Ypsi Symphony Orchestra Plays 'Welcome Back' Concert After 20 Months Of Not Performing Due To COVID
Music director Adam Riccinto and the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra are returning to the stage after 20 months of being unable to perform together due to COVID-19. The YSO is relaunching its regular performing season with a “Welcome Back” concert at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 10 at 3:30 p.m. The family-oriented concert is focused on reconnecting the local community with Ypsilanti’s hometown orchestra and will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Franz Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture, and special features highlighting the orchestra’s string, woodwind, and brass sections.
WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Riccinto about the upcoming performance and the pandemic experience on the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra.
YPSILANTI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM “WELCOME BACK” CONCERT ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10 AT LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL
CONDUCTED BY MUSIC DIRECTOR ADAM C. RICCINTO
Event celebrates the YSO’s return to the stage with the local community
YPSILANTI, MICHIGAN, October 3, 2021--Music Director Adam C. Riccinto and the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra (YSO) are returning to the stage after 20 months of being unable to perform together due to COVID-19. The YSO is excited to relaunch its regular performing season with a “Welcome Back” concert at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 10 at 3:30 p.m. The family-oriented concert is focused on reconnecting the local community with Ypsilanti’s hometown orchestra, and will feature Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Franz Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture, and special features highlighting the orchestra’s string, woodwind, and brass sections.
“We're thrilled to be back and able to provide a high-quality, family-friendly, affordable musical performance in a large, beautiful space with safety in mind,” said Music Director Adam C. Riccinto. “This is a great opportunity to experience the sound of a live orchestra—and perhaps even hear some of your neighbors or friends performing—close to home.” Per venue requirements, masks will be required.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 premiered in Vienna in 1800, when the composer was not yet 30. The symphony continues symphonic traditions established by Beethoven’s predecessors W.A. Mozart and Josef Haydn, but also displays signs of Beethoven’s emerging style, such as the prominent use of winds and strong dynamics. The first of his symphonies melds traditional forms with early experimentation, signaling what would come in his revolutionary later works.
Schubert’s Overture to Rosamunde, often associated with his incidental music for the 1823 premiere of the play Rosamunde, was in fact composed in 1820 for an earlier play, The Magic Harp. While neither play has endured, Schubert’s overture, with its dramatic introduction and lyrical, charming music, remains as a beloved orchestral work.
The YSO will perform on Sunday, October 10 at 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln High School’s Performing Arts Center, 7425 Willis Road, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197. In keeping with venue safety protocols, masks are required of attendees. Tickets are $12/adults, $6/students/seniors/children and $30/family and can be purchased at the door or online at A2Tix.com.
The Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra (YSO) is proud of its unique and significant cultural contribution to the Ypsilanti area. The YSO’s mission is “to share our passion for music through innovative programming, creative collaboration, and arts advocacy,” and to “actively contribute to the music appreciation and education of our musicians, organizational members and audience.” Led by founder and music director Adam C. Riccinto, the Symphony marks its 23rd anniversary with the 2021-22 season.
Lisa Barry: After nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra has not been able to perform. But that's all changing this week. I'm Lisa Barry, and a symphony Welcome Back concert is taking place Sunday, October 10th. And we're joined now by Symphony Founder, Director, Music Director Adam Riccinto to talk about that. Welcome. Thanks for talking to us.
Adam Riccinto: Thanks for having me, Lisa. It's a pleasure.
Lisa Barry: How must it feel to be back performing music once again?
Adam Riccinto: I can't even tell you how excited we are. The Ypsilanti Symphony was entering into our 22nd season last year, which of course, didn't happen last year. But we are a group of daytime professionals in other fields that get together on Tuesday evenings down at Lincoln High School and push the pause button on our lives and make amazing music. And the fact that we've been able to be back and are gearing up to perform for the community again is really, really exciting.
Lisa Barry: How many members are there in the symphony?
Adam Riccinto: Lisa, depending on what we're playing, it can be anywhere from 40 to 60 or so. So, it's all parts are covered. It's a full symphony.
