After 6 wonderful weeks, the Young Artists Orchestra Program came to a close this past Saturday. Knowing that this concert would be the last time they all performed together, the musicians went all out. They were vibrant and expressive, the tumult of emotions on stage imbuing the music with new dimension. Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture opened the concert. The mournful woodwind opening of the piece yielded to the strings vibrating passionately, full of hope, sorrow, and longing. The memorable climax of the piece blossomed on stage, bursting forth and filling the hall. After a brief intermission the orchestra returned with Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. The musicians poured their souls and emotions into this monumental work; the bright brass, virtuosic winds, and glorious strings were all driven forward by the thunderous bass drum. The piece received a wildly enthusiastic standing ovation, giving Paul Haas time to recognize each principal player and section individually. After the concert the musicians gathered backstage. The joy of a successful performance mixed with the sorrow of farewells as students embraced each other while saying their heartfelt goodbyes. It has been a joy and a pleasure to watch these musicians grow so close as friends and colleagues this summer. While we say farewell for now, the bonds formed at Tanglewood really do last a lifetime. We hope they continue to pursue their passion for music and we eagerly await to see how their talents will shape the musical community in the future. Congratulations and thank you, YAO, for a successful and fantastic summer.