by Daniel Hathaway
Northeast Ohio’s newest youth ensemble will burst onto the scene on Saturday, November at 7:00 pm at Kent State University, when the Kent State Youth Winds make their debut in Cartwright Auditorium.
Led by Wendy K. Matthews, KSU’s director of bands, the new ensemble numbers 48 high school age players equally divided between males and females, and fills both an educational gap and a geographical void in the Kent area. “I grew up in a rural area and would have done anything to be in a group like this growing up,” Matthews said in a Zoom call.
The ensemble, which rehearses weekly and is scheduled to play three concerts this season, is managed by Matthews and a group of Kent State students who serve as Mentors. “They hold sectionals, play alongside the young musicians, and are involved in every aspect of the ensemble. It’s a very practical way for them to get experience before they go off and student teach,” she said.
Matthews and her Mentors have been working toward Saturday’s debut since May when auditions were scheduled — right in the middle of COVID and the restrictions the pandemic placed on wind players, which have been only slightly relaxed recently. [Read more…]