel, Yang Kun Song, “Hope for the Holidays” toy drive