The three ensembles of the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16 at Grants Pass High School's Performing Arts Center, on Saturday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Southern Oregon University's Music Recital Hall in Ashland, and on Sunday, May 18 at — p.m. at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater in Medford.

Tickets are $5 for students/seniors and $10 for adults and are available at Paddington Station in Ashland and Larry's Music in Medford and Grants Pass. Tickets for the May 18 performance in Medford are also available through the Craterian Theater's box office. The Carpenter Foundation, City of Ashland, U.S. Bancorp Foundation and Avista Fund have provided funding for the 2007-2008 YSSO concert series performances. This project is also funded in part by the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. This year marks the YSSO's 20th season of performances.

The Youth Symphony will perform three movements from Piotr I. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, Op. 64. The musicians will also play works by Tchaikovsky, including Sleeping Beauty (waltz from the ballet) and Introduction March (from Symphony No. 6). The Youth Orchestra will perform Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov's Procession of the Nobles. The Youth Strings will perform works by W.A. Mozart and Bob Phillips.

Cynthia Hutton, YSSO music director and conductor of the Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra, marks her 13th season with the YSSO this year. Hutton is an associate professor of music and the director of bands at Southern Oregon University. She is a member of the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra and the SOU Faculty Brass Quintet. Prior to coming to Southern Oregon, Hutton served as the director of bands and horn instructor at the University of California, San Diego, and was an assistant conductor of the La Jolla Civic University Orchestra. She received her doctorate in conducting from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Faina Podolnaya, the YSSO associate conductor, is in her seventh year with the YSSO as the conductor of Youth Strings. Upon completion of her studies in violin performance and teaching at the Soviet Conservatory of Music, she accepted a teaching position at Kazakhstan's most prestigious music academy, where she worked privately with students, lectured and coached ensembles preparing for competitions and concerts. Podolnaya received numerous awards, including her selection as the Soviet Union's Teacher of the Year. She teaches violin and viola.

The YSSO is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide high-quality performance experiences for young musicians under the leadership of professional conductors and music coaches and to foster a lifelong appreciation of classical music and the arts.

For more information about the YSSO and its programs, please contact the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, P.O. Box 4291, Medford, OR 97501, call 858-8859, e-mail ysso@mind.net or visit .