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WASHINGTON DC YOUTH ORCHESTRA (article first published : 2002-06-17)

Marking Independence Day on July 4, the DC Youth Orchestra Programme - DCYOP -based in Washington DC, will present a concert in the courtyard of the Diakonia Centre from 16h00.

This will be the first time an orchestral concert is held in the Diakonia Centre courtyard. The performance is in celebration of the birthday of one of Diakonia's benefactors associated with the orchestra, as well as two members of the orchestra. It is also part of efforts to develop a cultural precinct linking the Durban Music School, the Old House Museum and the Diakonia Conference Centre, all of which are situated in St. Andrew's Street. The orchestra will also perform at the US Consulate's Independence Day reception on July3.

The DC Youth Orchestra Programme (DCYOP) maintains five orchestras and several ensembles. They are taught by professional musicians and cover all instruments in the orchestra. Students in these groups perform in public concerts throughout the year. Over the years, DCYOP students have performed several international tours to countries such as Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Korea, China, Greece, and Japan.

The orchestra has also performed at the White House for five different U.S. presidents. Five of their past students are members of the National US Symphony Orchestra, and more students are playing or conducting in about 60 professional orchestras nationwide.

Of its South African touring members, about 65 percent are African American. In total, 740 students are enrolled in DCYOP's 2002 programme of which 84 percent are members of racial or ethnic minorities, including black, Hispanic, Asian, Indian and mixed-race students.

The touring orchestra will perform a mixture of jazz and classical music, without charge to the public. Well-loved pieces from West Side Story and the Sound of Music, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, and the Royal Fireworks Music of Handel are just a few of the items that will be played. Conductor Takoa Kanayama has led the orchestra since 2000, after approximately four years as the Assistant Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington DC.

For more details contact Leslie Kemp on 031 310-3523 or e-mail: leslie.kemp@diakonia.org.za




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