The Venice Symphony Youth Orchestra launched its second season with rehearsals beginning at 3:30 p.m. every Friday, at building 42 at the Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice, several upcoming community performances and a new concert strings director.

Donna Smith is the returning director of the Symphonic Strings ensemble, comprised of advanced students in eighth through 12th grade. Nicole Rawley is the new director of the Concert Strings ensemble for younger string players. Rawley has a Master’s degree in Violin Performance and training in Suzuki Violin Books.

“I love working with our young musicians because they all love music and work very hard. They are the perfect way to end the week,” said Rawley.

Karen Tuttle returns as director assistant to youth orchestras. Each ensemble has approximately 15 members.

“The Venice Symphony Youth Orchestra is a wonderful opportunity for area string students to enrich their musical experience,” said Tim Ferguson, The Venice Symphony’s Director of Education. “Working with symphony educators and musicians, the ensembles perform throughout the area, showcasing the students’ amazing talent, dedication and passion.”

The VSYO is scheduled to perform at several Venice Symphony concerts, including “A Very Merry Holiday Pops,” “Cosmic Convergence” and “The Movie Maestro.” They will present a concert honoring veterans on Nov. 8 at Lakeside Lutheran Church in Venice, a concert on Dec. 6 at Good Shepherd Church in Venice and will perform at the annual City of Venice Tree Lighting.

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