October 30, 2019, Columbus, Georgia—The Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus (YOGC) is excited to announce that the Whitewater Orchestra Festival, scheduled for Tuesday, November 12, 2019, is returning to Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts for a second year at the school and third year for the event. Sponsors for this event include: Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts, Best Western Plus, and Aflac. For information on additional sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please email Stephanie Payne at spayne@yogc.org.

  The YOGC’s Whitewater Orchestra Festival provides middle and high school orchestras in Muscogee County School District an opportunity to perform for adjudicators in a state-of-the-art performance hall, and receive short clinics from the Youth Orchestra’s Maestro Jim Palmer. Participating orchestras receive a professional recording of their performance and clinic, written and audio feedback from three highly-qualified educators, a clinic with YOGC’s nationally-awarded Music Director and Conductor, Jim Palmer, and an opportunity to perform in the Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts’ professional theater. The judges for this year are Carl Reike, Katarzyna (Kasia) Bugaj, and Kathy Saucier.

  • Carl Reike, Philharmonia Conductor of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestras of Atlanta, co-owner of Encore Music Camp in Atlanta, and educator at Frank N. Osborne Middle School in Gwinnett County with over three hundred students in his music program.
  • Katarzyna (Kasia) Bugaj, Associate Professor of String Music Education in the College of Music at Florida State University. Dr. Bugaj teaches string techniques and methods courses; she also teaches at the FSU Summer Music Camps.
  • Kathy Saucier, a music educator with 30 years of teaching experience in the Georgia public schools. She is the director of the Southern Crescent Youth Orchestra and the 2017 Georgia American String Teacher of the Year.
  • Jim Palmer, Music Director and Maestro at the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus, arranger for Alfred Music, and 30 years of experience teaching public school and youth orchestra.

“We are so excited because this is the biggest year for the festival yet! We have ten schools and more than 260 students coming to perform at the festival. YOGC wants to be our public and private school teachers’ biggest advocate for the work they do every single day with our community’s children, and this program is a huge way for us to do just that. We are thankful for the partnership with Dr. Williams and the Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts and our other corporate sponsors Best Western Plus and Aflac that allows us to continue to offer this event at absolutely no cost to the participants, including transportation.” – Stephanie Payne, YOGC Executive Director

Performance Schedule:

  • 10:00 am: Richards and Veterans Memorial Middle School Orchestra
  • 10:40 am: Jordan High School Orchestra
  • 11:20 am: Carver High School and Baker Middle School Orchestra
  • 1:40pm: Blackmon Road Middle School Orchestra
  • 2:20pm: Rainey-McCullers School of the Arts Orchestra
  • 3:00 pm: Shaw High School Orchestra
  • 3:40pm: Columbus High School Orchestra

Family and friends are welcome and encouraged to watch the performances. Audience members will be able to enter or exit the theater between performances. No food or drink is allowed in the theater.

Since 1993, the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus has been teaching the area’s most talented young musicians. Led by music director Jim Palmer, this outstanding orchestra program includes the Youth Orchestra made up of intermediate and advanced string, brass, wind and percussion musicians; the String Orchestra composed of young string players, chamber groups; ensembles including a percussion ensemble, two string quartets, a woodwind quintet, a brass quintet, a violin ensemble; and a summer string camp. Rehearsals are held each Monday evening during the school season at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.  For additional information e-mail info@yogc.org.