A Concert to Remember

Shelby Arnold performs concerto with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra


Photo by F. Neely

Shelby Arnold (12) performs Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at Twitchell Auditorium on April 24.

Foster Neely, Viking Voices Co-Editor

With the year wrapping up and a whole class of students graduating soon, seniors are accomplishing their final goals in high school before moving on to bigger and better things. For Shelby Arnold (12), this goal was performing a solo piece with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Shelby auditioned earlier this year to get a chance to perform with the local orchestra, and was one of the two winners selected.

Founded in 2019, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Youth Orchestra “brings together the best young players across the Upstate as a core education program of the Spartanburg Philharmonic,” according to spartanburgyouthorchestra.org. Students from high schools all over upstate South Carolina including Byrnes, Dorman, Spartanburg High, and Boiling Springs participate in SPYO.

Ezra Anderson (11) has been a violinist with SPYO since the opening season in 2019. He is the concertmaster of the orchestra, and has been playing violin since the 5th grade with District 7 strings.

“SPYO teaches you to think like a professional musician and work on all the nuances of playing your instrument`: phrasing, technique, etc. You have to adjust to working with an ensemble where every section fits into a different part of the puzzle, and there are lots of opportunities for leadership as well as learning. Working with so many other passionate students makes me hopeful about the future of classical music,” Anderson said.

Shelby Arnold (12) performed Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto at the SPYO concert on April 24, after winning the annual concerto competition in November of 2021. Shelby has been playing the French horn in band since 5th grade, and she will be attending Appalachian State University next year to study music education.

“I started playing the French horn and band because my family inspired me to get involved in music activities. While horn has been challenging some days, I have loved getting to learn every part of my instrument, every note, every timbre, etc. I have loved getting to continuously learn my craft, and I know that no matter how long I play, I will keep learning,” Arnold said.

Playing a solo requires a lot of confidence and hard work. The soloist has to work with the orchestra, and the orchestra has to follow the soloist to fit the piece together.

Addyson Crocker (9) plays violin in SPYO.

“I thought Shelby was fun to work with. I was very impressed with her confidence and how she owned the stage during her concerto. I think she is great at what she does, and I can’t wait to continue to watch her perform,” Crocker said.