The Fresno Opera and Orchestra Summer Academy (FOOSA) wrapped up its fourth seasonal with two phenomenal finale performances. The first was Friday, June 24, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. And the final show was Sunday, June 26, in the Roosevelt High School Auditorium.

FOOSA offers young musicians from around the globe the opportunity to work side-by-side with professionals to receive real-world music experience. Led by Artistic Director Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, FOOSA is a partnership between Youth Orchestras of Fresno and Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities.

For the finale, students performed Mahler’s “Symphony No. 2” under Loewenheim’s direction. The symphony, also known as “The Resurrection,” runs 90 minutes long.

Associate Dean Dr. Honora Chapman was there for the Disney Hall concert:
“The beauty and acoustics of the hall enhanced the experience,” Chapman said. “Then the young musicians followed up with another marvelous performance at Roosevelt, a fitting location for the arts.”
Peter Robertson, director of development with the Fresno State Alumni Association, was in Los Angeles for the Disney Concert Hall performance.
“For my first visit to the Walt Disney Concert Hall to include a performance of Mahler’s 2nd with FOOSA was amazing and memorable,” Robertson said. “It was a stunning performance in a majestic space by a stellar orchestra. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to all involved.”

Musicians nationwide, as well as some international students, auditioned to be part of the intensive 100-student program, where they work with professionals to hone their musical talent and enhance performance skills.

The College takes such pride in its talented faculty,” Chapman added. “We truly hope these young musicians will continue their education with us as undergraduates.

Bee arts critic Donald Munro called the Sunday show one of his top two arts picks of the week. Munro also called FOOSA one of the “hidden cultural gems available in the central San Joaquin Valley.”