On Monday July 29, 2019, the Los Angeles Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Festival Youth Orchestra had the honor to be a part of the summer concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert featured two orchestras, a festival organ solo, the Vocielesti Choirs (Voice of Heaven), a festival honor trio, and a joint performance between the festival choir and orchestra.
Although I have performed at many venues, this was my first to be able to perform at such a grand location where so many talented musicians have played. Although this made me more nervous than usual, I was also that much more excited to get on stage and blow the audience away.
Factors that made this experience so novel and surreal included not only the grand venue we were able to perform at, but also the people we performed with. As a part of a local community orchestra, I’ve never been able to sit next to and play with musicians that I had never met before. However, this night allowed me to dive into a whole new world of meeting so many other musicians, some who were around my age and others who were professional musicians.
To think that I had been able to not only sit next to professional musicians, but also hear and feel the rawness of emotions as they played still boggles my mind. I never knew that I would have been able to be given this opportunity, but now that I have, I am so glad and thankful that I was able to experience something so genuine and passionate.
Additionally, the last performance that wrapped up a musically beautiful night was a joint performance between the festival choir and orchestra, conducted by Sunkyung Lee, music director of Bell Memorial United Methodist Church, Dong-bu Women’s Chorus, Soong-Eui Chorus, and Kyunggi Chorus LA. When I first heard the choir as they sang together during the rehearsal, I was shocked and dumbfounded. I have never been much of a choir type of person, but this experience changed my mind completely. I could hear the genuine passion from every single voice, and I could immediately recognize the harmonious aura that was present in the rehearsal room.
Every single member of the choir, whether they knew each other or not, was working together and sang as one to give the audience a breathtaking, surreal, and unforgettable performance. Even though I had already heard the choir singing before, when I heard it again on stage, I still couldn’t help but shiver and get goosebumps. It really did sound like voices from heaven, and I never heard a sound that was produced with such harmony and emotion.
The summer concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall was such a surreal and unforgettable experience, and I am so grateful that I was able to take part in this wonderful and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. From this, I was able to meet new friends, some of whom were my age and others who were older. I was exposed to different types of musical arts and see for myself how perfectly they can blend together. But most importantly, I was able to gain confidence about my musical abilities and motivation to continue to divulge in the world of music, all thanks to the novel experience of meeting new people and going to new places.
Sabrina Mo, Grade 9
North Hollywood High School