LIMA — The Crouse Performance Hall once again reverberated with the sounds of the Lima Area Youth Symphony Orchestra. After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, the Orchestra presented a concert to about 800 area school children.
LAYO is made up of 40 area high school students who rehearse on Sunday afternoons. The newly formed Cadet Orchestra, for children in elementary grades who are still learning their string instruments, also performed at this concert. LAYO is conducted by Dr. Sarah Waters and Joseph MacBenn.
When asked about playing in the Lima Area Youth Orchestra cellist Bryson Dick commented, “It’s fun. I’ve been playing four years since my freshman year. I also play tuba. I just kinda wanted to join the band.” Bryson said that he practices about two hours a day and also works at The Whippy Dip. His future plans include music, but only as a hobby.
Joseph MacBenn, one of the conductors, shared, “My favorite thing about this whole concept that we are doing is we’re featuring our little kids, our Cadet Orchestra. They have been playing between one and three years. I think the oldest one is in sixth grade and the youngest in second. So we definitely span some age gaps here from the very young to senior in high school.”
The LAYO played a number of pieces that the children in the audience enjoyed. Pieces from the “Scheherazade,” who was the character that narrated the Arabian Nights. In the story, the delightful storytelling of Scheherazade won the favor and mercy of her husband, a Persian king, and it was later put to music by composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. There was music from the “1812 Overture,” written in 1880 by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to commemorate the successful Russian defense against Napoleon’s invading Grande Armée in 1812. Students heard the “Brandenburg Sinfonia” composed by J.S. Bach and arranged by Merle Isaac. Students could definitely hear the clanging of an alarm at a railroad crossing in another piece, “The Great Locomotive Chase.”
Another number featured some percussion instruments that normally aren’t seen. Drums and small cymbals were used in a number that were brought to the front of the stage instead of the normal playing position in the back of the orchestra.
The LAYO, which has been performing since 1968, is sponsored by the Lima Noon Optimist and the Lima Symphony Orchestra.
Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409