AUBURN — This year’s Youth Orchestra of Lewiston-Auburn fall concert will spotlight selections from some of the best-known and most-loved operas and stage musicals.

“We are most certainly going with a dramatic, and in some cases fantastical, theme,” said Linda Vaillancourt, director of YOLA. “This summer, I had a couple of students ask about show tunes, which led to the concert theme: Music for the Stage.”

Sunday’s program includes pieces from the musicals “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables,” in addition to operatic pieces from “Zampa,” “The Magic Flute” and “Turandot.”

“Opera goes back hundreds of years and was a major way of musically presenting a story,” Vaillancourt said. “Mozart composed 22 operas, and ‘The Magic Flute’ remains one of his most popular. ‘Zampa’ was a comic opera that became Ferdinand Herold’s most famous. Finally, I wanted to use ‘Nessun Dorma,’ one of the most beautiful opera arias ever written from Giacomo Puccini’s classic tragic opera, ‘Turandot.’”

And of course, dramatic and ominous opening phrases of the “Phantom of the Opera” by Andrew Loyd Webber and the intense anguish of “Les Miserables” by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg are some of today’s most recognized pieces.

“Although both musicals originally opened in the 1980s, they have remained very popular and continue to be frequently staged,” Vaillancourt said.


Now in its fourth year, YOLA continues to seriously rehearse, study and build its repertoire of chamber orchestral music. Founded as a nonprofit organization to provide musical education, experience and performance opportunities, YOLA performs two concerts each year free to the public.

In addition to YOLA performances, many of the student players have demonstrated their talents and musical commitment by auditioning and being selected for competitive festivals. YOLA players recently selected to District II Orchestra are Ryan Spooner of St. Dominic Academy, Abbie Collette and Abram Collette of Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Darby Tuttle, Jon Tuttle and Bradley Sperl of Hebron Academy, and Josh White of Auburn Middle School.

Spooner earned the top score for high school violin and Jon Tuttle earned the top score for High School double bass. Four of YOLA’s members will audition for the All State ensemble on Saturday. Other YOLA members include Hannah Pullen of Central Maine Christian Academy and Emma van Kampen of Brunswick High School.

Contributing adult mentors are Katy Sperl of Minot and Tyler Pulk, a 2012 graduate of Lewiston High School.

In support of YOLA’s mission and efforts, the Woman’s Literary Union of Auburn has opened its Foss Mansion to host Sunday’s concert. The relationship between the two community organizations began with last spring’s concert when YOLA played to a full house at the historic home.

Other community organizations have shown their support of YOLA by providing performance space. The Auburn Public Library and the Pathway Vineyard Church have hosted YOLA concerts. In addition, the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul has provided weekly rehearsal space since the group’s beginning. Before Sunday’s public concert, YOLA will accompany the choir and play additional music during the service at the basilica.


What: Youth Orchestra of Lewiston-Auburn fall concert

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23

Where: Foss Mansion (home of Woman’s Literary Union), 19 Elm St., Auburn

Tickets: Free to the public (donations welcomed at the door)

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.