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Montana Youth Symphony brings musical magic to Great Falls

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Posted at 4:20 PM, May 27, 2024

GREAT FALLS — On Friday, May 24th, the University of Providence in Great Falls hosted a captivating performance by the Montana Youth Symphony (MTYS). This event provided the public with an exciting glimpse into the talents and potential of young musicians across the state.

Montana Youth Symphony brings musical magic to Great Falls

Charles Snellman, a cellist with MTYS, shared the significance of this gathering. "Today we are just giving the public a sneak peek or a snapshot of what the members of the symphony are capable of. Unfortunately, after college and even after high school, there are not many opportunities for us to get together and create music. So this is an opportunity for anyone, I believe from 16 to 27, to come together and create music."

MTYS President Dr. Ilse-Mari Lee highlighted the organization's mission and journey. "This is a brand new nonprofit. This is our second year of existence. We actually started two years before we had our first concerts. And then in 2023, we had our first season. So this is our second season. Clearly, we were founded with a reason, and we're meeting that mission, which is really exciting. But after high school, and especially after college, or even during college, when students don't necessarily major in music, there are very few opportunities for them to perform. And that's at the point where they really are ready to just blossom."

For many of these young musicians, the symphony represents a cherished opportunity to continue their passion for performance. Noah Durnell, an oboist with MTYS, expressed his personal connection to the group. "In music school, all of these performance opportunities are built into your curriculum, so you're performing all the time. After graduating and not having that constantly in my life, I realized how much I missed it. Youth symphony is very important to me because it was the first moment I was able to perform again and remember how much music meant to me. Today, I’m sampling the second movement of Saint-Saëns' Oboe Sonata, and now it's the piece that I just bring out whenever I want to feel really happy."

The concert at the University of Providence was more than just a performance; it was a celebration of the perseverance and dedication of these young musicians. The MTYS provides a unique platform for them to continue their musical journeys, bringing joy and inspiration to both performers and audiences alike.

As the Montana Youth Symphony continues to grow, it stands as a testament to the enduring power of music and the importance of supporting young artists in their creative endeavors. The Great Falls community and beyond can look forward to many more performances in the years to come.