The American Youth Symphony performed their first of three
concerts in the Elfman Project, a series that features the work of beloved film
composer Danny Elfman. The
audience was a varied group of AYS members, the player’s families, UCLA alum,
fellow composers, and Elfman fans.
When asked what most excited them, many concertgoers said
one word -- “Batman.” One audience
member even shouted “yeah!” after the conductor came on stage and also
following an impressive violin cadenza.
Most of the audience did not understand the shouts were that person’s
way of expressing gratitude and love of the music; though he was frequently
shushed, these were sounds of enjoyment.
Even looking at the faces of the musicians themselves, the
audience could feel that energy and passion for music. To see their dance-like sways during
romantic bits change to tense stillness during slow movements and even to
intense faces during musical frenzy probably had the rest of the audience
shouting “yeah!” inside their own minds.
The AYS puts on free concerts, and even though you must
still reserve a ticket to attend, the fact that they are open to the public at
no charge is reason that you must go.
The AYS features the next up-and-coming musicians, and many of the
players attend prestigious schools like Indiana University and Juilliard when
they finish their term. The
mission of the symphony is to train young musicians for professional careers
and to make music events available to the public to help foster music
The Elfman Project is particularly special because it brings
modern, commercial music in a live format. Most people admit they love movies, and the score of the
movie is one aspect that makes film really special. Film music is manipulative, and that is meant in a positive
way; think about the way you feel about a character or a scene in a film, and
consider that scene without music -- it would be a much different experience. Danny Elman’s film music is so loved
because even standing alone, it not only recalls some films we might love (Edward Scissorhands, Batman), but also
it brings forth emotions and memories.
Add the music to a stellar live performance conducted by one of the
industry’s best, David Newman, and you have magic.
Composer Rebecca Nunez says music “is my power source.” And the same is true for many
concertgoers. We use music to lift
us up, calm us down, comfort us when we’re sad, or cheer us up when we need a
smile. All of that is music
appreciation, and we applaud the American Youth Symphony for bringing such
magic to the Los Angeles community.
Visit AYSymphony.org for more information about the
organization and musicians, as well as upcoming concerts and events. For those not residing in the LA area,
check your local philharmonic or symphony orchestra for similar groups in your