a fanfare for orchestra

Composer Augusta Read Thomas 

is celebrated worldwide. She is constantly commissioned to create works in every musical genre and is a revered artist.

The Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestra will perform the world premiere of “Sunburst: A Fanfare for Orchestra” on Saturday, May 14, at 4 p.m. in the USF School of Music Concert Hall, 3755 USF Holly Drive, Tampa. 

“Music for me is an embrace of the world – a way to open myself up to being alive in the world in my body, in my sounds, and in my mind.” 

— Augusta Read Thomas

Anthony Barlich/Courtesy of the Augusta Read Thomas

Dr. William Wiedrich

“It is seldom that a youth orchestra has the opportunity to premiere a new work, composed specifically for them,” explains TMYO’s Music Director Dr. William Wiedrich.

“It is even more rare when it has been composed by one of the most important composers of our time.”

Augusta Read Thomas

According to music critic Edward Reichel, Ms. Thomas “has secured for herself a permanent place in the pantheon of American composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is without question one of the best and most important composers that this country has today.”


On her website, Ms. Thomas describes the piece as “Ideal for youth, community and college orchestras. Celebratory and optimistic.” And after a hard few years, these students certainly deserve that “Sunburst.” Ms. Thomas says, “I believe music feeds our souls. Unbreakable is the power of art to build community. Humanity has and will always work together to further music’s flexible, diverse capacity and innate power.”

Symphony in Preparation

“The youth orchestra will be taking a work which has never been heard beyond the composer’s inner ear and bringing it to life,” says Dr. Wiedrich.

Dr. Wiedrich and our TMYO musicians are carefully crafting the work together to honor the composer’s intentions in great detail.

TMYO New Music

TMYO commissioned Augusta Read Thomas to compose Sunburst in honor of Dr. William Wiedrich and the 11th Anniversary of the Youth Orchestra program.

“TMYO is honored to be a part of the process of introducing to the world what is certain to be a valued and poignant addition to the orchestral repertoire,” says Dr. Wiedrich. “And it’s a lot of fun.”

Previous commissions include Passacaglia by Anthony O’Toole in honor of TMYO Conductor Sandy Neel, and the orchestral version of Sol Solator (The Sun, The Comforter) by Timothy Mahr.  TMYO plans on continuing its mission of commissioning new works by important composers of our day.


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