Performances for the Fresno Opera and Orchestra Summer String Academy (FOOSA) will begin tonight with a student recital at 8 p.m. in the Fresno State Concert Hall and continue daily through Sunday, June 29.

FOOSA, in its second year on campus, offers young string players from around the globe the opportunity to work side-by-side with professionals to receive real-world experience in the field of music.

Created and led by Artistic Director Thomas Loewenheim, FOOSA is a partnership between Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities and the Youth Orchestra of Fresno.

The students also performed in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles June 20.

“Their over the top performance garnered them a standing ovation and praise from audience members and local professionals alike,” Loewenheim said of the Disney trip.

String players nationwide, as well as a few international students, auditioned to be part of the intensive 70-student program where they work with professionals to hone their musical talent and develop performance skills.

The program culminates with the free, on-campus performances, open to the public.

Additional student recitals will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 26 and Saturday, June 28 in the Fresno State Concert Hall.

The faculty recital will take place at 8 p.m. Friday June 27, in the Fresno State Concert Hall.

The final concert, at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 29 in the Fresno State Concert Hall, will honor Dr. Vida Samiian, dean of Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities.

That concert will feature faculty and students in a program including works by Bach, Beethoven, Gade, Grieg and Mozart.

While admission to Sunday’s concert is also free, a donation of $15 is suggested that supports academy tuition scholarships for the students, Loewenheim said.

For more information, contact Loewenheim, director of Fresno State’s University Orchestra, at 559.278.7547 or

(University Communications news assistants Akyia Westley contributed to this report).

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