Youth Music Festival at Firehouse at 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m. today

9 of Bay Area's best teen musicians performing in "True Fusion" at 2 concerts

"True Fusion," a youth music festival featuring nine of the Bay Area's best teen musicians, will hold two concerts Saturday at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton.

Festival director Mark Duncanson said that it is a nod to the goal of "fusing" performers this year more collaboratively than in the past and with genres they otherwise would not perform. He noted that in some cases, they even changed the genres of songs, as in playing a rock anthem as a lullaby, or vice versa.

"Giving young performers the opportunity to apply their natural talents and arts educations to collaborating with their fellow artists is so exciting," Duncanson said. "As a musician myself, I have a deep interest in nurturing the recreational music culture in the Tri-Valley."

Musicians this year are from Amador Valley, Foothill and De La Salle high schools, and Hart and Harvest Park middle schools.

Amador Valley students Karin MacCarty, 16, Chloe Reddy, 17, and Alyssa Crumrine, 15, as well as 13-year-old Brenna Lonner from Harvest Park will perform their original compositions.

Guitarist Shanth Gopalswamy, 14, from Foothill, returns to the Firehouse theater after making a splash on its stage last summer when he opened for the Bay Area Musicians concert.

The Youth Music Festival was started 14 years ago as a way for young area musicians to share the love of music in a supportive and non-competitive environment. Besides director Duncanson, staff members are assistant director Jeff Zavattero and vocal director Andrew Mondello.

"Because the creative process for 'True Fusion' is highly collaborative, we as staff are there to simply facilitate the process rather than influence the content," Duncanson said. "During our first rehearsal, the performers decided to write an original song just for the festival, which was a very exciting product of this creative process."

There will be two Youth Music Festival concerts, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 26. Tickets are $10 general admission; $5 students. Go to, call 931-4848 or purchase at the theater box office, 4444 Railroad Ave.


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