So I’m looking for an event where I can further test the photographic capabilities of my new Sony a7IV and I stumble upon something called Parksfest Love & Music Day (the third annual, no less) in nearby Plantation, Florida. The event features the 100-member Florida Youth Orchestra (FYO) which is nice. Oh, and Latin Grammy-winning jazz flutist Néstor Torres(!) And it was a free concert(!). I’m so there.
Since 1988 the Florida Youth Orchestra has made it their mission to educate, inspire and build the self-esteem of musically gifted and at-risk students to become productive, caring and responsible adults and to uplift South Florida’s diverse community with quality music performances.
Under the expert guidance of a 23-member faculty, the FYO has been providing the highest quality classical music education for young talented musicians ages 6-19. Currently, there are over 400 students from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, with some traveling over 100 miles round trip to attend rehearsals at the NSU University School. , the Orchestra continues to be recognized as Florida’s premier youth orchestra.
The orchestras and ensembles perform for thousands of concertgoers each year and feature the Principal Orchestra, FYO Symphony, Repertory Strings, Chamber Strings, Silver Strings, Alpha Strings and Flute Choir. Let’s just say they’re a pretty big deal when it comes to music education in South Florida.
I arrive at Plantation Heritage Park, pay the $5 parking fee (OK, so it wasn’t totally free), get over to the stage and find a good spot to plant myself with my Sony a7IV and the Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens (what more do you need for an afternoon concert?). Enjoy the photographs…
Dr. Rufus Jones, Conductor, Principal Orchestra
Steven Burnes, Associate Conductor, Principal Orchestra
Néstor Torres is a jazz flautist born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in 1957. He began taking flute lessons at age 12 and began formal studies at the Escuela Libre de Música, eventually attending Puerto Rico’s Inter-American University. At 18, he moved to New York with his family and went on to study both jazz and classical music at the Mannes College of Music in New York and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, among other places.
Torres has released 16 solo recordings which have earned him four Latin Grammy nominations, one Grammy nomination and one Latin Grammy Award (for his 2001 album “This Side Of Paradise”). Torres has also collaborated with diverse artists such as Gloria Estefan, Kenny Loggins, Dave Mathews, Herbie Hancock, and Tito Puente; and has performed with the Cleveland, Singapore, and New World Symphony Orchestras among many others.
Torres brought in some of “his people” for a sizzling rendition of “Isla del Encanto” to close out the show.
Even managed to grab a photo with the man himself. Not bad for $5. Not bad at all.