This past Friday night I had the pleasure of attending a preformance of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and the Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra.
The Puerto Rico Symphony's inaugural concert was held in 1958 in Mayaquez and was directed by Maestro Pablo Casals. The current musical director is the Chilean Maestro Maximiano Valdes. The symphony has a long and elustrious history.
The Rising Stars program was started in 1981 as a vision of the Honorable Judge Emeritus, Verne A. Hodge as a way to positively engage youth on island, keeping them in school and out of trouble. Since their inception the group has become Goodwill Ambassadors for the Virgin Islands traveling as far as Taiwan and Japan. They have preformed in many spectacular venues like the Lincoln Center the Capital building in Washington D.C. and on the Skyline stage in Chicago. They are my favorite part of Carnival each spring here on St.Thomas during the battle of the steel bands as well as the parade.
The program Friday, included:
J. Brahms - Academic Festival Overture Ob. 80
Rimsky Korsakov - Procession of the Nobles
Von Suppe - Light Cavalry
Tchaikovsky- Marche Slav
Mozart - Figaro
Love on Top
Gracia por la Musica
L.V. Beethoven - Symphony no. 5
Please notice that the Rising Stars do not have any sheet music in front of them. They played from memory. This is an outdoor venue, so you will hear the frogs and crickets give their own concert along with the musicians and my photograpy skills leave a lot to be desired.
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