ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 19, 2014) — To celebrate their upcoming tour to Spain, 78 musicians from the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies’ (GTCYS) premier ensemble, Symphony, will present a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 12 at Roseville Lutheran Church.The Send-Off Concert sets the stage for Symphony’s 10-day journey through the Andalusian region of Spain on June 14 – 23. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Russell Smith, students will perform by invitation as part of the prestigious International Festival of Music and Dance at the Manuel de Falla Concert Hall in Granada on June 21. Spanish audiences will also benefit from other tour performances, which are scheduled at La Anunciacion Church in Seville on June 17 and at La Colegiata Real in Antequera on June 19.
Symphony’s tour is garnering local interest. The office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will issue a proclamation about the tour which will be presented at the June 12 concert. Plus, GTCYS fans can stay connected during the tour through a unique partnership with Classical MPR which will share student interviews, social media updates, and recordings from the Send-Off Concert.
Though Spain marks GTCYS’ first international tour since 2001, touring is a rich part of the organization’s history. More than 700 students have participated in GTCYS’ previous 11 international tours which date back to 1978 when Symphony first performed at the Schools Proms in London. “GTCYS’ reinstatement of biennial touring marks an intentional and significant step forward in our efforts to provide vibrant educational opportunities for our students,” said GTCYS executive director Megen Balda. “Music transcends cultures and unites people of all backgrounds – giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture and take part in thrilling musical performances for Spanish audiences will be a life-changing experience for students.”
Visiting Spain will be a first for the vast majority of students who range in age from 13 to 18, represent 44 different schools, and hail from 34 cities in the Metro and beyond, including North Mankato, Rogers, Northfield, and Waseca. So that every interested student has access to this opportunity, GTCYS provided more than $28,000 in need-based scholarships.
“Symphony is performing at an incredibly high artistic level. To be invited to perform at the Festival in Granada is a tremendous honor and a sign of GTCYS’ burgeoning reputation,” said artistic director Mark Russell Smith. Students will present a robust program for Spanish audiences, including Shostakovich’s Symphony #5, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, the first movement of Barber’s Violin Concerto featuring Symphony violinist Anna Humphrey, and the European premiere of an exciting new work by David Evan Thomas, The Bridge, which was commissioned by the Minnesota Commissioning Club.
In addition to the three tour concerts, students will learn about Spain’s vivid history in the cities of Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, Cordoba, Malaga, and Granada. They will also experience some of the most significant cultural sites in Europe including the Alhambra Palace, the Alcazar, Cathedral of Seville, and the Cordoba-Mosque-Cathedral.
The free concert on June 12 is non-ticketed and open to the public. Roseville Lutheran Church is located at 1215 West Roselawn Avenue.