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Sonic youth in district concert

Published 9:11pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Musicianship from John Yeates Middle School was on display at Western Branch High School recently after three Suffolk students were selected to perform in a District-Wide Orchestra concert held in Chesapeake.

Pictured left are John Yeates’ orchestra director Linda Hurwitz with eighth-grader Tamara Favours and guest conductor Paul S. Kim of Old Dominion University.  (submitted photo)
Pictured left are John Yeates’ orchestra director Linda Hurwitz with eighth-grader Tamara Favours and guest conductor Paul S. Kim of Old Dominion University. (submitted photo)

Eighth-grader Tamara Favours, plus seventh-graders Jaylon Hayes-Keller and Guy Purnell, were selected from an October audition with more than 200 areas students, John Yeates’ orchestra director Linda Hurwitz said.

Tamara and Jaylon played viola, while Guy was on violin, Hurwitz said. King’s Fork Middle School seventh-grader Jacob Greening also participated on cello, she added.

“They are all extremely talented and hardworking and enjoyed the process of preparing for the audition,” Hurwitz said.

“They were very responsive to me as their teacher.”

Guest conductors at the Jan. 17 concert were Jeanne DeDominick and Paul S. Kim of Old Dominion University, according to Hurwitz.

More than 180 students — 90 in the seventh-grade orchestra, led by DeDominick, and 90 eighth-graders conducted by Kim — performed pieces by J.S. Bach, Bizet and Smetana, as well as two patriotic works, “Freedom Overture” and Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Hurwitz said the students had prepared avidly for the audition and continued fine-tuning their performances leading up to the concert.

John Yeates Middle School orchestra director Linda Hurwitz stands with seventh-grader Guy Purnell and guest conductor Jeanne DeDominick of Old Dominion University and seventh-grader Jaylon Hayes-Keller. (submitted photo)
John Yeates Middle School orchestra director Linda Hurwitz stands with seventh-grader Guy Purnell and guest conductor Jeanne DeDominick of Old Dominion University and seventh-grader Jaylon Hayes-Keller. (submitted photo)

“It’s a milestone for a middle school student,” she said. “They get to work with other students in their district. They go outside the classroom and work with their peers, and come together with these guest conductors from ODU.”

With the school district for “eight or nine years,” Hurwitz said she’s had a couple of students make the orchestra every year.

“I’m very proud of the talent of the students at John Yeates Middle School,” she said.

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