LIMA — The Lima Area Youth Orchestra performed its final concert of the season Sunday night.
The orchestra performs three times a season. First, they do a holiday concert in December, then a children’s concert at the Civic Center in March and finally the season finale at Lima Senior High School.
Between 65 and 70 young musicians are in the orchestra.
“I think it’s been really good to help with my violin playing. I think I’ve learned how to listen to how others are playing, interact with others and then increase my strengths as well,” said Noelle Webb, 17, and a junior at Shawnee High School.
Webb is considering playing in an orchestra when she gets to college. “I think it would be a great opportunity,” she said.
Marina Shenouda has been with the Lima Area Youth Orchestra for the past five years.
“Playing in an orchestra is a lot different than playing a solo, so I think it gives you a chance to be able to play a piece, not only with a violin and its characteristics, but with a bunch of other instruments. It makes it sound really, really interesting and cool. You have the ability to use your ears to listen to others and perform a piece that a composer wrote. It just makes the whole experience so cool,” said Shenouda, 15, who is a sophomore at Shawnee High School.
The opportunity to play with the Lima Area Youth Orchestra is something she appreciates.
“I think it’s amazing. This orchestra is one of the only free ones in Ohio, so it gives young people all across this region the opportunity to play in an orchestra, which isn’t something you get very often,” Shenouda said.
The orchestra is led by Travis Jürgens, winner of the American Prize in Orchestral Conducting. He’s conducted orchestras around the country and is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Ohio Northern University in Ada. He’s been the musical director of the Lima Area Youth Orchestra since 2016.
“They’re playing so well. They’ve improved a ton over the past couple of years,” he said.
The special opportunity these young musicians are given is not lost on Jürgens.
“They come from all over the place, and there’s no other full orchestra in the area for students to participate in. So it’s really an excellent program for them, and they get excited about the music and they work really hard,” Jürgens said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.