Hits Its Stride
Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Yaniv Segal, conductor
February 7, 2016 at 3pm
Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Director Yaniv Segal has noticed some key improvements in the orchestra over the course of the season. Now that the ensemble has November’s Fall Concert under its belt, it’s time for the students to present what they’ve learned in their Winter Concert on February 7.
We sat down with Yaniv and discussed his young musicians’ growth this season as well as the challenging pieces they’ll be performing this month in Hayes Hall.
What are some of the orchestra’s biggest strengths as musicians?
I think that the enthusiasm that the students have for playing music is a great asset. Our first youth orchestra concert of the season was the best that I have ever heard these students perform. They are a mix of ages and abilities, but when everyone comes together and supports each other, the collective effort is very impressive. The young musicians have a positive attitude and always strive to get better. This is key not just for youth orchestra, but for success in life. I hope that we take these strengths and continue to develop them and encourage the kids to apply the same lessons learned to other facets of their lives.
At this point in the season, how have the orchestra members developed in their playing?
One of the hardest lessons to learn as an orchestral player is strong internal rhythm. In order for everyone to play together, we need to keep tempo. This is something we work on from day one, and I think the students are learning how to listen to each other while also developing their own confidence in playing in tempo.
How did you choose the program for the Winter Concert?
I strive to pick pieces that are challenging yet not beyond the technical abilities of the orchestra as a whole. On this program, our big work is Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony. This year, we are learning bigger (longer and more challenging) pieces as I try to get the students to internalize music faster and be ready for performance earlier. Other factors to consider are utilizing everyone in the orchestra. The Tchaikovsky, for example, only uses percussion, other than timpani, on the fourth movement alone. I (also) wanted to perform another piece that would enable these (percussion) players something to perform, so I chose Sibelius’ epic nationalistic piece Finlandia. Lastly, we have a work for string orchestra alone, Elgar’s Serenade for Strings.
February 1, 2016