One aspect of the program I found particularly rewarding for my daughter, was the high level of expectations assumed by the organization and staff. So often we expect so little of young people who are really capable of so much. The Philharmonic Association sees things differently. They know and expect their participants to give their very best. The organization provides an environment that fosters and allows the participants to reach continually towards their fullest potential as well as provide pathways for future growth and opportunity.
Here are a few specifics. The music practiced and performed is always of the highest quality. The musicians perform complete symphonies by major composers such as Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch, as well as many other classical works such as overtures and concertos. The music covers a wide range from the 18th century right up to works written by living composers specifically for the Philharmonic Association performers.
The rehearsals focus on the details and nuances of musical performance such that the young musicians learn how to improve their playing and how to practice a piece of music. This even includes exposure to historic music performance practices when performing music of the 18th century.
Additionally, the players have opportunities to work with professional musicians of the highest caliber through association with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, including its conductor, Grant Llewellyn.
Furthermore, the participants can develop their musical skills outside the orchestral ensembles through chamber groups, a concerto competition, and recitals featuring the young musicians involved with the organization.
If you are thinking of participating, I would unreservedly recommend the Philharmonic Association. On top of all the wonderful musical opportunities, cost is also a consideration. When my daughter participated I considered the fee for participation more then reasonable. However, the organization's policy is such that no participant is turned away due to in ability to afford the cost. I am convinced that young musicians and their musical growth is at the heart of everything the Philharmonic Association does.
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The group desperately needs better rehearsal facilities and office space. If I had the means to change this I would, but, sadly, I do not.
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