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Young People’s Concert returns with students singing and playing along with orchestra

Students playing recorder

On Monday, 750 students from nine elementary schools filled the Visalia Fox Theatre for the annual Young People’s Concert. The event returns for the first time since the pandemic interrupted it in 2020.

This year, the Young People's Concert incorporated the Link Up curriculum developed by Carnegie Hall/Weill Music Institute. Through the program, students learned to sing and play the recorder in their classrooms prior to their visit to the theater, where they played along with the orchestra at times. Students also sang to select numbers, including enthusiastic participation and movement in the concert finale, Oye! by Jim Papoulis. Additional music in the program included New World Symphony by Antonin Dvorak, Ode to Joy by Ludwig van Beethoven, Finale from The Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky, We Shall Not Be Moved as arranged by Nathalie Joachim, and Ram Tori Maya by Reena Esmail – an arrangement sung in Hindi.   

Symphony at Young Peoples Concert

Since 1959, the Tulare County Office of Education and the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra have partnered to bring symphonic music to the students of Tulare County through the annual Young People's Concert.

The Link Up curriculum is being utilized by educational entities in 39 states and 10 countries around the world. For 2025, Young People’s Concert will be held on May 19. For more information on participating in next year's event, email

Photos above:

~ Students, above, played along on recorders with the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra, below, at the annual Young People's Concert held Monday at the Visalia Fox Theatre.

Around the County

College of the Sequoias’ Taylor Stephens finishes top 10 in nation

Taylor StephensEarlier this month, the College of the Sequoias’ (COS) Taylor Stephens placed top 10 in the nation at the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship held in North Carolina. At nationals, Stephens competed against riders from colleges such as Ohio State University, Clemson University, and Iowa State University.

“Being top 10 in the nation is very special,” said COS coach Kimberly Pitigliano. “Taylor won the region with the most points won during regular season which landed her at nationals in Tryon, North Carolina. Taylor was lucky enough to have drawn the same horse she rode at the semifinals in Tennessee the month before. She rode him beautifully to be top 10 in the nation. COS is really proud of that honor and will miss Taylor as this was her last year on the team, but what a way to go out, on top! Really exciting!”

COS' equestrian team finished as the high point team in the region – which hasn’t been done since 2013 – and advanced to the semifinals where they placed eighth. Stephens was the High Point Rider in Horsemanship for the state of California.

In overall horsemanship for the state, COS’ Cloe Terrill placed second, Jessica Wickert third, Stephens fourth, Annika Hansen fifth, Lexi Williams eighth, and Brenda Yocum-Gomez 10th.

In overall western riding for the state, Stephens was named the Champion Overall Western Rider, while Mykenzie Franks placed seventh, Terrill ninth, and Wickert 10th.

COS team at semifinals

For complete results, visit

Photos above: 

~ Top: College of the Sequoias' Taylor Stephens poses with a horse during the IHSA National Championships earlier this month in North Carolina. College of the Sequoias Equine Unit / Facebook 

~ Bottom: The College of the Sequoias equestrian team placed eighth at the IHSA Western Semi-Finals in April. College of the Sequoias Equine Unit / Facebook 

Editor: Robert Herman, Communications Director
Contributors: Nayirah Dosu, Marlene Moreno, Jennifer Fisher, Kate Stover, Paula Terrill

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