SAN ANTONIO – If you’ve ever had the chance to attend a Youth Orchestra of San Antonio, or YOSA concert, you’ve witnesses some of the city’s most skilled young musicians.
The musicians must go through an annual selection and are placed in one of YOSA’s nine orchestras depending on the their ability. The goal for many YOSA orchestra musicians is to make it to the top orchestra, the YOSA Philharmonic.
Javier Hernández, a senior at Saint Mary’s Hall, was able to accomplish that dream during the 2019-2020 YOSA Orchestra season. It’s an opportunity that has allowed him to perform at the professional level in renowned stages such as the Tobin Center of Performing Arts.
“They're just so intense,” Hernández said. “They push everyone to the absolute limits in terms of like technicality (and) working on their musical expressiveness and taste.”
Hernandez plays the bass. His command over the string instrument as well as private lessons have put him at first chair.
“Whenever (classical) music, I just envision the great composers, the great music and the great orchestras of the past,” Hernández said. “I feel like, you know, this is history being presented to you in a life form, an art form right in the moment. I think that's something that really only music can accomplish.”
Hernández strives to become one of the greats and will take his talents more than 1,000 miles northeast of San Antonio. Hernández is set to head to Bloomington, Indiana in the fall. The young musician was accepted to Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, a music conservatory that consistently ranks among the top music schools in the nation.
Hernández said he’ll have more opportunities to perform because the school has six major orchestras. “It means I get to meet four times as many great musicians as I would if I would have gone to a small conservatory,” he said. “It's still great quality music, great quality players and great quality professors.”
He thanks his music directors at YOSA and the coaching from professionals of the San Antonio Symphony for their dedication and passion to music and his success. Hernández also thanks the Chamber Orchestra at Saint Mary’s Hall for his success in music. He hopes to one day have the opportunity to pay it forward.
“Sometime in the future, I would come back to San Antonio and present my art back to the city, because the city has given so much to me.”
Although Hernández wasn’t able to finish out his season with YOSA Philharmonic because of the COVID-19 shutdown, he’s still practicing several hours a day to make sure he’s at the top of his game.
For more information on YOSA Orchestras, click here.