Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra (YSO) will conclude its season with a free outdoor concert at Riverside Park on May 27 at 2 p.m. YSO will be joined by community favorite Gemini, a musical duo made up of twin brothers Sandor and Lazlo Slomovits.
Adam Riccinto, founder and music director of the YSO, expressed his excitement for the collaboration.
“They are wonderful musicians and they are musical icons in our community, playing music for generations of children and bringing joy and beauty to families for decades,” Riccinto said.
Gemini has been performing in the area since they moved to Ann Arbor in 1973, playing folk music from all over the world for the past 50 years.
Sometimes, the duo creates a trio and performs with Sandor Slomovits’s daughter Emily as “Gemily,” offering a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk, jazz, and classical music for all ages.
The upcoming event will include some performances from just the orchestra, some from just Gemini or Gemily, and some all together.
“I love the richness of the sound with the orchestra,” Lazlo Slomovits said. “When it’s just the two or three of us, it’s two or three voices, two or three instruments, and with the orchestra, you’ve got…lots of people playing lots of instruments, so it’s just this really enhanced sound.”
Riccinto said he first got into Gemini’s music when he was a music teacher.
“The students just responded so beautifully to it,” Riccinto said. “We had them out for a school performance or two or six every school year…And I don’t care what generation of children it is, they love them.”
After performing at Ypsilanti elementary schools and with the orchestra for decades, Sandor Slomovits says that playing with YSO in the community feels like playing music with family.
“We’ve been playing with orchestra since 2000. Actually, maybe even a year or two before but approximately 2000 and our first performance with [YSO] was I think, in 2011 and this will be our fifth time with them,” Sandor Slomovits said. “Our music is very participatory, so we invite people to sing along, to do hand motions on with us, sometimes even dance along.”
Aside from the collaboration with Gemini, Riccinto says that the memorial weekend show being free and outdoors allows for it to be open to a larger number of community members. This is thanks to sponsors including the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Dykema, Bank of Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti’s Michigan Firehouse Museum.
Furthermore, Riccinto is glad that YSO will be able to unite the community in honoring those who have served the country, regardless of individual beliefs.
“The orchestra is an absolutely ideologically neutral organization. We all have different views and we push the pause button on that on Tuesday nights and make music together,” Riccinto said. “We can all stop and pause for those that have served and get behind those families with the same support and so that’s a very beautiful thing to be able to do, to be able to create some unity and put a little beauty back in the world.”
Riccinto says that attendees should bring their favorite lawn chair or blanket to the park and enjoy the concert.
The Firehouse Museum will be offering golf-cart rides to anyone with physical disabilities from the sidewalk on Cross St. into the park.
If there are any issues with the weather on May 27, the concert will take place at the same time on Sunday, May 28.
The event is happening at Riverside Park, located at 5 E. Cross St. in Ypsilanti.
To learn more about Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra visit ypsilantisymphony.org.