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Season Finale-Symphony Orchestra

Our season finale is an event you definitely don’t want to miss, as we proudly feature American classics by Gershwin and John Williams. The backstory of Gershwin’s An American in Paris begins with the composer making his first-ever trip to Paris in 1926 to study composition with Maurice Ravel. After an initial meeting at which Gershwin played some of his works for the great French master,  Ravel said he could not teach him, saying, "Why be a second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?" Gershwin was inspired by his time in Paris to write a “tone-poem” about a visitor to Paris, and he provided very detailed program notes for the work, which begin with: “You are to imagine an American visiting Paris, swinging down the Champs-Elysées.” Completed in 1928, An American in Paris is the quintessential American work, with its prominent jazz-inflected and popular-style writing and its unforgettable melodies. John Williams’s Adventures From Earth, from the movie E.T., is a tour-de-force of brilliant orchestral writing and soaring melodic invention and will feature prominently on our upcoming tour to Spain in June.

CYS is delighted to offer three senior soloist competition winners this year: Flautist Siran Wang will perform the dazzling Italian Concerto by the French flutist/composer Jules Demersseman, and Co-Concertmaster Amy Zheng will be featured in the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. Co-Concertmaster Jenna Kang will complete our trilogy of concertos with the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s iconic Violin Concerto in D Major, composed in 1878. Now universally considered to be one of the greatest violin concertos, it was not initially well-received, and the dedicatee (Leopold Auer) refused to play it. The great music critic Eduard Hanslick wrote, after hearing it: "The violin was not played but beaten black and blue." Thank goodness for changing times! You will be transported by the artistry of these three exceptionally gifted student artists. Don’t miss this wonderful season-closing concert by our Senior Orchestra!

Leo Eylar, conductor
Siran Wang, flute
Amy Zheng, violin
Jenna Kang, violin

Demersseman: Italian Concerto (Siran Wang, flute)
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto, 1st mvt (Amy Zheng, violin)
Williams: E.T.: Adventures on Earth
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, 1st mvt (Jenna Kang, violin)
Gershwin: An American in Paris

Graduating Senior Concerto Competition Winners

Siran Wang, Siran Wang, age 17, is a senior at Mission San Jose High School. She began her music studies at age 4 on the piano, and has played the flute since age 9 under the instruction of Chang Lu. 


Amy Zheng, 17, is a senior at Monta Vista High School. She currently studies with Zhao Wei and began her violin studies at age four with Linda Stone. 


Jenna Kang, age 18, began violin at the age of 5 and is currently studying under Zhao Wei. She was chosen as a violinist in Carnegie Hall's 2022 and 2023 National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA), where she toured Europe and the United States on a coast-to-coast tour as the Assistant-Concertmaster. 


Graduating Senior Concerto Competition

The CYS Senior Orchestra holds an annual Concerto Competition in December, offering its current graduating seniors an exciting opportunity to showcase their talent on our season finale concerts in May or June. All three winners will debut in this concert.

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