Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute launches conducting courses

Why should a young musician also understand the art of conducting? For Maestro Rosalind Erwin, director and conductor of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, an ensemble of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute, the answer is very clear. She explained: “I have found that allowing young players to be on the podium even for a short period of time initiates a glimmer of understanding of what this art form is very difficult. together ultimately supervise better during the performance and learn a lot more. ” With this in mind, Maestro Louis Scaglione, president and musical director of PYOMI, gave his full reign to create this program.

This fall, Erwin launched his first Introductory Conducting Course for music students aged 11-18 who participate in various PYOMI ensembles. Classes are offered on Saturdays and Sundays after or before rehearsals for one of the three PYOMI ensembles – Young Musicians Debut Orchestra (YMDO for ages 11 to 17), PYAO (for ages 13 to 18) and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra ( PYO for 15 to 18 year olds) 21).

Erwin, who is the director and conductor of the Drexel University Orchestra, has taught conducting for years, but generally at the college level. She explains the reasoning behind starting at a young age.

She said: “The aim of this course is to help train better informed and better prepared young musicians, not to create a new generation of maestros. demystify and make more accessible the art of conducting and show by example the need for players to develop a stable rhythm and precise counting when playing in a large ensemble. The orchestra is, at the very least, responsible for the integral components of Western orchestral music. “

Scaglione praised Erwin’s efforts and is very pleased with the responses from students and family.

“When Roz shared her plans for this conducting course, I encouraged her to move on. As a conductor myself, I appreciate that students have a personal understanding of what lies behind the art of conducting. I applaud Roz and the students and parents who are so excited about this. “

“As a frequent guest conductor for many educational music festivals,” Erwin continued, “I find it such an advantage for young musicians to understand that the gestures given by a conductor via the wand have meaning and should elicit a specific response. In addition, they realize that this activity is much more difficult than it seems at first glance. To be an effective conductor, you must first become a good musician.

Already pleased with the results, she added: “I see that most of the 16 PYAO participants look at me more attentively and pay more attention to what I say to the orchestra. This is a victory for the program and a big step forward for the PYOMI auxiliaries. offerings. “

Introduction to Conducting II, which will take place in the spring, will develop the ideas presented in this first course and introduce the compound meter, the mixed meter, how to manage setbacks, etc. Musical examples will include works by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, and Aaron Copland.

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