CYO musicians go on, despite distractions Concert: In between flashbulbs, cell phones, more considerate listeners enjoyed creditable performances.

June 04, 1998|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I'm so sick of self-absorbed, camera and cell phone-toting yuppies, I can't see straight.

Just the other week, a gaggle of parents nearly ruined Peabody Prep's excellent production of "The Boyfriend" by bathing Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in the light of countless flashbulbs even as the performers were doing their best to proceed with the show.

Saturday, another set of misguided baby boomers mistook a concert of Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, Mascagni and Mozart for their own personal photo op and proceeded to disrupt a perfectly lovely concert by the three Chesapeake Youth Orchestras.

When the serious young players of the CYSO Repertory Orchestra are counting like mad to negotiate the complexity of Mark Weiser's "Sinfonia," it is cruel beyond words to set off flashbulbs in their faces.

Later, the youngsters of the CYSO String Orchestra had their scrupulously musical account of Tchaikovsky's "Chanson Triste" interrupted by a ringing cell phone.

Such rudeness distracts the musicians and serious listeners trying to commune with great music, which is what going to concerts is supposed to be about.

Music, at heart, is not a visual medium, and concerts are not Kodak moments. They are of-the-moment, in-the-moment events that must be appreciated as they happen, when they happen. To snap blithely away as youngsters are giving their all to re-create Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Brahms is to denigrate everything those kids are on stage to do.

The rest of us got to appreciate some nice music in between the rings and flashes.

The youngest aggregation, the String Orchestra, played sensitively and securely in its selections. Indeed, its arrangement of Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" was far more engaging than the original.

There were fireworks from the intermediate Repertory Orchestra, which gave "Sinfonia" a run for its money with prodigious playing wedded to musical discipline.

With conductor Mark Allen McCoy at the helm for his final CYSO concert, his senior orchestra made its way through a remarkably accomplished "Rhapsody in Blue" with Baltimore pianist Daniel Lau.

The youngsters made it through all the tough tempo changes of this fitful work and also caught the sassy spirit of Gershwin's all-American creation.

But concentration flagged in Tchaikovsky's "Capriccio Italien" as oboes missed entrances and trumpets forgot to check their key signatures. Even so, there were many dandy moments, especially in the hyperkinetic "Tarantella."

These are talented young musicians who know what they're doing. Now, if we could just say the same of their audiences.

Pub Date: 6/04/98

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