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This week's Young Artists Spotlight features performances from the guitar students of Central Unified School District instructor Brian Garcia. These Fresno-area students are making a return visit to the Barmann-Chaney Performance Studio. 

Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from The Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis. 

Juergen Frank / Courtesy Jennifer Koh

This Sunday the Fresno Philharmonic pays tribute to the centennial birthday of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, with a concert at the Saroyan Theater. Maestro Rei Hotoda will lead the orchestra in a performance of Bernstein's Serenade for Violin and Orchestra with special guest Jennifer Koh. The concert also includes John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week we feature performances by Kern County piano students Shannon Lee & Anna Jian. Both are students of Bakersfield-based piano instructor Bonnie Bogle. 

Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from The Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis. 

This week on Valley Public Radio's Young Artists Spotlight, we feature a performance from the University High School String Quartet. The group features students Anjeli Macaranas, violin; Hope Yuan, violin; Abby Van de Water, viola; Hasina Torres, cello and is led by Randall Cornelison. The UHS Symphony Orchestra will be performing in concert on March 23rd at the Fresno State Concert Hall. On Young Artists Spotlight, the quartet performed the following works:

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K.525, I. Allegro, Mozart

Quartet No. 35, I. Allegro ModeratoHydan

Valley Public Radio

This week we kickoff the 2018 season of Young Artists Spotlight with a performance featuring the students of local harp instructor Laura Porter. FM89's David Aus hosts the live in-studio event featuring student musicians Carter Williams, Coco Rodriguez, Catherine Palacios, Melissa Palacios and Aria Delgado.

Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from The Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis. 

Fresno Philharmonic

This Sunday the Fresno Philharmonic will present a concert with two well known works from the classical repertoire and a new piece by a Fresno composer. Conductor Rei Hotoda recently joined us to talk about the performance which will include soloist Awadagin Pratt performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 3. The January 27th performance will also feature Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, and Kenneth Froelich's Spinning Yarns. 

Blue Note Records

Gregory Porter is one of the brightest stars in the jazz world. Since he burst on the scene in 2010 with his critically acclaimed debut album Water, Porter has won two Grammy Awards for best jazz vocal album, and is one of the most in-demand artists in the genre. His new record Nat King Cole and Me has earned him spots on NBC's Today Show and Late Night With Stephen Colbert, and soon a concert at Carnegie Hall. 

John McCutcheon

Veteran singer, songwriter and instrumentalist John McCutcheon has earned the right to be considered a titan in the field of folk music. But as he prepares to release his 39th album Ghost Light, and embarks on a west coast tour that includes a stop Thursday at Fresno's Unitarian Universalist Church, he still speaks reverently of those who came before him, like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. And much like those artists, his new songs speak of both American traditions and contemporary politics.

Courtesy Rei Hotoda

It's a new era for the Fresno Philharmonic as Rei Hotoda, the new music director and conductor of the orchestra, is set to lead the orchestra in her first concert with that title Sunday October 15 at the Saroyan Theatre. Valley Edition host Joe Moore caught up with about what to expect. To listen to the interview click play above. 

Hotoda was the Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and has held assistant conductor roles at orchestras in Dallas and Winnipeg. She says she is excited to lead the Philharmonic as its next conductor. 

Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra begins its new season this weekend, and it marks the third season under the leadership of music director and conductor Stilian Kirov. He joined us this week on Valley Edition to talk about Friday night's opening concert, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, a stage play by Tom Stoppard with music by Andre Previn.

Violin On Fire

Fresno rock violinist Patrick Contreras is known for his creative use of the violin and mixing it with other genres. His latest project mixes the sound of violin with mariachi, rock, soul and hip-hop. It's called El Violin.

Contreras calls this sound Chicano violin music.  He's opened for artists like BB King, Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke and others. He's been featured on a World Star Hip Hop 3 times as Talent Of The Week and has well over a Million Views on his YouTube Channel.

In 2011 the a cappella group Pentatonix won the third season of NBC's show "The Sing Off."  Avi Kaplan, a bass in the group, is from Visalia and recently decided that he will be leaving the group.

Todd Rosenberg / Courtesy The Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno Philharmonic has announced that conductor Rei Hotoda will be the orchestra's next music director. Hotoda is the first woman and the first Asian-American to hold the position, and is just the eighth music director in the orchestra's history.

Hotoda is currently the Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and has held assistant conductor roles at orchestras in Dallas and Winnipeg. She says she is excited about the opportunity to lead the Philharmonic as its next conductor. 

Courtesy Fresno Philharmonic

The Fresno's Philharmonic's Pops Concert Series continues this weekend with a concert at the Saroyan Theatre in Fresno celebrating the music of Louis Armstrong "It's A Wonderful World." The orchestra will perform with trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling and conductor Chelsea Tipton II, who joined us at Valley Public Radio for a talk about the concert. 

Valley Public Radio

We close the 2017 season of FM89's Young Artist's Spotlight this week with a performance by Clovis High School violin soloist Paulo Carmelo. He performs two selections, works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Jules Massenet. 

Bakersfield Jazz Festival

For years, saxophonist Donny McCaslin has been the quintessential jazz musician. A virtuoso improviser, he’s been a vital part of the New York jazz scene for two decades, equally at home in his own small groups or as a sideman with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. McCaslin, who grew up in Aptos, was also largely under the radar – at least outside of the tight-knit jazz community.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Today on Young Artist's Spotlight we feature a number of soloists and ensembles from the Tulare County Youth Orchestras.

Courtesy Evo Bluestein

Central California has a rich folk music tradition, which is being documented in a new book by Evo Bluestein. "The Road to Sweet’s Mill  -- Folk Music in the West during the 1960s and ’70s" comes out later this year and tells the story of the people and places behind the region's folk music sound, which flourished at Sierra music camp that gives the book its name, as well as other venues. Bluestein is also presenting a special concert to celebrate the new book taking place this Saturday at Fresno State's Whalberg Recital Hall.


Today on Young Artist's Spotlight we feature performances by two sisters from Bakersfield, Kesley and Anna Jian, both students of Bakersfield piano instructor Bonnie Bogle Farrer. Hear them play music by Bach, Rachmaninoff and Liszt.

Omar Nare

Central Valley Musician Omar Nare is known for pioneering what’s called “nuevo mariachi.” It's a music genre that mixes traditional mariachi music and sophisti-pop music; a blend of jazz, soul and pop.


"Nuevo mariachi is third generation, a new way of thinking," Nare says. "We've adapted to being in this culture, but still maintain our traditions."