award-winning orchestra to tour in China in AprilThe Santa Monica High School Symphony is the first public high school orchestra to be featured in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s latest “Sounds About Town” series.Orchestra director Joni Swenson will conduct the award-winning Samohi Symphony in its debut appearance in Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday, February 19, at 7:30 p.m. The 90-member Symphony includes freshman, sophomore, junior and senior musicians. They will perform “Procession of the Nobles” from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mlada, the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” and conclude with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17, “Little Russian.”In April, the Samohi Orchestra will travel to the Far East at the invitation of thr city of Hangzhou, China for a cultural exchange visit with the Hangzhou High School of Performing Arts, and a 10-day tour of China.Highlights of the tour will include a public concert at the Red Star Theater in Hangzhou, and exchange concerts at both the Beijing Conservatory in Beijing, and the Xinghai Conservatory in Guangzhou.The Samohi Symphony was founded in 1903. In 1992 and again in 1994, it took part in the International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. In 1996, the Symphony was featured at the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Valencia, Spain, the only high school orchestra to be so honored. In 1999, the Orchestra was chosen to perform at the 53rd Annual Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and in 2002, the Symphony performed at Carnegie Hall. More recently, in 2004, the orchestra participated in the Dvorák Centenary Festival in the Czech Republic, performing at the Rudolfinum in Prague as well as in Brno, Nelahozeves and Vienna. Last year, the Symphony received First Place at the American String Teachers Association with National School Orchestra Association (ASTA with NSOA) National Orchestra Festival in Reno, Nevada. Swenson is in her fourth year as the Orchestra Director at Santa Monica High School. A graduate of UCLA, she taught for 23 years in Sacramento and San Jose, has served as guest conductor of the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Capitol Section Honor Orchestra, the Bay Section Honor Orchestra, the Central Coast Section Honor Orchestra and the Marin County Honor Orchestra.
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