Syosset-Based Children’s Orchestra Society Wows Audience At Lincoln Center


The Syosset community, as well as surrounding towns, certainly made their mark in Manhattan on May 22.

The Children’s Orchestra Society artistic director Michael Dadap.
(Photo courtesy Lincoln Center)

The Children’s Orchestra Society, which practices in Community Church of Syosset, held their 29th Annual Discovery Gala Concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. And it was the perfect day for it, as the air was warm despite a cool breeze and the sky was clear of any rainy clouds.

Before the performance, students and their parents, selected from various school districts across Long Island, were invited to Kolstein’s Music in Manhattan, a less than 20 minute walk away from Tully Hall, to pick up their tickets for the performance and to have the chance to play handcrafted string instruments. There was also some desserts and soft beverages out for everyone to enjoy.

“We’re super happy to have [the students] here,” Manny Alvarez, the president of Kolstein’s, said. “We’re so excited to have them at one of the only string instrument shops on the ground floor of New York City, to try violins, violas and basses. This is a collection we have been accumulating since 1943 when the company was founded. We’re so excited to walk over together as a group to Lincoln Center and to really have fun and hear the amazing music that’s going to play tonight.”

As the start of the show was getting near, the crowd walked their way over to Alice Tully Hall. They were met by more proud parents, as well as proud friends and classical music fans.

The concert began with a performance of Sinulog Dances of Atonement: A Symphonic Poem Overture written by the Children’s Orchestra Society artistic director Michael Dadap, the husband of the executive director Yeou-Cheng Ma, who is the daughter of the orchestra’s late founder, Dr. H.T. Ma, and sister of cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

“The early version of Singulog was composed in February 1998 and performed in June that year at Alice Tully Hall,” an article by Dadap in the Playbill read. “Intended as my dedication to the centennial celebration of the Philippines’ independence from Spain, the score was written in the mountains of Bovina, New York, amid a bitterly cold winter.”

Dadap went on to say in the article that he was disturbed by America’s erosion in civility during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused him to revisit and revise Sinulog.
And after going on a retreat at a friend’s home in East Hampton, it was revised. That version was performed during May 22’s concert, using a piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, a bass trombone, timpani, percussion, xylophone, mallets, kulintang, agong harp, bandurlin, sogeum and strings.

Serving as conductors were Yoon Sang Timothy Cho, a faculty member of the Children’s Orchestra Society and Taiwanese-American violinist and conductor Kevin Shue, also a faculty member of the Children’s Orchestra. And this year’s Senior Discovery Competition Winner was Kimon Vontas, a cello player and senior at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School. He got to lead a solo, and did an excellent job doing so.
The audience was also blessed with the talents of Ying Li, a 24-year-old, world renowned pianist.

Overall, it was a great night of musicianship and celebration of young talent.

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