A brand new, eclectic youth orchestra based in Nashville will present its second public concert at The Renaissance Center Saturday, May 31, in the performance hall.

The Music City Youth Orchestra (MYCO) was founded in 2007 to establish a student ensemble that will explore traditional and alternative orchestral pieces. MCYO gave its inaugural concert Feb. 9 at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville with a performance of Corelli, Elgar, Charlie Parker, The Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra, Radiohead and music inspired by the traditions of Ireland, Thailand and the U.S.

Tickets for the MCYO's 7 p.m. performance May 31 at The Renaissance Center are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 55 and over and $7 for children under 13..

"MCYO will provide young musicians with dynamic opportunities for musical and technical development in context that is both disciplined and joyful, and which reflects Nashville's eclectic musical community," according to the ensemble's brochure.
MCYO has begun its first season as a string orchestra created from auditions held last fall and rehearses weekly at Belmont United Methodist Church.

MCYO is currently comprised of 20 Nashville-area students in grades 7-12.

Walter Bitner is the ensemble's music director and Tracy Silverman is artist in residence.

Bitner has directed music and performing arts programs since 1991, teaching in New York and Florida schools and in Nashville since 2003. His career highlights as a performer include work as a soprano soloist as a child, as a classical and jazz pianist in his teens and 20s and as a specialist in historical performance on lute and recorder since 1992. He is a member of the Tampa Bay Early Music Consort, sang choral music under Robert Shaw and performed in children's concerts with Pete Seeger. He has directed instrumental ensembles since his orchestral debut in 1987.

A Julliard graduate, Silverman has performed and recorded with a virtual who's who of the rock, pop, new music and jazz fields, and has been lauded by the BBC as "the greatest living exponent of the electric violin." Pulitzer-winning composer John Adams recently composed The Dharma at Big Sur, a concerto for electric violin, specifically for Silverman and they recorded it together with the BBC Symphony. A teacher as well as a performer, Silverman regularly gives workshops all over the world and is a favorite at Mark O'Connor's annual fiddle camp and teaches jazz violin at Belmont University.

For more information on the Music City Youth Orchestra, visit www.musiccityyo.org.

For information on the MCYO concert May 31 at The Renaissance Center, call (615) 740-5600 or visit www.rcenter.org. To purchase tickets, call (615) 740-5601.

The Renaissance Center is a fine arts education and performing arts center at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 miles west of Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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