The Glendale Youth Orchestra, a Premier L.A. Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, has started their 31st season brightly with a new conductor, Henry Shin. After the retirement of Brad Keimach, who had previously conducted the orchestra for 19 years, a conductor audition was held, and Henry Shin was chosen.
For its past 30 seasons, GYO has been giving young musicians an extraordinary opportunity to play classical music in a formal orchestra setting that they cannot experience anywhere else. The mission of GYO is “that our young people have a better chance of succeeding in their world if they appreciate, as well as participate in, its rich artistic and cultural traditions.” This means that they want young students to be able to be a part of a musical group that makes them appreciate the people and music they have around them, while learning how to work together.
The audition for the new conductor was very special. Instead the previous conductor choosing his successor, this time the students in the orchestra were able to choose the conductor they felt would best fit the position. This assures the students will be comfortable and happy while they are playing music and not feel the emptiness of Conductor Keimach.
The conductor the students chose, Henry Shin, has an amazing record of accomplishments prior to being able to conduct the GYO (Glendale Youth Orchestra). Mr. Shin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley, a Master’s degree in conducting from USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music, and is currently completing his doctoral studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Not only does he have an amazing, but he also has great experience.
In 2015, Mr. Shin became the Director of Orchestras at Pasadena City College and is currently conducting for both the Pasadena City College and GYO. He is also the conductor and music director of the nationally-acclaimed Harmony Project Orchestras, Hollywood, the Valley Philharmonic Orchestra in Porter Ranch, and the Kadima Conservatory Philharmonic in Pacoima. Lastly, for seven years, Mr. Shin served as the assistant conductor of the Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute Chamber Orchestra located at the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica.
Some of the music that the GYO has previously played include Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Symphony No.35 in D Major, Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B Minor (Unfinished), and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. As these are very difficult pieces of music for young musicians to be playing, GYO’s young students must develop discipline to allow them to be able to perform the music they are given properly. With their new season coming up, at their concert on November 24, 2019, they are preparing to play Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Verdi’s Nabucco, and more.
Whether it is playing music, like in the Glendale Youth Orchestra, or playing baseball on a baseball team, getting involved in something is very important to young people. Being a part of an organization allows them to learn how to work together with other people and teaches them skills that can be used later in life. This is exactly what the GYO does for its musicians. The orchestra not only comes together to play music, but also it comes together in order to create a performance that reflects working together as a team.
Rosalia Park, Grade 9
Crescenta Valley High School