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Open stage, Yakima Symphony Orchestra style

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“Open Stage” Poster

There’s something new at the symphony. On Friday at the Yakima Valley Museum, Yakima Symphony Orchestra music director and violinist Lawrence Golan and his daughter, Giovanna, age 9, also a violinist, will launch the YSO’s first “Open Stage.” Open to acoustic musicians ages 3 to 100+, Open Stage is a unique opportunity for amateur and professional musicians alike to take the stage and perform for as little as 10 seconds and as long as 10 minutes.

Familiar, tried-and-true pieces will be equally at home with new musical expressions.

Although similar in name to Open Mic, Open Stage will keep the focus on musicians who play acoustic instruments or who sing without need of amplification. All acoustic instruments are welcome, from traditional orchestral strings, winds, brass and percussion, to those favored by folk musicians including guitar, mandolin and banjo, to the accordion and more.

In fact, with Friday as opening night of Yakima’s 37th Folklife Festival occurring at Franklin Park and in numerous venues around town, it is a perfect opportunity to be both a performer and an audience member. “Open Stage” participants can easily enjoy the music in the park before or after their performances.

At least one group performing on the festival will be making its way into the museum’s Great Hall for another five minutes of performance on the Open Stage.

Open Mic types of nights are common in comedy, poetry and folk music, but less common in classical music. Open Classical, based in Dallas, has made the uncommon common with free community Classical Open Mic events, affording audiences new experiences with classical music while enabling the organization to fulfill its mission of putting classical music into the heart of everyday popular culture.

June is the perfect month for an “Open Stage,” offering student musicians one last opportunity to perform well-honed recital pieces and local ensembles the chance to try out a new piece or two before taking them on the road to play at weddings and other summer gigs. Occurring on the summer’s solstice, “Open Stage” will be the quintessential start to Yakima’s lively summer music scene.

We’ll see you on the “Open Stage!”

This column was written by the Yakima Symphony Orchestra staff. Learn more at www.ysomusic.org.

This column was written by the Yakima Symphony Orchestra staff. Learn more at www.ysomusic.org.

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