The American Honors Youth Orchestra and The American Honors Chorus present: The 2022 American Tour of Hope and Healing

ANNOUNCING THE 2022 TOUR

“Tour of Hope and Healing”

Auditions begin August 1st, 2021

Duration
11 Days /10 Nights

Group size

Customization
Unavailable

The American Honors Youth Orchestra and The American Honors Chorus

The American Honors Youth Orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Andrew Gekoskie, and The American Honors Chorus will conducted by Maestro Jason Bizich. We are pleased to announce the 2022 American Tour of Hope and Healing. The orchestral ensemble is open to the country’s best musicians between the ages of 16-25. The choral ensemble is open to the country’s best musicians from the age of 16 and above. This auditioned full orchestra and chorus will be in residence in the Washington, D.C. area one week prior to their American Tour to rehearse, interact with each other, and learn from exemplary section coaches in preparation for the tour. As a member of the orchestra and chorus, you will serve as an American Music Ambassador representing your home, school, ensemble, state, and region of your country on our “Tour of Hope and Healing”.
Open to US Citizens or Permanent Residents (green card holders) from throughout the country, The American Honors Youth Orchestra is open, by audition, to musicians between the ages of 16-25 (by June 1, 2022). The American Honors Chorus is open, by audition, to choral musicians beginning at the age of 16 (by June 1, 2022). Bringing together the best young musicians from throughout the US, the orchestra and chorus will tour and perform in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. Concerts will occur in some of the country’s best concert halls. The American Honors Youth Orchestra will be a full-sized symphony orchestra of about 100 musicians. Musicians may apply on the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, harp, and percussion including timpani. The American Honors Chorus will be a full-sized symphonic Chorus of about 100+ voices.
The 2022 American Tour of Hope and Healing price will include all expenses related to instructional, rehearsal, performance, tour activities, busing during the tour, transportation while in residence in Washington, D.C. and throughout the tour, meals, sightseeing, and hotels. The cost of the tour will be announced August 2021. Items not covered will be the necessary transportation/airfare and related instrument baggage costs to Washington, D.C. for the residency, and pick up from NYC airport after the tour.
Additionally, musicians will be responsible for payment of their $50 initial application fee paid at the time of audition submission.

   

Application Process:

Applications will be evaluated based upon the musician’s musicality, technical abilities, musicianship, willingness to travel, references, biographical essay, and passion. Each applicant will submit a video recording of listed audition requirements for their instrument OR for their vocal part. You will be uploading your video files using our online application via our partners at Acceptd. File sizes up to 5GB are accepted. We do recommend a high-quality video consistent with an internet video, recorded in segments for uploading.
Audition materials will include recorded performance segments of the required repertoire; 2 reference letters from musicians/directors who have worked with you or have assessed your playing abilities.

Timeline:

  • August 1, 2021: Application window opens in Acceptd
  • September 30, 2021: Application deadline
  • October 1, 2021: Recommendations deadline
  • October 31, 2021: Applicants notified, via email, of their status
  • June 2022: Residency/Rehearsals begin in Washington, D.C.

Application Requirements:

  • Video Audition - One take for each excerpt without editing. At the beginning of your video please include a spoken introduction of your name, instrument OR vocal part, hometown, and excerpt you will be performing.
  • Submission of a Biographical Essay - Maximum 300 words describing your background & experiences as well as how this tour will help you with attaining your musical and personal goals.
  • Two Recommendations - Each recommendation should be completed by a conductor/director/musician who can attest to your musical and personal qualities. The recommendations will be emailed directly to our offices.

Audition Requirements (Orchestra):

  • 2 excerpts, of your choice, not to exceed 3 minutes each. One excerpts should highlight your technical skills, the other etude should highlight your lyrical and interpretation skills. Percussionists - please see requirements below.
  • 2 scales plus the chromatic scale - as outlined below.  Percussionists, please see requirements listed below.
  • All submissions will be via the Acceptd/Audition platform.

Audition Requirements (Chorus):

  • Excerpt from the selected musical composition.
  • All submissions will be via the Acceptd/Audition platform.

