Gemini Youth Orchestras Today
Gemini continues to grow. The informal wind ensemble that Michael Canipe led for many years was given a name - the Gemini Festival Winds - and made "official" in 1997; now a full repertory group, it was renamed The Gemini Concert Winds in 2007. The Gemini Youth Preparatory Orchestra (now the String Orchestra) began rehearsing in 1997 when Gemini took up residence at Five Towns College. In 2007 the Gemini Chamber Orchestra was formed to for NYSSMA Level 5 and 6 String Players.
Performing with Professionals
Working with professional soloists is an important part of a Gemini student's musical experience. The Gemini Youth Symphony has featured guest soloists including Stanley Drucker, Philip Smith, and Lorne Monroe of the New York Philharmonic; cellist Timothy Eddy, violinists Raymond Gniewek, Renee Jolles, pianists Cecilia Brauer, Jose Ramos-Santana, John Musto, Jeffrey Biegel and Yu Zhang, flautist Samuel Baron, and the Guild Trio. Guest conductors have included the renowned David Amram, and the returns of Maestros Radcliffe and Klein. Gemini musicians have performed all over the New York area: Carnegie Hall (1996 and 2004), Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall (1999 and 2008) and Alice Tully Hall (the first performance for all GYO groups in a single concert at a major venue in 2007, and also in 2009), Sony Center in Manhattan, Tilles Center, Staller Center, and the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Garden City). Summer appearances have included the Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center (GFW benefit), Heckscher Park and the Long Island Mozart Festival.
Reaching out within this country and abroad, GYO helped sponsor the New Orleans String Project (2007-08), with our musicians appearing as guests in the Crescent City; while our families hosted both the Auckland Youth Symphony (September 2008) and the Uruguayan National Youth Orchestra "Jose Artigas" (November 2008), both of which appeared with GYO groups in concert.
Gemini musicians have had the opportunity to work with the Long Island Philharmonic and Philharmonic Chorus, New York Philharmonic, Long Island Baroque Ensemble, the Bach Aria Festival and Opera in a Nutshell with the New York City Opera.
Many Gemini graduates have attended premier music schools and perform in orchestras and chamber ensembles both here and abroad. Others choose careers in music education, or combine teaching and performance. Many former Gemini musicians continue to play in college and community groups while pursuing other careers. The love of music and the joy of performing and listening seem to remain with Gemini graduates no matter what career path they choose.