Midwest Young Artists Conservatory: Symphony Orchestra & Big Band

August 8, 2020, 11:00 am

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MYA Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Gustafson)

On Saturday’s broadcast, we feature two ensembles from the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory of Highland, Illinois. The MYAC Symphony Orchestra plays two movements from Berlioz, and the Big Band concludes the program with a jazz number made famous by Duke Ellington.

Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Symphony Orchestra

Directed by Dr. Allan Dennis, the MYAC’s founder and president, the Symphony Orchestra is comprised of over 110 young musicians. Together, they’ve played stages across all of Chicagoland, including the Lyric Opera House, Symphony Center, Harris Theatre, and more. One of the premiere young orchestras in the world, they are certainly no stranger to Introductions. Some of their past performances for the show include Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 2015, a 2016 program recorded at Northwestern University’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, and a pair of concertos from 2017.

Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Big Band

The MYAC Big Band features the conservatory’s most advanced young jazz artists, and is directed by Drew Hansen. Hansen, a Chicago trumpeter and bandleader, leads various ensembles with focuses that range from free improvisation to traditional compositions. He remains an educator across Chicagoland, most prominently in MYAC’s Jazz Program.


Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz
II. Un bal
III. Scène aux champs
Performed by the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Allan Dennis

Blood Count by Billy Strayhorn
Performed by the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Big Band, directed by Drew Hansen