Category Logo

Youth Orchestra students perform KSYO Winter Concerts

February 3, 2016

Feb. 3, 2016

For more information, contact:
Rachel Dellinger, KSO director of communications
Direct: 865-521-2317 Cell: 865-660-3037
[email protected]


Concert to feature competition winners

The Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association (KSYOA) will present TWO winter concerts on Sunday, February 14 and Monday, February 15 at the Tennessee Theatre, featuring all five youth orchestras and the winners of the 2015-16 Concerto Competition. These concerts are sponsored by Richard Fox and Ralph Cianelli.

  1. The KSYO Winter Concert will take place on Sunday, February 14 at 3:00 pm. featuring Preludium, Philharmonia, Sinfonia and Youth Chamber Orchestras. Each Orchestra will perform 6-10 minutes of music under their respective conductor.
  2. The top Youth Orchestra conducted by James Fellenbaum will perform on Monday, February 15 at 7:00 pm featuring the Concerto Competition winners Kari Novilla, harp and Spencer McDonald, saxophone. The Youth Orchestra will perform Alexander Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor, the first time the students will perform an entire four-movement orchestral work.
Kari Novilla

Kari Novilla

Kari Novilla, a home-schooled junior from Morristown, began studying violin at age four, adding harp at age seven. She has been in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra for nine years, and currently serves as principal harpist in the top Youth Orchestra. In addition to the KSYO, she is the principal harpist for the Oak Ridge Community Symphony, and she was the 2015 winner of the Knoxville Choral Society’s Young Classical Musician Competition and the Morristown Rose Center’s Bravo Award. An avid baker and animal lover, she also enjoys volunteering in the community. Kari is a dual enrollment student at Walters State Community College, and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She is a student of William Lovelace, past president of the American Harp Society, and Elzbieta Szmyt, professor of harp at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University at Bloomington.

Spencer McDonald

Spencer McDonald

Spencer McDonald is a junior at Central High School who has been playing saxophone since his sixth grade middle school band; he currently plays in the marching and symphonic bands at Central under the direction of Ms. Lisa Burden. He is taking private lessons from Professor Allison Adams at the University of Tennessee. He has been a part of the Knoxville Jazz Youth Orchestra for two years playing both alto and tenor saxophone. In 2015, Spencer placed first chair in the All East Senior Clinic for both alto and tenor saxophone. He was also selected to participate in the All National Honor Ensemble Concert Band in October with the final concert taking place on the Grand Ole Opry stage.   Spencer is a member of the National Honor Society and has the distinction of being the first Knox County student to take Physics for Engineers as a dual credit class. In addition to his love for music, Spencer also has a passion for flying and started taking flying lessons at the age of 13. He is currently working to complete the final requirements necessary in order to earn his Pilot’s License at the age of 17.

Both concerts are free and open to the public; no tickets are required. For more information visit our Parking is free on nights and weekends in the State Street Garage. These concerts are made possible by Richard Fox and Ralph Cianelli.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Established in 1935, the KSO has contributed to the cultural life in East Tennessee continuously for 80 years, providing excellence in musical and educational programs. The Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 250 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre and the Civic Auditorium as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks and churches.  The KSO is currently undergoing the search for a new Music Director, to be announced in 2016. For more information please visit