Author: ROBIN CAUDELL, Staff Writer
PLATTSBURGH – Simeon Morrow’s intense, dark eyes light with enthusiasm for his new role as conductor of the Adirondack Youth Orchestra.
“I am really happy to help out the young people and to give back to the community that has given so much,” said Morrow, a Plattsburgh native who is a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal.
His main vision for the AYO: Musicians inspired by music.
“I want them to inspire other people with a positive message about themselves, the world and humanity.
“I want more than for them to just become proficient at their instruments, I want them to really listen.”
Besides conducting the AYO, Morrow will have the opportunity to work with the orchestra’s feeder groups, the String Training Orchestra, under the direction of Beth Gorevic; and the Wind Training Ensemble under the direction of Kate Jarrard.
“I want AYO to be a positive, strong force in the community, so when people ! think about AYO, they think about people who are doing good things for the community,” Morrow said.
Besides his AYO duties, Morrow is assistant conductor of the I Medici di McGill Orchestra in Montreal.
Last year, he founded the Ensemble pour l’Humanite to “develop the most effective means to communicate through music the messages of positive evolution, love and humanity.”
Morrow hopes to develop the same philosophical ideas with the AYO.
“I’m trying to inspire this idea of humanity through music and to really help shape their future and give them a positive message about who they are and about what they can do for the world.”
His philosophy was inspired by the writings of Lao Tzu, Shakespeare, Erich Leinsdorf, Herman Hesse, Henry David Thoreau, Rainer Maria Rilke, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“King said, ‘You can have breakfast in New York and lunch in London. Through science the world has become a neighborhood, bu! t what science has failed to do is make the world a brotherhood.’
“This is where I hope music can take over where science fails.”
Locally, his biggest mentor was William Phillips, former AYO and Plattsburgh Community Orchestra conductor.
“He’s very talented,” Phillips said.
“He’s really on the right track. He’s studying conducting and working really hard. He seems to have all the right instincts, and I think he will do very well.”
Morrow has conducted the McGill Repertory Orchestra, the I Medici di McGill Orchestra, the Plattsburgh State University Sinfonia, the New York State Orchestral Academy Orchestra and McGill Women’s Choir.
He has studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, Le Centre D’Arts Orford and Le Domaine Forget in Canada, Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in France and at the Konservator Kromeriz in the Czech Republic.
His travels to two continents and five countries have been enlightening.
“Wherever you go, you meet wonderful people that inspire you! . I think traveling, in general, has taught me how much we are a global community. We’re one big neighborhood.
“In the United States, we’re very lucky. We get many opportunities that people in the world didn’t have.”
This summer, he shadowed Maitre Pierre Boulez, who conducted the Ensemble Intercontemporaine in Paris and Vienna.
In Vienna, Morrow had the opportunity to hear the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra and the Vienna City Opera.
AYO’s fall concert is 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Plattsburgh High School Auditorium. The program includes Dvorak’s “Symphony for the New World.
“This is the first real American symphony,” Morrow said.
“Dvorak came to teach in New York from the Czech Republic. He took folk themes from the New World and put them in this work. It became a symphony of the New World as opposed to a symphony composed in the New World.
“I love very much the idea of a New World. ! We work everyday at the New World, to make it a great place.’
Copyright 2004, Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
Record Number: 09022004oa1