Mainly Mozart launches new season

RANCHO SANTA FE — Mainly Mozart announces that the new Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra (MMYO), led by Music Director Hernan Constantino, begins its inaugural season this December 2013 with a four-concert series at San Diego’s The New Children’s Museum, 200 W. Island Ave., where it is Orchestra-in-Residence.The Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra also travels to Rancho Santa Fe for a Showcase concert on Feb. 1 at the Rancho Santa Fe Performing Arts Center featuring all five of the ensembles.

The series launches with a 6 p.m. concert Dec. 15 with a holiday program full of popular works including Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” Victor Herbert’s “Babes in Toyland,” and selections from “The Nutcracker.” Young rising star saxophonist Austin Gatus guests as soloist with the orchestra. The program will also include Leroy Anderson: “A Christmas Festival,” Mozart’s “Sleigh Ride” and more.

Tickets are $15 or a four-Sunday package for $60, by calling (619) 466-8742 or visit

Austin Gatus, at the age of 17, already has an impressive resume. Saxophonist, guitarist and composer, he pursued his love of music from a young age, even while battling leukemia at 9 and undergoing three and a half years of chemotherapy. His focus and passion for music resulted in his performing, at age 12, with saxophone superstars Kenny G and Dave Koz, at 14 with Mindi Abair at the San Diego Gaslamp Jazz Festival, and at 16 with the Average White Band with their saxman, Freddy V. Recently, he appeared twice with Kenny G and the Orange County Symphony, and then with the San Diego Symphony. In California, he has appeared at such venues as Humphrey’s by the Bay, Thornton Winery, House of Blues, Staples Center for the Clippers, Petco Park for the Padres and Pauley Pavilion for the UCLA Bruins.

Mainly Mozart expanded its educational outreach programs for youth this past summer 2013 with the creation of The Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra. The MMYO offers opportunities for the nearly 200 young artists selected through auditions to participate in the year-round music education and performance program.

During the 2014 Mainly Mozart Festival, the Youth Orchestra will be featured in two free half-hour Overture concerts preceding Festival concerts on June 7 and June 14, and will perform in a special collaborative matinee concert with the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, including MMYO Artistic Advisor and Festival and Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster William Preucil, on June 8, 2014. Visit for more details.