The South Florida Youth Symphony (SFYS.net), one of the nation’s premier youth music organizations, captured the Gold Medal in the recent prestigious International Youth Bohemia Prague 2019 music festival in Prague, Czech Republic.
The award-winning performance marks the second time in two years the Youth Symphony has achieved gold awards. They previously won the Gold Trophy in the Heritage Music Festival in Washington, DC in January 2017.
“The kids performed spectacularly,” said Marjorie Hahn, executive and creative director of the South Florida Youth Symphony. “In addition to their performance, these young musicians were exposed to a wide variety of international music, made lasting friendships with kids from other countries and got to see and learn about a historic venue.”
Hahn shared conducting duties during the international trip with SFYS associate conductor Richard Zogaib; Alberto Bade, adjunct professor of the Miami-Dade College Film Score Orchestra, and Lowell Thomas, SFYS director of winds and music director at Ferguson Senior High School.
The events of the four-day festival included a parade down the main streets of Old Town Prague with SFYS members carrying the organization’s banner as well as the City of Miami flag.
More than a thousand musicians from around the world — including Germany, Sweden, Japan, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, Estonia, Hungary, Israel and Turkey —participated in the festival.
“Many of these 56 youngsters,who come from the underserved areas of South Florida, had never even been outside of Miami-Dade County, let alone flown internationally,” Zogaib said. “It was just a great trip and a memorable experience.”