Lisa Barry: All ages? And where do they come from?
Adam Riccinto: So, they come from all over the area, primarily Ypsilanti, but the surrounding communities as well. I have folks that drive from some some bit of distance. I have some college students. I have four EMU students playing this cycle, and then I have folks all the way up to one of our founding members who, actually, is just retiring from playing this year and who is 90 years old, and everywhere in between. It's really, really...it's a gamut. These are all folks that love music and can play.
Lisa Barry: So, you yourself founded the symphony?
Adam Riccinto: That is true. I did. Back in 1999, there was a kind of a cultural vacuum at the time. There wasn't a true community orchestra in the area, meaning volunteer daytime professionals in other fields. And I mean, we have teachers and students and CEOs and, you know, people with all kinds of walks of life. And, at that time, I called up some friends and said, "Look, there's a need here. Would you help me get it started?" And some folks responded and folks from EMU and Washtenaw Community College and other local organizations, and we got it off the ground.
Lisa Barry: Do you have a mission?
Adam Riccinto: We do. Our mission is to provide access to orchestral music to members of our community that might not have ever had it before. So, we do play a traditional classical repertoire, but we play jazz and pop concerts and film music and all kinds of things. And the coolest part is, I think my friend Johnny Lawrence probably said it best, he said, "What we do is bring people something to their hometown that they couldn't normally get outside of a movie theater or without going downtown Detroit and spending $200." I mean, if you come to the Ypsilanti Symphony, an entire family can attend the program for, like, $30. It's less than a movie, and they're going to see their own friends and family and neighbors performing this great, great literature. So, it's family friendly--now COVID friendly, so masks and social distancing and things for our hosts at Lincoln will be in place. But that's the experience here.
Lisa Barry: So, the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra is planning a welcome back concert this coming Sunday, October 10th. What will you be playing?
Adam Riccinto: Oh, Lisa, it's going to be a fun program. We're going to be at the Lincoln High School Performing Arts Center, which is a new venue for us. It's gorgeous, down on Willis Road. And we'll be performing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, an overture by Franz Schubert. And what's going to be fun is each section of the orchestra is going to be featured. So, there'll be a brass quintet, a woodwind octet, and a string piece. So, the audience is going to be able to hear sounds of small ensembles, as well as the full orchestra. The program will be about 90 minutes long and totally family-friendly.
Lisa Barry: And masks will be required to attend them.
Adam Riccinto: That's correct. And then, we'll be asking the folks to social distance between family groups, for example, but very, very typical requests by our host at Lincoln High School.
Lisa Barry: So, you did not have your entire season last year. How long have you been rehearsing this year?
Adam Riccinto: Well, typically, it's a very standard schedule. We got started getting together at the end of August. Most of our concerts usually have six to seven rehearsals on Tuesday evenings, down also at Lincoln, and you can tell they're one of our biggest supporters and our partners over the years. And so, typically, six or seven rehearsals. We do four concerts indoors each year, so October, December, February, and April. And then, this year, we have every intention of being back at Riverside Park in May and Memorial Day weekend for our annual Riverside Park Pops concert.
Lisa Barry: Can you just show up, or do you need to get a ticket in advance?
Adam Riccinto: For this program, you can get tickets at the door, but we are asking folks if you can buy them online ahead of time just to cut down on box office time, that'd be awesome. And those tickets are available at a2tix dot com, but if folks like our Facebook page or go to Ypsilanti Symphony dot org and links to the ticketing portal, as well as directions to Lincoln Consolidated Schools Performing Arts Center, are available there.
Lisa Barry: We'll put links to your links with this interview on our web page, WEMU dot org. Adam Riccinto, music director, founder of the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra. We look forward to hearing you make music once again.
Adam Riccinto: Well, we appreciate it, Lisa. We appreciate WEMU's support and partnership over the years. It's been a long time that we've worked together, particularly on our jazz series, and now we're just so grateful to have a chance to visit with you today. Thanks for having me on.
Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support. Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.