When I originally contacted Michèle Brosseau-Tacchia for this interview, I didn’t know David would be announcing his mission last night. It makes her comments all the more poignant. And she was so kind in responding to my fan questions that I wanted to post her answers here in spite of what we learned last night.
SAz: What inspired you to found Symphonie Jeunesse?
MT: My inspiration to found and establish Symphonie Jeunesse came four and a half years ago while mentoring a 15-year old violinist. The room fell silent and she asked me if I might ever start a youth orchestra for “kids like me” and her question went right to my heart. I was teaching ten classes of music a day in elementary public school and wondered where I would find time to add another endeavor like that. I didn’t even know where to start, but it had been a dream of mine to have a youth orchestra for strings in my community for a long time. I wrote a proposal for funding and presented it at a board meeting of the San Bernardino Valley Concert Association. It was overwhelmingly supported and funded. I was able to open auditions four years ago and we presented our first concert with membership of just twelve string players.
Why did you choose a French name for the orchestra?
My father was born in France and has not been alive for many, many years to hear and see my work. I did not want to call my group another “youth orchestra”, so as a tribute to him, I have called it Symphonie Jeunesse, (Youth Orchestra for Strings).
How did your participation in David Archuleta’s tour come about?
The collaboration came about in November during a rehearsal for MKOC Tour in LA. The question about finding a good high school orchestra for the LA leg of the tour was posed to David’s band mates by his father. David’s bass player, Ben has been a coach for my basses in Symphonie Jeunesse and he suggested David’s dad call me, which he promptly did. Thank you, Ben for such a great recommendation!
What was he like to work with?
David is marvelous to work with! He is one of the kindest, most caring young people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He was so genuine and lovely with me and my orchestra members and their families.
Did anything surprise you about the experience?
I was very surprised to have been asked to have my orchestra play for the VIP dinner in Anaheim! The night before at the venue in Ventura, my kids had not had an opportunity to warm up on the stage. At 7:00 p.m. I started warming them up and as their sound wafted through the Majestic Ventura Theatre, David and his entourage came out of dressing rooms to listen to them. I think it was then that the decision to invite us to play for 40 minutes during dinner in Anaheim came.
How was the experience for your players?
The experience for my orchestra was phenomenal! They will carry this memory forever! It gave them an opportunity to work in a professional arena, which doesn’t usually come for most until college. Their playing will be so much stronger from here out.
Do you have any favourite songs from his tour?
We loved Pat-A-Pan! David’s pronunciation of French was so good. We LOVED the way he pronounced our orchestra name. (It is often badly pronounced by most who try in the US. Some examples: “Juh-ness”, “Jew-ness”, “Juh-noose”, “Genesis”, “Juh-neese” and the list goes on…)
There are so many memories. The first day that we met David was Wednesday, December 14th at Nokia in LA. He and his band mates had just come back to California from a long nation-wide tour. We wanted to play one of our pieces for them as a gift. We chose Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. That evening during the concert, he introduced us and told the audience that we had played one of his favorite songs for him! On the last night of LA tour in Anaheim, we gave him a huge card with words from our hearts to say thank you for the wonderful opportunity he shared with us and we gave him our orchestra mascot: a pirate with a chest full of jewels.
What’s next for Symphonie Jeunesse?
Well, just after the Anaheim concert with David, Symphonie Jeunesse was scheduled to play at Disneyland for the Community Arts Showcase! We played there yesterday. We have holiday break and then we are scheduled to play two concerts for the professional symphony in January on invitation from the conductor.
In case you missed it, here’s a video of David announcing at the end of last night’s SLC concert that he’ll be going on a formal LDS mission.
And comments from the end of the last thread … please feel free to leave your own!
Just saw the announcement. Surprised, yet not. His decision and subsequent announcement alone are powerful statements of faith. He has never hidden his devoutness.
I can just imagine him channeling his magic in music to two years of service to humankind! If people, who are searching for hope and for a doorway to the divine, paths intersect with David’s, well, they will have a most powerful experience…
You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
Keep living your beautiful dreams David.
I am feeling such love and respect for him…. when you watch this it is very clear that this is something he needs to do. What hits me so hard is that he is following the same “feeling” of spirit that brought us to him through AI. I can only be thankful that he follows his heart, else we would not have experienced these past 3+ years, met other fans and have a collection of music and videos to wait with. Now we are here together , and will be ready when he comes back.
Kizzi – As usual you capture my thoughts completely
“I can just imagine him channeling his magic in music to two years of service to humankind! If people’s, who are searching for hope and for a doorway to the divine, paths intersect with David’s, well, they will have a most powerful experience…”
Refnaf – we WILL be here and ready when he comes back. I’m still crying as I have just watched.
Follow you heart David, it has not steered you wrong.
… and from me:
… my husband’s first words when I told him the news were, “Wow, well I guess you guys have been lucky to get to hear him.”
That says it all for me. We love and support you, David, in every brave path you take.
Dream Sky High/SLC VIP (thx. hazeleyd71 for both)
I am a Child of God/SLC VIP