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Young musicians unite
Gainesville Symphony holding youth auditions
The Gainesville Symphony Orchestra's new Youth Orchestra will be under the musical direction of violist Michael Giel.

Budding musicians who are looking to hone their craft may want to make plans to audition for the Gainesville Youth Symphony Orchestra.

"It's a brand new program. It's an extension of our original education and enrichment vision for students," said Candace Monnerie, Gainesville Symphony Orchestra executive director.

"The biggest reason we decided to create the youth orchestra this year was because of an overwhelming demand for a program like this."

The youth orchestra is under the musical direction of Michael Giel, who is a GSO violist, a Gwinnett County school system orchestra director and the orchestra director for the Governor's Honors Music Program.

Auditions are set for Feb. 19 at McEver Arts Academy, 3265 Montgomery Drive, Gainesville. Students will be given a specific time slot once they have registered to audition. The youth orchestra is open to all fifth- through 12th-grade band and orchestra students.

"Normally, if students are a part of a school band program, they never get the opportunity to play with stringed instruments or a full orchestra," said Monnerie.

"Due to time constraints of the school day, there isn't much time left for individual instrument instruction, but as musicians with the youth ensemble, they'll have the opportunity for both - full orchestra performances and instruction for their individual instrument."

The youth group will be divided into two groups - the upper symphony and the little orchestra. The upper group is for more accomplished musicians who are looking to increase their level of performance, while the little symphony is for "emerging players who want an extra push."

Because the GSO seeks to broaden musical horizons for all students, Monnerie says that scholarships are available for those who need financial assistance.

Students who are selected to participate in the orchestra will have weekly rehearsals on Wednesdays.

The youth orchestra will make it's public debut April 13, at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium. They will be performing in concert with the GSO.

If students miss these auditions, they won't have another opportunity to try out until August. For more information, or to register, call 770-532-5727.

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