Dead River, youth orchestras and food bank combine to make a recipe for good

Posted Nov. 13, 2012, at 1:20 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Music feeds the soul; bread feeds the hungry. That simple truth underlies the Dead River Company’s sponsorship of the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra 2012-2013 concert season and its partnership with Good Shepherd Food-Bank, which serves more than 100 agencies in Penobscot County to provide food for those in need.

“Dead River has a long tradition of supporting Bangor Symphony Orchestra and the arts in the community,” said Lisa Morrissette, Dead River brand and marketing manager. “Arts make an immeasurable contribution to quality of life and the company is eager to support organizations that have an educational component, such as the youth orchestras. Not only do the children [in the orchestras] learn music, they learn poise, confidence and much more, an experience that will stay with them the rest of their lives. We are happy to support that. It all comes down to the company motto — delivering on a promise — to alleviate hunger in Maine.”

The BSYO’s season opener at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Peakes Auditorium at Bangor High School will feature the Prelude Orchestra of musicians ages 11-13, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of 14- to 18-year-olds playing the music from Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Berlioz. The orchestras are conducted by Gina Provenzano, the BSO’s education and community outreach coordinator.

One of the highlights of the concert, said Provenzano, will be a Bach double concerto for violin and oboe. Soloists will be Jessica Chen of Bangor on violin and Garrett Hale of Medway on oboe.

“Their commitment to music is amazing,” Provenzano said of Chen and Hale. “The oboist travels everywhere to play. It takes hours of practice, a huge commitment. It’s amazing they can find the time and discipline.”

“They are so much fun and great to be around,” Provenzano said of the youth musicians in the orchestras. “They get excited about what they are doing. They are there because they want to be there, because they love music.”

Seventy-six young musicians are involved in the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestras. While many are from the immediate Bangor area, others travel from Medway, Lincoln, Newport, Dexter and Dover-Foxcroft.

Provenzano said that BSYO auditions for youth who play orchestral instruments will be held Thursday, Dec. 6. For information on how to schedule an audition time, go to bangorsymphonyorchestra.org.

“It’s so nice to have so much community support [for the BYSO],” Provenzano said. “Word is getting out. Lots of youth attend the concerts.”

Admission to the concert doesn’t involve money — this is where food makes an entrance. Instead, concertgoers are asked to bring nonperishable food items which will be donated to Good Shepherd Food-Bank. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. to make it convenient for the food to be collected.

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