With violins, tinkling bells and the holiday sound of brass instruments, the Canyons Youth Symphony is ushering in the winter season with two performances this week.
On Dec. 2, the audition-only group of musicians from across Canyons joined the Jordan Youth Symphony to perform an evening holiday concert at Butler Middle at 7 p.m. The performance is free, and featured pieces fit for the season.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able to pull together kids from all across the District, from different playing levels, and be able to put them together and make a great product where they’re able to showcase the benefits of the arts,” said Canyons Youth Symphony Director Jenni Perkins, who teaches orchestra at Albion middle. “Even though we live in the same District, we have very diverse communities we are from.”
The Canyons Youth Symphony draws students from 13 schools across Canyons District in fourth through ninth grades. They practice once a week at Albion Middle throughout the year as they prepare for their performances, including a winter concert combined with the Jordan Youth Symphony, an independent performance at the Festival of Trees and participation in the Utah Symphony Youth Orchestra Festival in the spring.
Perkins said a highlight of the year for her 70 symphony students is performing on their own at the Festival of Trees fundraising event for Primary Children’s Hospital, where the Canyons Youth Symphony has played every year for the last eight years. The Canyons Youth Symphony will perform a 30-minute set at the Festival on Dec. 4 from 2:10-2:40 p.m. as people walk through the Mountain America Expo Center and look at the decorated trees that have been donated to benefit children in need of medical treatment.
“To be able to go and perform at that venue for what they are doing, for their fundraising, it feels really nice to give back to the community,” Perkins said. “It’s a good way to teach the kids about the importance of being kind and thinking of others and the purpose of the holiday season.”