One of regional Australia’s most successful Youth Orchestras is about to turn 50 in August, with a special celebratory concert in honour of all members both past and present. This much-loved ensemble has long been a jewel in Armidale’s crown, with many past musicians going on to be teachers, performers, music specialists or experts in their chosen fields. On Sunday 19 August, the annual AYO concert at Lazenby Hall, UNE will be even more special as the Armidale Arts community collectively toasts a half-century of music-making for this orchestra. Conductor Mr Bauer has selected music of a celebratory nature in keeping with the festivities – orchestral works like Verdi’s Grand March from “Aida”, Gonna Fly Now from “Rocky”, Claude T Smith’s Declaration Overture and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Local composer Paul Marshall has been commissioned to write a special piece in honour of AYO’s 50th Birthday, and Where The Mountains Kiss The Sky will be premiered at the gala event, with the composer conducting his own work.