The Charles County Youth Orchestra (CCYO) will be holding its annual Spring Concert on Sunday, May 21, at 3:30 p.m. at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, MD. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature four ensembles led by CCYO’s conductors: Dennis Murphy, Prelude Strings; Dr. Teri Lazar, Encore Strings; Takako Mato, Encore Band, and Dr. Osman Kivrak, Charles County Youth Orchestra.

The concert will begin with a rendition of Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony, followed by Ivanov’s “March of the Sardar,” and Chaminade’s Concertino for flute, featuring soloist Haley Gruwell, the winner of CCYO’s Concerto Competition. Gruwell recently performed the Chaminade as a member of the National Symphony Orchestra’s Fellowship Program at the Kennedy Center.

The event will conclude with a grand finale featuring all four ensembles performing together, playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” CCYO is one of the largest youth organizations in Southern Maryland and provides musical education and performance opportunities for young musicians between the ages of 8 to 18 in Charles, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Calvert counties.

The organization presents two large concerts and several smaller concerts each year, a two-week Chamber Music Festival with two additional chamber music concerts, a Concerto Competition Concert, as well as masterclasses and sectionals for students in all four of CCYO’s ensembles.

Upcoming events include the CCYO Concerto Competition Concert on June 3 at 3 pm at Christ Church, La Plata, and the CCYO Chamber Music Festival from July 18 to July 29 with concerts at 8 pm on July 22 and 29 at Christ Church, La Plata.

Recently, CCYO was featured in an online film by the Charles County Arts Alliance and on WTOP radio. Two CCYO String Quartets were finalists in the prestigious Washington Performing Arts Society Misbin Chamber Music Competition in Washington, D.C.

CCYO is sponsored in part by grants from the Charles County Arts Alliance, the Charles County Charitable Trust, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Rotary Club of Charles County, MD, and the Knights of Columbus of Accokeek, MD. Potters Violins, Gailes Violin Shop, and the Neighborhood Creative Arts Center of La Plata are also major contributors, along with generous donations from individuals.

According to CCYO’s website, the organization’s mission is to “provide an opportunity for young musicians to grow through the study and performance of orchestral music and to serve as a valuable cultural resource for Southern Maryland.” By providing a platform for young musicians to showcase their talents, CCYO aims to promote the appreciation of classical music among the wider community.

With a rich history of showcasing young musical talent, CCYO continues to make an impact on the music scene in Southern Maryland and beyond. By organizing events such as the Spring Concert, the organization is able to bring together young musicians and members of the community to celebrate the beauty of orchestral music.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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