LANGHORNE >> The Youth Orchestra of Bucks County presents its annual spring concert series April 9-10 at Maple Point Middle School.

The series opens on Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m. with a performance by the Junior/Intermediate Division. The series continues on Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. with the Wind Ensemble and Philharmonia and concludes with a performance by the symphony orchestra beginning at 7 p.m.

The Sunday evening concert features two winners of the annual Concerto Soloist Competition. Neel Shah will perform the Concerto for Oboe by Richard Strauss with YOBC's Symphony Orchestra. Tasha Schapiro will play Franz Strauss's Concerto Opus 8 for Horn with YOBC's Fanfare Winds. Tickets are available at the door. Free parking is available.

Neel Shah is a senior at George School, in his sixth year with YOBC. He started playing the oboe when he was nine as a part of his school’s ensemble, and began taking lessons with Beth Benson two years later. He has participated in various music festivals, including BCMEA’s middle and high school county band, PMEA’s District 11 orchestra, and PMEA’s District 11, Region VI, and All-State bands, where he was principal. He is also a member of the Delaware Valley Wind Symphony and played with the Doylestown Symphonic Winds this past summer. With YOBC, Neel started in the Wind Symphony, moving through the Wind Ensemble and Philharmonia, now sitting as principal oboe in both Fanfare Winds and Symphony Orchestra. He also took part in YOBC’s 2014 tour of Italy, and performed “Gabriel’s Oboe” with the Symphony Orchestra in YOBC’s first Gala concert. He plans to continue playing the oboe after high school.

Tasha Schapiro started playing the horn at age 9, after being inspired by a neighbor. She has played in YOBC for eight years, and especially enjoyed participating in two international tours to Spain & France in 2012 and Italy 2014. She has appreciated playing with motivated musicians in YOBC Symphony Orchestra, Fanfare Winds, and Woodwind Quintet, as well as PMEA music festivals through All-State and All-Eastern Ensembles. Tasha has studied with Colleen Sweetsir and Jonathan Clark, and appreciates their ongoing support and musical inspiration, along with Steven Sweetsir and the Faculty at Kendall Betts Horn Camp.

YOBC's Concerto Soloist Competition is open to all current YOBC sophomores and juniors in Symphony Orchestra or Fanfare Winds, in good standing, who will be continuing with YOBC next season. Applicants for the competition may audition on strings, wind, brass, or percussion instruments including piano and harp. This year's competition will be held on Saturday, June 11 and seven students will compete for the opportunity to perform during YOBC's 25th Anniversary season 2016–17.

Auditions for new students — at all levels and on all wind, percussion, and string instruments — will be held May 14–15 at Bucks County Community College in Newtown. Applications are now being accepted online at the YOBC website. Multiple ensembles at different levels offer placement for most applicants. The upcoming anniversary season promises a lot of exciting events for musicians and music-lovers throughout the Bucks County area.

The Youth Orchestra of Bucks County YOBC creates opportunities for young musicians to achieve artistic excellence through enriching classical music experiences. Currently over 275 students in grades 3–12, representing 25 school districts in Bucks and surrounding counties, come to YOBC every week to hone their skills and achieve their musical goals. In 25 years, YOBC has enriched the lives of over 1,800 students.

For more information, contact Diana Nolan, Office Manager: 215-945-5105. Visit our website:

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