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News Release, Charles County Youth Orchestra & The Alice Ferguson Foundation

Two string quartets formed from the members of the Charles County Youth Orchestra will present a live concert on July 18. The two groups will perform works from the Baroque and Classical eras as well as the 20th century. Because of concerns about Covid-19, the concert will be open to a very limited audience of the families of the performers. Selections from the concert will be posted to the Charles County Youth Orchestra Facebook page after the concert for everyone to enjoy.

This concert is the result of three weeks of intense rehearsal during the inaugural CCYO Chamber Music Camp. Virtually, the students received coaching twice a week, recorded their parts, and researched the history of these pieces and their composers to gain a deeper understanding of the music. We are proud to present the culmination of this hard work.

According to coach Dr. Teri Lazar, “The students had to work really hard for this concert, putting in hours and hours of individual practice because they did not have the luxury of rehearsing in person, and recording their parts so that they could practice while being able to hear each other.”

The Alice Ferguson Foundation, an active supporter of CCYO, provided the performance space in their new building, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Environmental Center. Designed to meet the net-zero energy, net-zero water, carbon-neutral 1, and non-toxic component requirements of the Living Building Challenge, this building is one of the most energy-efficient and greenest buildings in the world.

This is the second collaboration between the two non-profit organizations: earlier this month CCYO and AFF joined their resources on an online Independence Day concert that was uploaded to each organization’s Facebook page, resulting in over a thousand views. Located on a historic farm on the shores of the Potomac River, Alice Ferguson Foundation programs connect thousands of students, educators, communities throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to promote heritage, arts, education, and environmental sustainability.

“We are delighted to be a part of this Charles County Youth Orchestra’s summer concert,” said Theresa Cullen, Alice Ferguson Foundation executive director. “Through our six decades of doing youth programs, we know how truly critical the arts and the outdoors are to the health and wellbeing of the next generation, and we are proud to support these talented young musicians.”

According to CCYO director, Dr. Osman Kivrak “This chamber music camp is the newest addition to the activities of CCYO and is still in a developmental stage.” Dr. Kivrak added, “We look forward to continuing the program next year and growing it so that we can include even more students and perform more of these great works of chamber music.”

The Charles County Youth Orchestra is one of the largest youth organizations in Southern Maryland providing music education and performance opportunities for talented young musicians in Charles County, Prince Georges County, St. Mary’s County, and Calvert County. CCYO serves more than 100 students total each year and consists of four ensembles: Prelude Strings, Encore Strings, Encore Band, and the CCYO.

In addition to weekly rehearsals and the two main concerts, students perform for the Kris Kringle Marketplace event, the Arts Fest in La Plata, pre-concert performances at the Davies Concert Series in Camp, and beginning this year a new Concerto Competition. Other educational activities include master classes, sectional rehearsals, and – the newest offeringchamber music!

The Charles County Youth Orchestra is sponsored in part by grants from the Charles County Arts Alliance, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Rotary Club of La Plata, MD, and the Knights of Columbus of Accokeek, MD. Other major contributors include Potters Violins, Gailes Violin Shop, Bullock’s Piano Salon East, and the Neighborhood Creative Arts Center of La Plata.