A serious place is softened by sounds of symphony

The Bremerton Symphony Youth Orchestra performed at Poulsbo
The Bremerton Symphony Youth Orchestra performed at Poulsbo's city hall on Dec. 18.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / North Kitsap Herald

POULSBO — The City Council’s Dec. 18  agenda was light, as it was the final meeting of the year. But the meeting soon changed its tone, with one last treat for residents before closing.

“It’s a gift to the community from the city,” said Councilwoman Connie Lord, who organized a concert with the Bremerton Symphony Youth Orchestra in the council chambers following the City Council meeting.

Lord serves on the board of the Bremerton Symphony Association, and is also the association’s secretary. She said the concert was a chance to do something special at the end of the year, as well as give the youth some exposure in North Kitsap.

“They are good, they are really good,” Lord said. “And it’s a way for them to have their talent showcased.”

Three select groups — brass, winds, and strings — from the youth orchestra performed a range of holiday tunes from “Deck the Halls” to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

Lord came to City Hall early that night to decorate the chamber with garland and lights, and set up refreshments.

The council chamber was filled at the final meeting; not only with music but an attentive audience.

The groups that performed were a small fraction of the full orchestra. Lord said it was a good representation of the youth talent in the Kitsap community.

“It is an opportunity to let them shine and for people who watch our council meetings to be exposed to the music,” Lord said. “It’s an opportunity to enjoy the musicianship of young people in our county and to support them, and also let young people know there is a place for them to grow as musicians within their age group.”

The Bremerton Symphony Youth Orchestra is a division of the Bremerton Symphony Association, which houses an adult symphony as well. Youth performers from the upper tier of talent are sometimes asked to sit in with the symphony.

“The youth symphony has three tiers with students involved go from 5th grade all the way to age 21,” said Music Director Michael Woods.

Wood said the youth orchestra is preparing for auditions on Jan. 5 for interested musicians. Contact the Bremerton Symphony Association to schedule an audition.

“Some of the younger kids are pretty nervous about the process,” Woods said. “We call them auditions, but it’s really just a placement and a chance for me to get to know them. We also put them into the group that is most accommodating to their level.”

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