Orion Ensemble's Janet's Stage Initiative to Bring Youth Ensemble   Quartet Bolero to the Orion Stage

The award-winning Orion Ensemble will welcome the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras' Quartet Bolero for the final performance of "Harp Fantasy," its second concert program of the 2015-16 season. The talented high school-age performers will join Orion as its Janet's Stage Artist Partners Wednesday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. at PianoForte Studios (1335 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago).

Quartet Bolero is comprised of violinist Lauren Conroy, a senior at Barringon High School; violinist Vincent Wong, a junior at Maine Township High School West from Des Plaines; violist Kayla Cabrera, a home-schooled junior from Crete; and cellist Amelia Smerz, a senior from Downers Grove North High School. The ensemble will perform the first movement (Allegro) of Haydn's String Quartet, Op. 76, No. 3 in their December 2 appearance.

"Harp Fantasy," Orion's second concert program of its 23rd season, also welcomes guest harp virtuoso Ben Melsky for his Orion debut. Melsky is a member of the highly acclaimed Ensemble Dal Niente and principal harpist for the Joffrey Ballet and Ann Arbor. The robust program is highlighted by Jacques Ibert's Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp (1944); Camille Saint-Saëns' Fantaisie in A Major for Violin and Harp, Op. 124 (1907); and Ralph Vaughan Williams' Six Studies in English Folksong for Clarinet and Harp (1923).

Prior to the December 2 performance with the Quartet Bolero, Orion will perform this program at the First Baptist Church of Geneva November 22 and at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston November 29.

Orion’s Janet's Stage arts education initiative is a one-of-a-kind collaboration with the orchestra departments at Geneva and Glenbard East High Schools. These orchestras work with the Orion musicians—clarinetist and executive director Kathy Pirtle, violinist Florentina Ramniceanu, pianist Diana Schmück and cellist Judy Stone—providing multifaceted, year-long student support. The program offers invaluable practical, individualized learning through master classes and chamber music coaching, performances for students and parents at each school, invitations to attend Orion concerts and the opportunity for student ensembles to perform on the Orion concert stage.

For tickets to the upcoming concert or for more information about Orion’s 2015-2016 season of concerts, call 630.628.9591 or visit orionensemble.org.

Members of the award-winning Orion Ensemble (photo by Devon Cass).