LASYO, a summer orchestra established by the Symphony Association, is open to musicians ages 11 (or in 6th grade) through 21 who play violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, harp, timpani, or percussion.
For 2022, Don Adkins returned as music director and Sammie Flanzbaum returned as winds and percussion director. Lieven Smart was winds and percussion assistant director. (Göran Berg was on hiatus and hopes to return for the 2023 season.) Auditions were in May; rehearsals were on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9:30 pm. from June 14 through July 19, with a dress rehearsal on Friday July 22 from 7 to 9 p.m.
A free public concert on the evening of Saturday July 23 began at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 4th & L Streets, Livermore. See the concert program.
Registration forms for summer 2022, with a hold harmless agreement and a $20 registration fee, were due by May 1. Tuition was $200, with scholarships available and a family discount. High-school graduates (by first rehearsal) and above were welcome at no tuition.
Bothwell Arts Center: 2466 8th Street (between G and H Streets), Livermore
First Presbyterian Church: 4th & L Streets (officially 2020 Fifth Street), Livermore
Music Director Don Adkins
Don Adkins is a music educator, conductor, performer, composer, and church musician in the Santa Cruz area. He first moved to California to become the conductor of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony for five years. He teaches music classes at Cabrillo College, where he conducts the Cabrillo College Orchestra. Adkins received his doctorate in orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri—Kansas City. He writes program notes and gives preconcert lectures for the Santa Cruz Symphony. The Cabrillo College Theater Department’s musicals have been directed by Adkins for a number of years. He often appears as piano accompanist for various solos and ensembles and occasionally plays bass in the Santa Cruz area. He most recently conducted The Nutcracker for the Valley Dance Theatre in 2021 in Livermore. In addition, he orchestrated a musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life which was premiered in 2015, and he also has served as the pianist for concerts sponsored by the Santa Cruz Chamber Players.
Winds and Percussion Director Sammie Flanzbaum
We are excited about the return of Samantha Flanzbaum for her second year as the LASYO winds and percussion director. Flanzbaum is known as an inspiring teacher. She was a middle school band director in Rio Rico, Arizona, followed by work in the East Bay Area, first in Concord and now in Pleasant Hill. In Concord, she was an elementary school instrumental music teacher, a middle school teacher, and also the Ygnacio Valley High School marching band director. She now works at Pleasant Hill Middle School, where she teaches beginning, intermediate, and advanced band and orchestra; music appreciation; and jazz band. After graduation from Pleasanton’s Amador Valley High School, Flanzbaum earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education at the University of Arizona. Her major instrument in college was trumpet, and she has been a private trumpet teacher for more than ten years.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Performances and Personnel
Betsy Hausburg has served as LASYO program coordinator since the youth orchestra’s first summer, 2009. Göran Berg and Bob Williams were the conductors that year, when LASYO’s first season culminated with a concert on August 1 at the First Presbyterian Church in Livermore. From 2010 through 2015, Berg and Kathy Boster were codirectors of LASYO. Berg and Don Adkins were codirectors from 2016 through 2021. Jed da Roza joined them as assistant director in 2018 and 2019, and Sammie Flanzbaum joined as winds and percussion director in 2021.
The 2021 concert was on July 31 and featured the first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Fratres” by Arvo Pärt with concertmaster Isaiah Iny-Woods as violin soloist, “Arabian Dances” by Brian Balmages, and more. The concert ended with Mayhew Lake’s “The Roosters Lay Eggs in Kansas” with the audience plus the LASYO musicians singing along! See the 2021 concert program.
The 2019 LASYO concert, on August 3, included pieces by Bizet, Debussy, Mozart, Sibelius — and Led Zeppelin. See the 2019 concert program. The 2018 LASYO concert was on the evening of August 4. See the 2018 concert program.
The 2017 LAS Youth Orchestra, led by Don Adkins and Göran Berg.
The 2017 season of LASYO culminated with a free public performance on July 22 at the First Presbyterian Church of Livermore. Repertoire included pieces by Beethoven, Bizet, Haydn, McLean, Piazzolla, and Shostakovich. See the 2017 concert program, and read an article by Carol Graham published on 7/20/17 in the Independent newspaper.
The 2011 concert took place on Saturday August 6 and included the “Saturday Night Waltz” and “Hoedown” from Copland’s Rodeo (video, 5:09 minutes long); scene number 1 from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (video, 3:23 min.); Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” (video, 8:39 min.); waltz number 2 from Shostakovich’s suite for variety orchestra (video, 4:13 min.); and Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1” (video with acknowledgements, encore, and orchestra list, 12:56 min.). Read the 2011 concert program.
The 2010 LASYO concert was on Saturday July 31. See the 2010 concert program, and have a look at several of the concert pieces on YouTube: The “Radetzky March” by Strauss was conducted by Kathy Boster, and “Andante Festivo” by Sibelius was conducted by Göran Berg. The concert concluded with “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1” by Elgar and conducted by Berg; it featured Janet Holmes playing the church’s Casavant Frères pipe organ.