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Youth Orchestra

General Information and 2017 Season

LASYO concert 2015 LASYO, a summer orchestra established by the Symphony Association, is open to musicians ages 11 (or in 6th grade) through 21.

The 2017 season of LASYO has begun. Repertoire includes pieces by Beethoven, Bizet, Prokofiev, Piazzolla, and Shostakovich.

Rehearsals with conductors Göran Berg and Don Adkins are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Bothwell Arts Center in Livermore: June 20, 22, 27, and 29; July 6, 11, 13, 18. Attendance is mandatory for all musicians, with illness being the only exception.

There will be a dress rehearsal on July 21 and a free public performance at 8 p.m. on July 22 at the First Presbyterian Church of Livermore (L & Fourth Streets).

Betsy Hausburg is the program coordinator; contact her at vdt.director@gmail.com or 925.443.6953.

Registration forms for summer 2017 were due by May 15. The 2017 registration fee is $10. Tuition is $200, with scholarships available and a family discount: tuition for the first child is $200, but tuition is $150 for each additional child in a family. High-school graduates (by first rehearsal) and above pay $50 tuition. Tuition was due by June 20.

Music Directors Don Adkins and Göran Berg

Don Adkins is a music educator, conductor, performer, composer, and church musician in the Santa Cruz area. He first moved to California to become the conductor of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony for five years. He teaches music classes at Cabrillo College, where he conducts the Cabrillo College Orchestra. Dr. Adkins received his doctorate in orchestral conducting from the University of Missouri—Kansas City. He writes program notes and gives preconcert lectures for the Santa Cruz Symphony. The Cabrillo College Theater Department’s musicals have been directed by Dr. Adkins for a number of years. He often appears as piano accompanist for various solos and ensembles and occasionally plays bass in the Santa Cruz area. He has provided orchestrations for the Valley Dance Theatre in Livermore and orchestrated of a new musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life which was premiered in 2015. One of his recent performances was as the pianist for concerts sponsored by the Santa Cruz Chamber Players.


Göran Berg holds a bachelor’s degree in violin pedagogy from the Royal Swedish Music Academy at Stockholm University and a master’s degree in music performance and Suzuki pedagogy from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. With over 35 years of music teaching experience, he conducts parent and teacher training classes throughout the United States and Europe. Berg teaches violin and viola, conducts orchestra, and coaches chamber music. He is creator and director of the new Suzuki program at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, and he is the owner and artistic director of the Sycamore Strings Academy in Livermore.

Berg utilizes ethnic music like fiddle tunes from different parts of the world in his teaching as a complement to classical instrumental studies. He writes original arrangements of Scandinavian fiddle music for violins and for orchestra/string quartet; his “Fiddle Heart” series of books and CDs are used by educators internationally. He has also published string arrangements—Eclectic Strings, Book 1, and Violins Go Vivaldi. For more information, visit the Sycamore Strings Academy, Fiddle Heart Music Books, and Alfred Publications websites.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Both the Livermore-Amador Symphony and the Livermore-Amador Symphony Youth Orchestra have Facebook pages, and LAS is also on Twitter:

LAS: Find LAS on Facebook        LASYO: Find LAS on Facebook        @livamsymph: Follow LAS on Twitter   LAS is on Instagram

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2009–2016 Performancessome LASYO flutes 2015

Betsy Hausburg has served as LASYO program coordinator since the youth orchestra’s first summer, 2009. Göran Berg and Bob Williams were the conductors that year, when LASYO’s first season culminated with a concert on August 1 at the First Presbyterian Church in Livermore. From 2010 through 2015, Berg and Kathy Boster were codirectors of LASYO. In 2016, Berg and Don Adkins were codirectors.

The LASYO concert last year was on Saturday August 6; see the 2016 LASYO concert program. The 2015 LASYO concert was on Saturday August 8 in Livermore. See videos of the concert, and see the 2015 concert program.

Watch videos of the August 9, 2014, LASYO concert on YouTube; and read the 2014 concert program.

See the August 10, 2013, concert program and the August 11, 2012, concert program. Both programs include a personnel list and program notes.

The 2011 concert took place on Saturday August 6 and included the “Saturday Night Waltz” and “Hoedown” from Copland’s Rodeo (video, 5:09 minutes long); scene number 1 from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (video, 3:23 min.); Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” (video, 8:39 min.); waltz number 2 from Shostakovich’s suite for variety orchestra (video, 4:13 min.); and Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1” (video with acknowledgements, encore, and orchestra list, 12:56 min.). Read the 2011 concert program.

some LASYO violas and cellos 2015 The 2010 LASYO concert was on Saturday July 31. See the 2010 concert program, and have a look at several of the concert pieces on YouTube: The “Radetzky March” by Strauss was conducted by Kathy Boster, and “Andante Festivo” by Sibelius was conducted by Göran Berg. The concert concluded with “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1” by Elgar and conducted by Berg; it featured Janet Holmes playing the church’s Casavant Frères pipe organ.

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photos by Alan Frank, 8/8/15
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