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Gerald Carpenter: Youth Symphony Concert Honors Denis ‘Oige’ Keane

Sunday performance dedicated to Santa Ynez Valley teen who died in July

Cellist Rebecca Shasberger will play Elgar at Sunday's Santa Barbara Youth Symphony concert at the Lobero Theatre.
Cellist Rebecca Shasberger will play Elgar at Sunday’s Santa Barbara Youth Symphony concert at the Lobero Theatre. (Santa Barbara Youth Symphony photo)

The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony will hold its Winter Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday — St. Cecilia’s Day — at the Lobero Theatre. The program will feature cellist Rebecca Shasberger as soloist in the “Cello Concerto in e-minor, Opus 85,” of Sir Edward Elgar. The concert will also include the “Fanfare” from Paul Dukas’ “poème dansé” “La Péri;” the “Symphony No. 2, Opus 30: Romantic,” by Howard Hanson; and the “Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D-Major, S-1068,” of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Youth Symphony music director Andy Radford will conduct.

The performance of the Bach is dedicated to the memory of Denis “Oige” Keane, violist of the Youth Symphony 2002-2009, who died while hiking in the mountains in July. Keane, who was in the Music Academy of the West’s MERIT Program as a violist, also sang with the Mission Santa Inés Youth Choir and the Santa Ynez High School Choir. Keane was a Life Scout — next stop, Eagle — in Troop 41 in the Cachuma District of the Boy Scouts’ Los Padres Council. He would have graduated Santa Ynez High in 2010. Bach was his favorite composer.

Hanson brought out his Second Symphony in 1930, when romanticism was completely passé, as he was well aware. Nevertheless, the “Romantic” Symphony — the epithet is the composer’s — has survived as a living force on America’s concert programs when most of its “neoclassical” competition has long since bit the dust. It is an entirely fitting work for a Youth Symphony program — it belongs there practically as its birthright. As Hanson himself wrote, in the program notes for the premiere (Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting): “My aim, in this symphony, has been to create a work young in spirit, Romantic in temperament, and simple and direct in expression.”

Tickets to this concert are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Children 6 and under get in free. Click here to purchase tickets online or call 805.963.0761 or visit the Lobero Box Office, 33 E. Canon Perdido.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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