Orchestra Audition Scale Requirements:

  • Major Scales: Prepare two major scales as indicated for your instrument below in 1, 2 or more octaves, ascending and descending. The scales should be performed at minimum tempo of quarter note=80 for eighth/sixteenths standard pattern.  Scales should be performed all tongued in one direction and all slurred in the other direction.
    • Flute: A Major, Bb Major
    • Oboe: C Major, D Major
    • Clarinet: F Major (2 or 3 octaves), G Major (2 or 3 octaves)
    • Bassoon: Bb Major, G Major (2 octaves or 1 octave on the staff)
    • All Brass: Concert C Major, Concert Db Major
    • French Horn: G Major, Ab Major
    • Trumpet: D Major, Eb Major
    • Trombone, Bass Trombone, Tuba: C Major, Db Major
  • Chromatic Scales: Prepare a chromatic scale over the range of the instrument in which you can play using an excellent tone; ascending and descending and at a tempo in your control, but that shows your technical proficiency. The chromatic scale should be performed all slurred in the pattern of your choice.
  • String Scales:
    • Violin: G– 3 octaves; F Major – 2 octaves;  c minor – 2 octaves
    • Viola: C – 3 octaves;  Bb Major – 2 octaves;  f minor – 2 octaves
    • Cello:  C – 3 octaves;  Bb Major – 2 octaves;  f minor – 2 octaves
    • Double Bass: G – 2 octaves; A – 1 octave;  f minor -2 octaves
  • Percussion Audition Requirements:
    • Solo or Etude on Snare Drum (approximately 2 minutes)
    • Two scales of your choice (major and/or minor, demonstrating your current technical ability)
    • Solo or Etude on Marimba or Xylophone (approximately 2 minutes)

Chorus Audition Requirements:

  • Range - Sing the ascending major scale appropriate to the voice part. The scale must be unaccompanied and can be sung on any primary vowel of your choosing. The use of audio enhancements will disqualify singers. 
    • Voice Part     -     Staring Pitch
    • Soprano I      -     C above middle C
    • Soprano II      -     A above middle C
    • Alto I     -     D above middle C
    • Alto II     -     B flat below middle C
    • Tenor I     -     A flat below middle C
    • Tenor II     -     F sharp below middle C
    • Bass I     -     C below middle C
    • Bass II     -     F2 to F3 (below middle C)
  • Solo - Sing 30 seconds of a solo song, accompanied or unaccompanied. The solo should highlight your best tone-quality, range, and musicality. Be sure to state the title and composer of the selection before starting. The use of audio enhancements will disqualify singers.
  • Chromatic Scale - Sing the ascending and descending chromatic scale in quarter notes. The scale must be unaccompanied and can be sung on “doo” or solfege. All singers should start on C (octave appropriate).  Please be sure that all intervals are calibrated- the intervals at the top of the scale should not be smaller than the intervals at the bottom of the scale, for example. The use of audio enhancements will disqualify singers.   ->   Singing the Chromatic Scale (with Curwen Hand Signs)
  • Repertoire Excerpt - Prepare the following excerpt. Music and part-learning recordings have been provided. You may use the part-learning recording to assist you with this part of the audition. If using the part-learning recording, then be sure to stream the recording from another device (not the device that you are using to record your audition). Also, be sure to use only 1 earbud, as this will also allow you to hear yourself while singing. Please note that only your voice should be heard and not the part-learning recording. The use of audio enhancements will disqualify singers.   ->   True Colors - Arr. by Matthew Brown - mm. 48-end

Questions?

For any further questions about the application or process, please reach out to Andrew Gekoskie,

Artistic Director - Go Performing at andrew@goperforming.com, phone: 540-869-1864 x 118.


   

Tentative Tour Itinerary:

  • June 25:
    • Students Arrive - Hotel Overnight - Meals on Own
  • June 26:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Bus to Hylton Center - Rehearsal - Bus to Smithsonian Museums - Lunch on Own - Dinner in D.C. - Bus to Hylton Center - Rehearsal - Hotel Overnight
  • June 27:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Rehearsal - Bus to Udvar Hazy Center - Lunch on Own - Catered Dinner at Hylton Center - Rehearsals - Hotel Overnight
  • June 28:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Rehearsal - Catered Lunch and Dinner at Hylton Center - Bus Tour of Washington, D.C. - Hotel Overnight
  • June 29:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Check Out - Lunch on Own - Sound Check at Hylton Center - Open to Public Concert at the Hylton Center - Load Buses and Truck - Depart for Philadelphia - Check in to Philadelphia Hotel
  • June 30:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Lunch on Own - Tour Philadelphia - Historic / Liberty Plaza - Dinner in Philadelphia - Rehearsal - Hotel Overnight
  • July 1:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Philadelphia Museum of Art - Lunch - Hotel to Change - Afternoon Sound Check at the Kimmel Center - Evening Concert at The Kimmel Center - Dinner in Philadelphia - Hotel Overnight
  • July 2:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Check Out - Depart for NYC - Check in to NYC Hotel - Lunch on Own - Afternoon Matinee Broadway Show - Dinner in NYC - Rehearsal - Hotel Overnight
  • July 3:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Tour NYC - Lunch - Sound Check for Concert - Concert at Carnegie Hall - After Concert Gala Dinner - Hotel Overnight
  • July 4:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Tour NYC - Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty - Lunch on Own - Free Time in Times Square - Farewell dinner in NYC - Fireworks - Hotel Overnight
  • July 5:
    • Breakfast at Hotel - Check Out - Transfer to Airport for Departures Home

