By APRIL BLAIR – IHS senior Joanna Li is a participating as a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. This is her second season as a member, and has been playing the violin since she was six years old.
To participate in the Youth Symphony, one must pass the entrance audition which are judged by musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong.
“It’s a hard audition, as the expectations are set high,” Joanna Li states, “once you are accepted, you have to audition three more times throughout the year, which then determines seating in the orchestra.”
The experience of playing with such talented and committed musicians has been very rewarding for Li. “I love playing with PYSO,” Li comments. “Through my experience, I have met my best friends and learned from some of the greatest musicians and conductors. I have had so many musical opportunities and have been challenged to play some of the most difficult pieces in the classical music repertoire.”
In June 2017, the PYSO will be traveling to Spain to tour and perform. “This is my first overseas trip with an orchestra, and I am so excited to play in these famous music halls. We will be going to four cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Avila,” she says, “In one of these concerts, we will be merging with a youth orchestra based in Spain. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and it just shows how music is universal.”
Previous IHS students to participate in the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra include Jennifer Han and Isaac Mastalski.
The Pittsburgh Symphony rehearses every weekend at Heinz Hall and plays their major concerts there. The next concert is Spring Concert: City of Bridges held on May 21, 2017. Tickets are free, but required.
Good luck to Joanna and other performers in all upcoming auditions and performances in this magnificent orchestra setting.
[PHOTO BY LARRY NATH]
Photo Credit – “Senior Joanna Li prepares for her performance with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony”