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The VYSO and tsyo youth orchestra extravaganza concert was a truly cultural bridge, where east and west came together for a spectacular show of technical prowess and musical energy, that swept the audience off it's feet. The first half of the concert showcased the Vancouver Youth Orchestra with the works of Shostokovitch, the Festive Overture, and Tchaikovsky Francesca de Rimini. Thier performances were electric and exuberant. Roger Cole a the helm of the 95 piece VYSO, led with fiery abandon, while the orchestra matched with intensity and passion. The next section of the program featured the tsyo, performing Paul Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphosis of themes by C.M. von Weber. The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra string sound was bristling and the section playing taut and glistening with precision. The entire orchestra played with the maturity and panache of a professional orchestra. Alain Trudel found depth and beauty in the score and led with almost dance-like grace. After the intermission the two orchestras came together for Tchaikovsky Cappriccio Italien and the Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla. 176 musicians on stage at the Chan Centre. Wow! Hearing 56 violins playing together was breathtaking, hearing a string section of 106 performers was nirvanna, the resonation and blend of the strings created a kind satin sheen to the sound that sonically defines the word heaven. Seeing and hearing this convergence of two orchestras bringing our vast country together produced a sort of ecstasy. This, I will never forget. The young musicians of our country are truly engaged, proving that symphonic  music is alive and well in Canada: more than that, it is pulsing with life and vibrancy. Thank you to Roger Cole and Alain Trudel for having this vision, of bringing these musicians together, and to all of the many people who brought this fantastic dream to fruition. Kudos and heartfelt thanks!