Vermont Youth Philharmonia kicks off concert season

The Vermont Youth Philharmonia (VYP), led by interim conductor Yutaka Kono, kicks off the VYOA concert season a bit early as they present their fall concert on Monday, Aug. 27 at 7 pm at the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael’s College. Tickets to the concert will be available at the door on the night of the performance.

In his inaugural concert as VYP conductor, Maestro Kono will lead the students through a diverse program. The orchestra will open the evening with Aaron Copland’s popular “Variations on a Shaker Melody,” written as part of the “Appalachian Spring” score, this piece is also known as “Simple Gifts.” They will follow with “L’Arlésienne” (The Girl from Arles) Suite No. 2, written by Georges Bizet. He wrote the music to accompany a play of the same name. The play proved fairly unpopular, but Bizet’s incidental music has flourished.  The concert will culminate with the Overture to “Die Meistersinger von Nürenberg” by Richard Wagner. Notable as Wagner’s only operatic comedy, the story revolves around a guild of Master Singers in existence in Nuremberg during the middle of the 16th century. This is also the only Wagner opera completely devoid of supernatural or magical themes.

Dr. Kono holds his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he graduated magna cum laude. He received his Master of Music from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, after which he became the first recipient to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in tuba performance from The University of Texas, Austin.  A native of Japan, Kono has studied piano, tuba, composition, and conducting. He has performed and conducted throughout the United States and Japan. In addition to conducting VYP, Kono currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Vermont, where he also conducts the UVM Orchestra.

Vermont Youth Philharmonia is a full orchestra of approximately 80 middle and high school-aged members. VYP students play full orchestral works and for some this is a first-time experience. VYP performs in three annual concerts, in regional school tours, participates in collaborations with the VYO and the Choruses, performs in Orchestrapalooza, and holds orchestra exchanges with youth ensembles from other states.

VYP members include Hayden Kjelleren of Charlotte (cello), Seamus Buxton of Shelburne (horn), Joanna Roth of Shelburne (horn), Faith Thompson of Charlotte (viola), and Rowan Bauman-Swain of Charlotte (violin).

Tickets to the concert are $5 for adults and $2 for students. Tickets are available only at the door. For more information, contact the VYOA office at 802.655.5030 or visit

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