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Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon

Latin American and Spanish compositions are at the forefront of the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon's 2012 Winter Concert Series.

The program will showcase 160 virtuosic young musicians, including cellist Paul Shubat, a freshman at Ashland High School, one of the winners of the 2011 YSSO Concerto Competition and the featured soloist at this weekend's shows.

Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center, 830 N.E. Ninth St.; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

For his solo, Shubat chose to play the Spanish-flavored "Cello Concerto in D minor" by French composer Edouard Lalo. The 30-minute, three-movement piece is influenced by Lalo's Spanish roots, especially the second movement with its folk melody, pizzicato playing style and melismatic cello line.

"It's a tour de force for the orchestra," says Cynthia Hutton, the symphony's music director. "There's plenty of really full accompaniment behind Paul."

The advanced Youth Symphony also will present "Huapango," a colorful dance suite by Mexican composer Jose Pablo Moncayo, and the overture to "Il Guarany," an opera by Brazilian composer A. Carlos Gomez.

YSSO's intermediate Youth Orchestra will play the popular "Andalucia Suite" by Spanish composer Ernesto Lecuona, and the younger Youth Strings, under the direction of Faina Podlonaya, will play music by Henry Purcell, John Caponegro and Beethoven.

Tickets cost $10, $5 for students, and are available at Paddington Station in Ashland, Larry's Music in Medford and Great Northwest Music Co. in Grants Pass. Tickets for the Craterian performance also are available at the theater's box office, 16 S. Bartlett St., Medford. See www.ysso.org or call 541-858-8859.

Paul Shubat