Spotlight is on young artists this weekend

By: Gloria Beverage, Gold Country News Service
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More than 50 young artists will be showcased in Collaboration of the Arts 2011, scheduled Friday and Sunday. The evening of music, dance, art, photography and drama will be held Foothill Christian Fellowship in Meadow Vista. An art and photography exhibit will open at 6 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres will be served. A concert and short drama production will follow at 7:30 p.m. This year’s event, “Music and the Gift of Hearing,” is “all about sharing music and art,” said founder Joy Olender, a Weimar resident. The showcase was inspired by a group of young string instrument players who began practicing together, Olender said. “I realized that for them to advance, they needed opportunities to perform (in front of an audience),” she said. A lifelong musician, Olender organized the art and music lessons out of her concern that children were becoming passive observers of fine art. In keeping with a friend’s philosophy of putting instruments into the hands of children, Olender invited youth, ages 6 to 19, to join an orchestra in 2008. Four years later, young artists from throughout Placer County gather weekly for music and art classes taught by a number of talented artists. Working alongside Olender to prepare the youth for this weekend’s performance are Kristen Autry and Danika Gooch, coaches for string and wind instrumentalists; orchestra conductor Carolyn Campbell of Newcastle; dance instructor Kathy Turpin of Foresthill; photography instructor Sarah Hall of Auburn; drama coaches Rebecca Slover and Olender; and children’s art instructors Allyson Ford of Auburn, Katie Allbritian of Foresthilll and Hall. In addition to a selection of student artwork, the exhibit will feature a mural created under the direction of noted Auburn artist Frank Ordaz. Photography on display will reflect students’ responses to the challenge of depicting various reactions to music. Other exhibits include a display on the human ear and an exhibit on Beethoven, who continued to compose music after losing his hearing. Guests will also be able to handle and play a violin. The concert will feature an orchestra of youth, ages 6 to 19, who will play two very difficult pieces of music, which have been arranged so all levels of student musicians can join in. “It’s all about the audience,” Olender said. “We’re going to give them a gift.”