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Gear up to celebrate student talent through the fun & energetic music of this year’s Family Concert, hosted by the Santa Cruz Symphony in collaboration with The Orchestra Swings of Carnegie Hall’s Link Up music education program.

As the fourth installment of their 2021 – 2022 concert season, the Symphony is excited to partner with Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program, which introduces students to the orchestra by helping them to become a part of it. Through this highly participatory program, students learn to sing and play an instrument in the classroom and perform with a professional orchestra from their seats at a culminating concert.

sc youth symphony
Credit: Santa Cruz Symphony

The concert will feature an expansive repertoire including beloved classics such as “When The Saints Go Marching In” and George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”. The program also highlights renowned swing hits such as Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing” and “Duke’s Place”. In addition, the set list includes Leonard Bernstein’s “Riffs” from Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, as well as Florence Price’s “Juba from Symphony no. 1″ and Courtney Bryan’s “Do Your Thing”.

“We are blown away by the job that Danny and Omari did and by our children’s enthusiasm and obvious connection to the music!” — Parents at The Orchestra Swings Family Concert

Alongside Maestro Daniel Stewart, this year’s Family Concert will bed led by Master of Ceremonies, Omari Tau. Read on to learn more about Tau’s impressive musical background.

Omari Tau

Omari Tau, Master of Ceremonies
Omari Tau, Master of Ceremonies Credit: Santa Cruz Symphony

Omari Tau received his Bachelor Degree in Music Education at Michigan State University and his Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Houston, Moores School of Music where he studied with mezzo- soprano, Katherine Ciesinski. He served as Director of Opera Theatre at Sacramento State University from 2012 to 2018 before transitioning to Cosumnes River College, leading the Vocal Studies Program.

A singer of styles ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Musical Theatre to Pop and R&B, his experiences as an artist intersect across broad spectrums, including composition, performance, conducting, and both musical and stage direction. Tau has explored the voice in avant-garde musical styles at Fondation Royaumont’s Voix Nouvelle as well as in musicals such as Disney’s “The Lion King”, a show which he toured for nearly nine years.

The 2022 Santa Cruz Symphony + Carnegie Hall’s Link Up Family Concert is generously sponsored by Lee & Emily Duffus, Jim & Catharine Gill, Cheryl Hammond and Redtree Properties.

family concert 2022
Credit: Santa Cruz Symphony

Wallace reports and writes not only across his familiar areas of deep interest — including arts, entertainment and culture — but also is chronicling for Lookout the challenges the people of Santa Cruz...