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Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Debuts Inaugural Season

October 11, 2019 | Press Releases


Contact: Courtney Oliver 
Spartanburg Philharmonic 

Spartanburg, SC (October 11, 2019) - On Sunday, October 27, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra makes its concert debut with Masquerade Dreams. The performance will be held at 3:30 PM in the newly renovated Twichell Auditorium, located in Zimmerli Performance Center at Converse College. Seating for the concert is general admission, and tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are available online at or by calling 864 542-2787. 

Led by Converse College Professor and conductor Dr. Susana Lalama, the concert opens with the Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian, which tells the tragic story of friendship gone awry. Written for a play by Mikhail Lermontov, the suite is most known for its famous waltz theme that masks the central conflict of the play with the jubilance and celebration of a masquerade ball. The music then swirls on with notes of betrayal and heartbreak which the SPYO students skillfully bring to life. 

Suddenly, the fantasy is overtaken by the mystical and eerie themes in Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and Balmage’s Dream Machine. Then, just as it would in a dream, the tone promptly shifts once more with Copland’s Corral Nocturne evoking peaceful, golden slumbers. From the ballet Rodeo, the piece contains prominent oboe and bassoon parts that float along a soft and sweet melody. The program concludes with the somber and powerful Russian Chorale and Overture by Tchaikovsky. As the Youth Orchestra’s first performance of the year, this program features performances filled with whimsy, intrigue, and elegance. 

Auditions for the inaugural SPYO class were held in May of this year, and after a massive turnout, over 80 students were accepted into the budding program. The diverse selection of students hail from public, private, and home schools. Since then, they have enjoyed a successful and promising start to their first season. 

After beginning the program on such a high note, Spartanburg District 7 Orchestra teacher, Chair of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Education Committee, and co-manager of the Youth Orchestra, Helen Tipton shares her enthusiasm for the students’ premiere performance. 

“The Youth Orchestra is already flourishing in Spartanburg! Our best and brightest students from 16 schools and 3 counties, our dedicated musician mentors and staff, and our passionate leader Dr. Lalama are all working together to present “Masquerade Dreams” on October 27.” 

Masquerade Dreams will be an exciting concert both for the SPYO students and for the families in the audience. Tipton invites the entire community to join us in supporting these talented students, “This “kid-friendly” program promises to be one exciting hour of music! Come one, come all to celebrate this exciting time for the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra!” 

###About Spartanburg Philharmonic 

The Spartanburg Philharmonic’s mission is to enrich, inspire and educate through live performances of high-quality music. Founded in 1928, the Spartanburg Philharmonic is comprised of professional musicians from diverse backgrounds who form an ensemble capable of performing a variety of musical styles and repertoire. 

###About Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra 

The Spartanburg Philharmonic is proud to present the newly formed Youth Orchestra for instrumental students in Spartanburg, SC and surrounding areas. The goal of SPYO is to provide a rewarding experience for talented young musicians, ages 14-19, who wish to expand their knowledge of symphonic literature, as well as participate in high quality musical performances with a professional, dynamic conductor. 

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