Canberra Youth Orchestra Concert 3: Lucy Sugerman. Saturday, September 29, 2018. Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, 7.30pm. premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=DAVEEGGA18&utm_source=ticketek.com.au&utm_medium=friendlylink&utm_campaign=CANYOUTH18.
The Canberra Youth Orchestra wants to appeal to audience members as young as its players. To that end, its next concert couples young Canberra singer-songwriter Lucy Sugerman, a finalist on The Voice in 2017, with music by film composer John Williams.
Conductor and music director Leonard Weiss says the contemporary combination of Sugerman with a suite from Williams' Star Wars scores and his Raiders of the Lost Ark March is intended to "showcase the fact that we're a youth orchestra by targeting a young audience".
There are five orchestral excerpts in the Star Wars suite - "some of the best-known music in the worls, Weiss says - which will take up the second half of the concert. They include the stirring, brass-led Main Title and Throne Room and End Titles from Star Wars Episode IV:A New Hope and the same film's more intimate and mysterious Princess Leia Theme.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strike Back is represented by the ominous Imperial March and Yoda's Theme, which Weiss says one of the players aptly described as "capturing Yoda's relationship with the Force".
He says, "It's quite a surreal feeling hearing the score live, especially standing up in front of the orchestra."
The Raiders of the Lost March, which will open the concert, is another lively piece and features driving rhythms.
Weiss says Williams knows how to work an orchestra well.
"You see the same patterns of expert technique across both halves of the program."
Weiss says Sugerman is " a truly remarkable young musician" who can play violin, guitar and piano (she will play all but the violin in this performance). He says she writes in several different styles, including traditional pop and folk ballads
Lucy Sugerman, 17, is still a student at St Clares' College She was the youngest grand finalist on The Voice 2017, and has since performed at many events in Canberra including at Reconciliation Day 2018, the Australia Day 2018 ceremony and the National Folk Festival.
This will be Sugerman's first time performing her songs with an orchestra, in the first half of the concert. The nine numbers - have been arranged for orchestra by Weiss (mostly) and Sugerman.
She says getting this opportunity is "pretty crazy.
"It's not what I thought I'd be doing this year so it's very exciting."
Weiss was the 2016 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year for Youth Arts and Multimedia and Sugerman received the same honour in 2017. They met and Weiss said if there were any opportunities for her to sing with the CYO he would contact her.
He was as good as his word: a couple of months ago he got in touch with Sugerman and said the person originally scheduled for the CYO's next concert had to drop out and asked if she would she like to perform instead.
"I said, 'I would love to.'"
They went through her "hundreds" of songs ("I like to write") and whittled the number down to the nine that will be performed in the concert.
"A lot of them are quite recent," she says. The songs include Young, Believed and I Understand.
"I sing about young love, break-ups .. Some of them are my experiences, some my friends' experiences and what I see in the world around me."
One of her songs, Reach Daylight, which she wrote when she was about 14, is "a narrative about surviving" inspired by her mother's journey to Australia as a refugee after the Vietnam War.
Sugerman says her experience on The Voice last year was "quite a rollercoaster" and "a huge learning experience", teachine her about dealing with criticism and finding the direction she wanted to take in life.
"I would like to be able to sing my own songs," she says.
Appreciating many genres of music, from classical to pop, he wants to go her own musical way instead of doing what others are doing.
"I'm still figuring it out."