Santa Clarita Philharmonic's newest Concertmaster Xaman Kryger plays her violin. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Orchestra announces student competition, new season, concertmaster

The Santa Clarita Philharmonic has begun its seventh season of concert performances.  

The philharmonic is a community-based, volunteer symphony orchestra comprised of professional, semi-professional, avocational and student musicians from the Santa Clarita Valley.

This year, the philharmonic will be sharing the stage with the Symphony of the Canyons, College of the Canyons’ student orchestra, for the season’s two concerts, according to SCP President Mark Elfont. 

“The idea is to expose more people to professional, classical music, so they can appreciate it for what it is,” Elfont said.

Santa Clarita Philharmonic performing during their sixth concert season at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center last year. Courtesy of Santa Clarita Philharmonic

The orchestra is set to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica,” at the first concert of the season on Dec. 7, and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 7” at the second concert on May 16, 2020. 

The philharmonic has also begun accepting applications for its sixth annual Student Concerto Competition, in which the winner will perform with the orchestra at their second concert, Elfont added. 

The competition is open to all students in grades seven through 12 at any local school. 

“It’s been very successful,” Elfont added. “One of the things we look for … is expression and those who are into the music. We’re looking forward to it.” 

Santa Clarita Philharmonic performing during their sixth concert season at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center last year. Courtesy of Santa Clarita Philharmonic

In addition, the philharmonic has appointed a new concertmaster, violinist Xaman Kryger. 

“The concertmaster is second in command after the music director,” Elfont said. “It’s a big responsibility because they are responsible for not only the violin section, but also working with the principal players of the other sections — violists, cellists and bassists — to make sure that everything is working together. The string section is really the heart of the orchestra.”

Kryger discovered her passion for the violin after seeing a performance at the Del Mar Fair, and has now been playing for more than 20 years.

She was a member of the San Diego Youth Orchestra before moving to the Santa Clarita Valley in 2007, where she then joined the Symphony of the Canyons and was concertmaster for nearly 10 years. 

Santa Clarita Philharmonic’s newest Concertmaster Xaman Kryger plays her violin. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“I really love the (concertmaster) position,” Kryger said. “It’s a big responsibility … There’s a lot of different moving parts. Not only are you first chair, first player, you’ve got to keep an eye on the other sections.” 

Since her appointment, Kryger has renounced her seat as concertmaster of the advanced group at Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra and is looking forward to mentoring her replacement. 

She is also the strings coach for the intermediate orchestra of the SCVYO, a coach for a chamber group, a freelancer and concertmaster for SCVYO’s Novae Sinfonia among other things. 

“I love being able to play with different groups,” she said, adding, “and I have my toes in a lot of the different groups out here.” 

Santa Clarita Philharmonic performing during their sixth concert season at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center last year. Courtesy of Santa Clarita Philharmonic

While Kryger’s musical reach is far, she said she is looking forward to beginning her new concertmaster position with the philharmonic. 

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “I already bowed the first piece’s violin part, so I’m very excited.” 

The philharmonic is always looking for additional musicians, and those interested can contact the group. 

The first concert is scheduled on Dec. 7 and the second concert is on May 16, 2020, both at 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road. For more information, visit scphilharmonic.org.

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