HARVIN COLUMN: Alumni sought to help Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry celebrate its 40th season
The Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, and they want to find alumni of the orchestra to put together an archive.
Several former members are going through old programs, yearbooks and VHS tapes to compile a compre-hensive history of the orchestra.
It's an organization that has changed its name a number of times, but it is the same one founded in 1972 by Ruth Goldsmith and John Steffa as an extension of early Charleston County School District strings programs.
The Charleston Youth Symphony became the Charleston County Youth Symphony when the brass and percussion were added.
Then in 1988, it was changed to the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Finally in 2007, in collaboration with the College of Charleston and the CSO, the orchestra was renamed the Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry.
Former conductors include David Ezell, Won Mo Kim, Stuart Malina, Ed Ritchen, Rex Conner and Richard Marcus.
In its 40th season, YoLow is under the baton of Ruben Camacho.
This diverse group of talented young musicians shares a passion for music and the dedication to meet the challenge of performing advanced orchestral repertoire as a full symphony orchestra.
“We want the beauty and discipline involved in learning classical music to be interwoven into a much broader community through youth orchestras,” says Camacho. “This program is an asset to our society and has so much untapped potential for en-riching the lives of our kids.”
If you know of anyone who is an alum from any of the symphonies, tell them to call the YoLow offices at 882-7409 or email email@example.com.
There is a new fiber arts exhibition on “Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore” that will take place at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park starting Aug. 28.
It seems to be a theme, since there was also a wonderful image that evoked a mermaid for the North Charleston Arts Festival poster this year.
This exhibit will bring together the work of more than 50 premier African-American fiber artists as well as several emerging artists for a large showcase of mermaid art quilts and art dolls.
Africans forcibly carried across the Atlantic in the slave trade brought with them their beliefs and practices honoring their ancestral water deities.
“Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore” will celebrate the visual cultures and histories of water goddesses, says Torreah “Cookie” Washington, curator of the exhibit.
African-based faiths honoring black mermaids have continued to flourish throughout much of the Americas.
Today, new communities of color have re-established, revisualized and revitalized African water spirits in their art.
The quilting and doll-making traditions also have undergone a renaissance as the utilitarianism of slave quilts has given way to fine crafts, says Washington.
There will be an opening reception Sept. 8, and the exhibit will run Aug. 28 to Oct. 28.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or sharvin@ postandcourier.com.