Youth orchestras join in benefit concert for homeless 

click to enlarge Musical talent: Jessica Blixt-Logan, left, and Faithlina Chan are principal cellists of the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, play in the Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival at Davies Hall. - COURTESY PHOTOS
  • Courtesy photos
  • Musical talent: Jessica Blixt-Logan, left, and Faithlina Chan are principal cellists of the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, play in the Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival at Davies Hall.

At 16, cellist Faithlina Chan has a thoroughly adult perspective on music and life: “As a musician, playing music with others can be one of the most satisfying activities, and I also believe that musicians are somewhat like ambassadors — communicating in a universal language.”

Chan’s fellow cellist, Jessica Blixt-Logan, 16, makes it simple: “I love to play music. It takes over my world and I just love it. I am always playing music. It’s who I am.”

San Ramon Valley High School senior Chan and Berkeley High School junior Blixt-Logan are principal cellists of the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, one of six groups coming together at Davies Symphony Hall Sunday for the third Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival Hope Concert.

The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, California Youth Symphony, El Camino Youth Symphony, Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra and Oakland Youth Orchestra also are participating.

BAYOF features 500 musicians, ages 12 to 21, performing for an audience of some 1,800 parents, friends, and music lovers.

The event, hosted by TV anchor Wendy Tokuda, benefits homeless youth. The program includes each orchestra performing approximately 12 minutes of music, as well as the Encore Orchestra — selected members from each group — playing excerpts from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” under the baton of Donato Cabrera.

The concert also features works by Ravel, Borodin, Dvorák, Rimsky-Korsakov and Saint Saëns.

BAYOF Hope Concerts in 2009 and 2011 raised $15,000 and $25,000, respectively, for homeless youth organizations. The San Francisco Symphony is hosting this concert as part of its centennial year.

Most of San Francisco Symphony’s Youth Orchestra’s members go on to music careers, and many join leading U.S. orchestras — for example, violinists Cathryn Down and Elbert Tsai, bassoonist Andrew Weir, cellist Amos Yang and bassists Charles Chandler and Stephen Tramontozzi joined the San Francisco Symphony.

For Chan, of the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, music clearly will be in her future. She says, “Though I am uncertain as to my career, I plan on double-majoring in music and psychology. I would like to share the gift of music through teaching and performing. The heart-reaching music that I so often encounter persuades me to follow a path allowing me to also touch hearts through poignant music. No matter what road I end up traveling, I know that music will forever be an important part of me.”

IF YOU GO

Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival

Where: Davies Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $25 to $70; half-price for children under 17
Contact: (415) 864-6000, www.sfsymphony.org

About The Author

Janos Gereben

Janos Gereben

Bio:
Janos Gereben is a writer and columnist for SF Classical Voice; he has worked as writer and editor with the NY Herald-Tribune, TIME Inc., UPI, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, San Jose Mercury News, Post Newspaper Group, and wrote documentation for various technology companies.
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