September 27, 2013











There are too many stories to recount them all. I looked forward to Wednesday nights to practice with my friends. It developed a camaraderie that is so rare; communication without speaking. A profound thought if you dwell on that.
Some of my most precious moments were those that I acquired while traveling abroad. One of them took place after a performance in the Czech Republic, the home of Dvorak. We played a piece written by Dvorak near where he was from (!). When we were packing it up a local elderly couple came over to myself and a friend, crying, and said in broken English something to the effect of “You played as if his spirit was with you”. I still tear up to this day thinking about that experience. Communication without speaking. Becoming part of a unified consciousness by playing together in a cohesive unit. I do miss those days!

September 2, 2013

First auditioned on trombone in 1973 my sophomore year.
I didn’t make it.  Determined, I worked hard and came back the following year and own my seat.  In my section were Mike Sheilans, Lloyd Wilkey and Steve Horne.  I joined the AZ National Guard 108th Army Band and went on active duty.  Assignments include UIS Army Band and Chorus, Europe and 10th Mountain Division Band.  I worked in the printing and packaging industry but always have enjoyed music.  I have played strings since 1999 abd restored and built violin family instruments since 2007.

13yrs trombone active and reserve Army Bands
Toured most of Europe 1982-1987.
Played trombone in community orchestras up to 2002
Nice folks introduced me to string quartets since 1999
Avid amateur chamber musician
Build and restore all arched strings
Completed my first cello in 2011 and played it in recital.
Attend workshops to sharpen my luthier skills.
Visit museums to sharpen my senses.
Host a chamber music event in my town

Tim Black 2

TimBlack 1

July 31, 2013












I joined PSG in 2004 and was in Symphonette for 2 years until I graduated. I was with Symphonette when we went to Vienna for Mozart’s 250th birthday and traveled around in Germany and the Czech Republic. It was so great to play in an orchestra when the only chance I normally got was Regionals!

PSG was also a great time for me because it’s where I really got to know my future husband, we’re getting married on July 29th of this year 🙂

July 2, 2013








I seriously don’t even know how to begin to describe my PYS experience. Even though I only spent one year working with Kei in the Youth Symphony, it was by far the year of my greatest growth as a musician. The musical experiences that I had in PYS are memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

In the beginning of the year it was a bit intimidating going into an ensemble where I knew very few people and was friends with only a fraction of them. But everybody in the symphony is so friendly and welcoming, and by the end of the first rehearsals I already had several new friendships formed with other passionate musicians. It was a truly incredible to meet with all of these talented people every week and make beautiful music with them.

In addition to all these things, Kei pushed us every week to become stonger musicians. Under his direction I learned so much about playing in an orchestra and about playing as an individual. This year would not have been the same without him, and I know that after this year with him, I won’t be the same either.

Youth Symphony was a life-changing experience that I will never forget, I’m glad that I got to be a part of it even if it was just for one short year.

July 2, 2013










Six years ago I entered the Symphonic Winds as a scared little trumpet player, last chair (or something close to that. If you’re not 1st you’re last, right?)

To even begin explaining my story with this organization would be much too lengthy, so I will give these words, and these lessons the Phoenix Youth Symphony has gifted me.

Firstly, thanks to PYS, music has swept the fog from my clouded vision, and become a permanent part of my lost, endlessly searching soul. I’ve been granted a sense of belonging that I never had in my life, and consequently filled my heart with joy. Wednesday night’s became a landmark in my unorganized, semi-chaotic life where I could temporarily escape all of my stress and quandaries to drown myself in audible beauty. They sent me across the nation to study further, and even out of the country to experience an entirely new culture. They introduced me to friends I will never forget, and to teachers I will always be in debt to. I’ve developed self confidence, and I’ve established goals for my life that I may never have had, had I not been a part of PYS. I can’t even begin to thank the organization in it’s fullest or those who brought me to where I am today.

June 14, 2013










PYS changed my life in more ways than I ever could have imagined. I had the most amazing conductors anyone could ask for and I met my closest friends there. Dr. Temme, Ben Rous, and Keitaro Harada – you guys really are the best. There aren’t words enough describe what an inspiring experience it all was, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be who I am today without PYS.

June 13, 2013









Although I was only part of the Phoenix Youth Symphony as a senior, my year in “PYS” helped me grow as a musician more than any other musical opportunity in high school. My lack of private lessons made me hesitant to audition, but Kei pushed me to try. If it was based on skill alone, there was no way I would have made the cut; but the Youth Symphony and particularly Kei were also looking for commitment, passion, and enthusiasm for music, and they were willing to give me the opportunity.

