Hundreds of young artists perform at SPAC season opener

June 03, 2019 09:29 AM

SPAC's Festival of Young Artists kicked off the summer season on Sunday.

"It's amazing and the talent of all the kids here is amazing. I'm so lucky to be here," said ballerina and high school senior Ella Sampson of Saratoga Springs.


Ella is just one of the hundreds of performers who participated in SPAC's second annual Festival of Young Artists.

"This is now the beginning of our season and what a great way to do it. Such enthusiasm and such euphoria and to see young people performing like this," said SPAC President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol.

Sunday's event began with pop up performances by the Empire State Youth Orchestra, the Northeast Ballet Company, the National Museum of Dance School of the Arts, the Capital District Youth Chorale, and several other regional ensembles.

SPAC says the goal of the annual event was to celebrate the collaborative creativity of the more than 600 local students involved.

"They're coming from 35 schools all over the Capital Region -- instrumentalists, singers, dancers, but also, painters and poets," said  Sobol.

The festival culminated with an hour-long spectacular where artists from all the participating organizations performed on SPAC's main stage together.

"This is such a magical historic stage and for the most part, only those big-name artists like Dave Matthews and Philadelphia Orchestra get to perform on the stage. So it really is a remarkable opportunity to be able to perform," said Sobol.

One of the many highlights was a piece choreographed for the students by a member of the New York City Ballet.

Some of the young artists say performing at SPAC was an unforgettable experience.

"This is one of my first times performing with a live band and orchestra and it's incredible. Just the emotion from a live orchestra and chorus sounds amazing and makes me want to dance better," said Sampson.

Organizers say they plan to continue to grow the festival each season. Any interested schools are encouraged to reach out to SPAC's educational department.


Brooke Selby

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