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      Amarillo Youth Symphony performs

      Sunday afternoon (Nov. 3), a crowd of hundreds got a taste of centuries-old music performed by musicians who have yet to graduate high school. The Amarillo Symphony has been around since 1924, and since then, it's grown from a small volunteer ensemble to a community-wide consortium of musicians and educators offering a host of programs for anyone interested. And one of those programs is the Amarillo Youth Orchestra. The Amarillo Symphony works with area schools to give budding musicians an early start, with two annual performances in the spring and fall. The Youth Orchestra encompasses four ensembles, including the Youth Symphony, which is comprised of mostly local students ranging in age from 10 to 18. "The Amarillo Youth Orchestra program really is meant to supplement and enhance what's going on in our school districts," says Executive Director Susan White, "so Amarillo Independent School District and Canyon both have the dedication to making sure that students have access to the performing arts." In addition to giving kids an avenue to explore new creative endeavors, research has consistently shown that students who participate in artistic activities are generally better prepared academically and professionally to face the world after graduation.

      "We know that students who perform in a performing arts ensemble, whether it's an orchestra or a choir, they're more likely to succeed; they're more likely to finish high school; they're more likely to have greater success in life."

      Auditions for the spring performance begin in January.

      To learn more about the symphony or how you can get involved, you can call 376-8782 or follow the link attached to this story.