Tentative Tour Repertoire List:

  • Hindemith - Symphonic Metamorphosis
  • Bernstein - Overture to Candide

Combine Orchestra and Chorus Finale Repertoire:

  • Baba Yetu- Christopher Tin
  • Waloyo Yamoni- Christopher Tin

The American Honors Youth Orchestra is sponsored by Go Performing a Division of MARS and Companies


American Honors Youth Orchestra Conductor - Andrew Gekoskie

The American born conductor Andrew Gekoskie is Music Director of The Orchestra X Project and Gardens Pops Orchestra, professional orchestras located in South Florida (USA).
Gekoskie, a Pennsylvania (USA) native, made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2002 and has guest conducted orchestras at home and abroad including The Butler Symphony, The Hartt Symphony, The Winchester Orchestra, The Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra, The Langley Symphony Orchestra and The Minnesota Youth Orchestra to name a few.
As founder and Music Director of the Orchestra X Project and Gardens Pops Orchestras Andrew Gekoskie continues to present programs that reach all ages using traditional and non-traditional settings. A proponent of new music Gekoskie was responsible for several new music commissions, world-premieres and collaborations by composers Arturo Rodriguez, Steven Bryant, John Mackey, and Richard Danielpour. Gekoskie is also very committed to promoting music education for all children. His vision and initiatives to bring classical music to all students are ongoing and have expanded outreach programs, engaged the greater community, increased fundraising initiatives, and planted the seeds for the audiences of tomorrow.
Gekoskie’s mission has always been a commitment to change every member of the audiences’ lives through music’s extraordinary power to communicate, and thus inspire, uplift, educate and entertain. Believing in collaboration at all levels, Andrew believes that music embodies knowledge and innovation, individual effort and collective achievement, and offers a work-environment that is full of opportunities for excellence, self-actualization and partnerships.
Maestro Gekoskie has studied with a wide range of conductors including: Stanley DeRusha, H. Robert Reynolds, Craig Kirchhoff, Robert Cameron, Allan McMurray, and Vincent LaSelva.

American Honors Chorus Conductor - Jason Bizich

Recognized as one of the leading choral conductors of his generation, Jason Bizich has led an illustrious 20+ plus year career as a music educator and professional conductor- adept with all genres of music including choral, symphonic, oratorio, and music theatre. Jason grew up in Western Pennsylvania where he began pursuing choral music at age thirteen. One year later, he picked up the baton and started conducting choruses.
Jason attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and completed studies in music education, voice, piano and conducting where he studied with the late James Dearing and graduated with highest honors. Furthering his studies, Jason received his Master of Music degree in Conducting from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia. While attending Shenandoah Conservatory, he studied with Maestro Robert Shafer, Grammy Award- winning Music Director of The City Choir of Washington, and was a fellowship recipient. Jason's collaboration with Maestro Shafer has continued throughout the years, as he conducted the Pennsylvania premiere of Maestro Shafer’s Lux aeterna, a setting for large chorus, orchestra, and soloists.
In October 2002, Jason was selected as one of only eighteen conductors worldwide to conduct the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Civic Orchestra during a master class sponsored by Chorus America and the American Symphony Orchestra League. He conducted the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus during a similar master class in February 2004. For three summers, Jason studied and performed as a conducting fellow at the Dennis Keene Choral Festival, touted as the "country's leading choral training institute," under the tutelage of Maestro Dennis Keene.
Jason is the founder and previous Music Director of the Murrysville Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, located outside Pittsburgh. He became the third Music Director of the Norristown Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Sinfonia for four seasons. Jason has also served as a guest conductor with American Music Abroad and has conducted choruses on three European tours. Jason is also the former Music Director at Saint George’s (Episcopal) in Ardmore, where he built one of the finest music programs in the Diocese as recognized by the bishop.
Currently, Jason is Director of Choral Studies at Harriton High School in the Lower Merion School District, where he conducts the Concert Choir and Vocal Ensemble in addition to teaching Advanced Placement Music Theory. Jason also serves as an Instructor on the graduate faculty at the University of the Arts Summer Institute for Music Educators, where he teaches courses in choral conducting, repertoire and pedagogy. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, Jason is excited to share his expertise and passion with others in helping them to grow as singers and musicians.
"Jason Bizich is one of America's outstanding young choral conductors. His way with a chorus is outstanding, eliciting beautiful sound, technical precision, and stylistic insight. As we enter the 21st century, he has the ability to make a significant contribution to American choral music." -Robert Shafer, Grammy Award-winning Conductor Music Director of the City Choir of Washington.

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