At every rehearsal, I would remind myself of how fortunate I was to be a part of a group as musically talented and focused as PYS. In the back of my mind, I knew that I may never play in an orchestra of this caliber again- so I wanted to soak up every moment, both in rehearsal and on stage. I couldn’t allow my limited musical background to stifle my confidence and prevent me from truly enjoying the experience. In the end, PYS improved my overall confidence in every aspect of life. I became more confident in the idea that my musical passion would be enough to lead me to the level I needed to attain as a musician.

My year in PYS has been an incredibly motivating and memorable experience that I will always cherish!

June 13, 2013




3 years ago, I would have never thought I would be able to play at the calibur of the PYS rograms. I had started playing cello as a freshman in high school. Back then, I was just happy to play remotely in tune! I was lucky to have such a generous orchestra director, Volker Moulding, who taught me to play the cello simply because he believed in my dedication to the instrument. He never charged me a cent for lessons and was one of my main supporters through my high school career. I worked harder at the cello than I have ever worked at anything else, and it showed. For once, I felt the progress happening as I played. After my second year I had decided I want nothing more than to persue cello as a career. I kicked into overdrive as I tackled my first concerto, and then began to persue groups outside of my high school orchestra. My dear friend, Peter Pezzino, introduced me to the program that PYS had to offer and the idea of joining had me the first time I watched a rehersal. I auditioned for PYS, knowing I didn’t have nearly the experience most of the students auditioning had, and made it into the Symphonette group. I was thrilled! that summer I attended Curry Summer Music Camp at NAU where I got to know Walter Temme. Little did I know at the time he’d be my conductor for symphonette! He is one of the best mentors I’ve had a chance to work with, keeping the class organized but also fun and light hearted. It really made me feel like I was part of something wonderful, it never felt like a chore to go to rehersal. I never felt like a stranger though I was brand new to the program. It was amazing for me to see the kind of talent is in the Phoenix area. The younger kids that could play at such a high level are what really got me, I was genuinely impressed! if anything they gave more motivation to become a better musician. I got to know some wonderful people, the cello section really became a sort of family, though we only saw eachother once a week we always picked up right where we left off. They were always such a huge support in my endeavors to persue cello, always showing a genuine interest in my success at such an early stage of my cello playing journey. If there was one thing I regret about my time at PYS, it would be that I wish I joined it sooner!

June 13, 2013









When I first found out I had been accepted into Youth Symphony in the beginning of my junior year, I was ecstatic, proud, and terrified. I had no idea what to expect and had only been playing my instrument for two years. I didn’t even own my own bassoon. I only auditioned because my teacher knew the program well (she had had several of her students play in Youth Symphony) and thought it would be good for me. I wasn’t sure about the whole thing, considering that my only experience with playing in orchestra and not band had been either with my school’s orchestra (which has about 30 people in it) or at Region festivals, which were admittedly not very high quality. I didn’t exactly enjoy orchestral playing, but I trusted my teacher’s opinion and tried to think positively.

It’s weird looking back now on how I felt about orchestra and PYS because now I can tell you joining Youth Symphony was the best, luckiest decision of my entire musical career thus far. I went in not knowing much about practicing, musicianship, or really anything about the world of classical music, and came out at the end of my senior year, majoring in bassoon performance at Eastman School of Music this fall. PYS was so incredibly musically fulfilling that I know people who go to in-state schools for music and tell me how much they miss Youth Symphony because the orchestras simply aren’t of the same caliber.

Not only was PYS an amazing musical journey, but along the way I met some of my very best friends from my entire high school career there. These young people are so intelligent, kind, witty, loving, and just generally wonderful to be around, and even when you’re a not-so-good bassoon player who suddenly got shunted into the top orchestra, they accept you, love you, and help you grow both as a person and a musician. The PYS community creates unbreakable friendships, and I know that the lessons I learned during my time with the group will be with me for the rest of my life.

For future PYS kids: It may seem weird now, if I tell you that you WILL get texts that just say “IT’S WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!” from your PYS friends in the future (because I totally did). Just wait. You are in for the time of your life.

June 12, 2013










Back in 2009, I was a freshman in high school, and had never played in an orchestra before. I wanted to join an orchestra because I wanted to challenge myself. When I heard that the Phoenix Youth Symphony still had spots open, I decided to try out. To my surprise, I made it into Symphonette. I was very excited to join this group of very talented musicians, and the two years that I’ve spent with Symphonette really changed who I was as a person and a musician. Dr. Temme really broadened my view of the musical world and exposed me to many new types of music.

In the fall of 2011, I had the privilege to join the Youth Symphony. I will never forget the first rehearsal: it was an amazing experience. Playing with such talented people and having Kei conduct with such enthusiasm and excitement really made rehearsals something that I looked forward to every Wednesday. I will forever treasure the memories and the experiences I’ve had with PYS. This organization has greatly influenced me and ultimately made me a better musician.