Greg Sheldon will have someone to look forward to Friday when he takes to the stage for the “Side-by-Side” concert, which will feature members of the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra performing alongside their professional counterparts.
An instructor in the School of Creative Arts music program and principal double bassist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, he will see wife Karen McClellan and their 15-year-old daughter Lyra Sheldon seated a couple rows ahead among the cellists.
“It’s great fun to have the whole family playing together, absolutely,” he says. “We have seen Lyra develop since she very first started and now she’s at the point where she is playing real music on the real stage.”
This will be Lyra’s second time playing in this annual concert — last year she sat next to her mother, but this year she has moved up as the youth group’s principal on her instrument. She says she is inspired by the chance to sit in a section with her mom and dad behind her.
“Just being among the professional musicians brings out the best in the ensemble,” Lyra says. “It’s a different environment for us; it feels like the real deal.”
Getting young people that experience is part of what makes the youth orchestra so valuable, Sheldon says.
“It’s amazing that we have the youth orchestra in a city this size,” he says. “As a teacher, I can sit with students in a room and talk about the bass all day, but the bass is an ensemble instrument. This way they can get the experience of playing with an orchestra.”
The “Side-by-Side” concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 23, at the Capitol Theatre, 121 University Avenue West. Admission is $10, with a youth and seniors rate of $5. Buy tickets online at www.windsorsymphony.com, at the box office at 519-973-1238, ext. 2, or at the door.