The students from Esperanza Academy‘s music major visited the Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts to be delighted with the performance of The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Cristian Macelaru featuring Violinist Renaud Capuçon last Friday, May 12. The trip highlight was a visit by former Esperanza Board member and orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David who greeted the group during the intermission, and spoke with several students who had the opportunity to ask him questions.
The visit was inspired by the Kimmel Center commitment to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. Such outreach is led by Naomi Gonzalez, Manager of Collaboration and Access for The Philadelphia Orchestra Association who serves those who are underrepresented in the music field, collaborating with community partners, designing youth development programs, and developing new audiences.
The group of 30 young musicians were ecstatic with the Violin Concerto and impressed by the high level of musicianship from all the members of the orchestra.
“I loved it! I saw the passion that they all had and you can’t force that, you could see it,” Esperanza Jazz Band trombone player Kevin Heredia said. “I was very inspired by that and felt that if I practice enough maybe I could get to that level.”
Although the performance itself left them speechless, the students were very curious about the orchestra and asked many questions about the hall, the setup, and rehearsals.
“Many of our students had never been to a live orchestra concert before so they were excited to see the same instruments that they play being performed by professional musicians,” Esperanza Academy Music Teacher Melanie DeJesus said.
The experience was certainly imprinted in the students’ memories and they are eager to see the orchestra perform once again, hopefully next time in Northeast Philadelphia.
“I would really like to see the orchestra again, they are super talented! – You have to seek out the opportunities to see people who are passionate about what they do,” Heredia said.