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YOPW student’s symphonic composition unveiled May 8

The Youth Symphony Orchestra's Spring Breezes Concert will feature a premiere composition by Youth Orchestras of Prince William cellist, Paul Rodriguez.

The three minute symphonic piece, “Apollo, the God of Music”, will be conducted by Youth Symphony Orchestra Conductor (YSO) and Youth Orchestras of Prince William (YOPW) Music Director, Anne Rupert at Patriot High School at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 8.

“I added the title after I had finished writing it; I felt it represented a celestial body, specifically the Sun. Apollo is known to represent both the Sun and music, so I choose to name it after him. This is also the first symphonic composition I’ve ever written," Rodriguez said. "Ever since I’ve joined YSO, I’ve wanted to write something for it as I have with my middle and high school orchestras in the past. I’m grateful that Mrs. Rupert and all my music teachers have given me such an opportunity, and I’m very pleased to finally present my very first symphonic piece with YOPW.”

“To write this piece, I used Finale Printmusic and keyboard program for my computer to help me find and record the notes I needed to make my composition. Some phrases, like the beginning of the piece, I had imagined in my mind and used my voice to spell out, and other areas I did entirely by ear, placing notes that I felt went in an interesting direction that I could work with. Overall, I have mixed feelings about the finished piece. There are strong phrases that best show my composition abilities, but transitions from one phrase to next feels a bit forced and random since I was rushed for time.”

“After I finally finished the piece, I realized where I took some inspirations from. The first I recognized was Holst, particularly “The Planets”. I also took inspiration from a Japanese film composer, Joe Hisaishi, famously known for his work with Studio Ghibli. Lastly, in general the whole piece was inspired by my experience as a YOPW musician and the variety of classical and contemporary music I’ve had the pleasure of performing with YSO," said Rodriguez.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $6 for students, seniors and active military. Children under 6 are free of charge.

For ticket sales or information, visit

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