Kaua‘i High student performs in Hawai‘i Youth Symphony

Kaua‘i High School junior Donald Albrecht is the only student from Kaua‘i to be a part of Hawai‘i Youth Symphony.

This is his second year performing with the symphony.

Every Sunday Albrecht flies to O‘ahu for rehearsals and performances.

The Hawai‘i Youth Symphony began to take shape in the late 1950s as a special project of the Honolulu Jaycees.

In 1964 the group launched with 80 students under the direction of Peter Mesobian.

Today the organization serves 600 students under the direction of Maestro Henry Miyamura.

Recognizing the critical links between music study and positive growth and development, the youth symphony creates programs for young people to experience the intrinsic value of orchestral music through excellent music education, performance opportunities with high standards and community service projects that include youth mentoring.

HYS envisions a Hawai‘i where every young person, regardless of geographic location or economic condition, is given the chance to discover the timeless value of orchestral music.

Albrecht is part of the YSI section of the symphony.

Youth Symphony I students rehearse every Sunday at the University of Hawaii Music Department from August through May, averaging 130 hours of rehearsal time each season.

Rehearsals include sectionals, all facilitated personally by the conductor and full-orchestra rehearsals. Students, on average, perform eight concerts per season.

Maestro Henry Miyamura has been teaching music for more than 40 years.

This orchestra performs with professional guest artists from a range of art forms, including vocalists, Hawaiian music groups, ballet dancers, taiko drummers and classical musicians.

By the time students reach YSI, their technical skills are quite high.

The focus shifts to understanding the depth and nuances of music like color, tonal quality and interpretation.

Students work with professional-level music and are taught to play from their hearts as well as their heads.

An average of 25 pieces are worked on during the season.

All students would be considered advanced level on national and state standards.

This orchestra is considered one of the finest youth symphonies in the country.


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