Delaware's youth symphony orchestra performed in Italy this summer

The Music School of Delaware's Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO) joined the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras (MCYO) in Italy for the American Celebration of Music from July 6-14.

Cheering crowds rewarded the orchestra's performances, led by DYSO music director Simeone Tartaglione. They performed in some of Italy's most historically and culturally treasured performance spaces. The American Celebration of Music is an annual festival sponsored by government officials, music associations and tourist boards around the world.

"The DYSO has grown tremendously over the past three years," says Tartaglione of the decision to tour. "We felt it was time to provide our players an unforgettable experience - to perform in renowned venues in Rome, Firenze and Cremona."

There's one location they visited that's a lesser known venue - the Royal Palace in Caserta, which was the location of the ensembles' first concert. Tartaglione considers the space even more beautiful than Versailles. "It's astonishing and huge," he describes. "The beauty of the building and the surrounding park are breathtaking."

The orchestras performed for the Stradivarius celebration in Caserta then moving to a special meeting in Cremona, the home of the world's best violin makers like Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati. The students met with the current violinmakers who spoke with them about strings and violins, how to care for them and other advice.

Tartaglione knows that the trip had an impact on his young musicians. "I often talk to them about different styles and ways to play and feel the music," he notes, "but nothing can be better than first-hand experience." They had the language of music to communicate with people in Italy, so there was a wonderful exchange, he remembers. I know they've been transformed into a different orchestra after this journey."

The DYSO experience provides opportunities including regular sectionals led by highly qualified coaches (strings, winds, brass and percussion) from the Music School and major East Coast orchestras; professional guest conductors; and exclusive performance opportunities for members. Wind, brass and percussion players join the DYSO after marching band season in November. To participate, a student must participate in their school orchestra unless one does not exist or the student has been excused by their school orchestra director.

DYSO auditions in September

The DYSO is holding open auditions for students from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9 and 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 10 at the Music School's Wilmington Branch.

Students will be asked to play two scales (or one scale and one arpeggio) in two keys of choice and to play both legato and staccato, and at fast and slow tempos. Additionally, up to two solo pieces are required demonstrating contrasting styles (accompaniment and memorization are not required). Call 762-1132 to schedule.