Youth Music Festival: True Fusion

Posted Wednesday, March 2nd

“True Fusion!”

14th Annual Youth Music Festival Concerts at Firehouse
Pleasanton, Calif.  Youth Music Festival 2016 comes to the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton on Saturday, March 26, with two different concerts at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.  Nine teenage musicians, ages 12-16, come together in the 14th annual YMF concerts, featuring cross-genre music by some of the Bay Area’s best and brightest.  Musicians this year hail from Amador High School, De La Salle High School, Foothill High School, Hart Middle School, and Harvest Park Middle School.

With the theme of “True Fusion,” Festival Director Mark Duncanson notes that it is a nod to this year’s goal of “fusing” youth performers even more collaboratively than in past YMFs, and fusing musicians with genres they otherwise would not perform.  Duncanson says in some cases they even changed the genres of songs, as in playing a rock anthem as a lullaby, or vice versa.

Speaking of re-writes and new songs, YMF 2016 features more singer/songwriters than in any previous production: Karin MacCarty (16, Amador High School), Chloe Reddy (17, Amador H.S.), Alyssa Crumrine (15, Amador H.S.), and Brenna Lonner (13, Harvest Park Middle School) will perform their original compositions.

Talented young guitarist Shanth Gopalswamy (14, Foothill High School) returns to the Firehouse Arts Center stage as part of YMF 2016.  Audiences may remember the splash he made last summer at the Firehouse when he opened for the Bay Area Musicians concert.

“As a musician myself, I have a deep interest in nurturing the recreational music culture in the Tri-Valley,” says director Duncanson.  “Giving young performers the opportunity to apply their natural talents and arts educations to collaborating with their fellow artists is so exciting.”

Regarding the production approach, Mark continues: “Because the creative process for True Fusion is highly collaborative, we as staff are there to simply facilitate the process rather than influence the content.  During our first rehearsal, the performers decided to write an original song just for the festival, which was a very exciting product of this creative process.”

Speaking of the YMF creative staff: joining Director Mark Duncanson are Jeff Zavattero, Assistant Director, and Vocal Director Andrew Mondello.

The Youth Music Festival started 14 years ago as a way for young area musicians to share the love of music in a supportive and non-competitive environment.

Tickets: $10 general admission, $5 students.  Tickets available online at, by calling 925-931-4848, or in person at the Box Office, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton.  Box Office hours are Wednesday – Friday 12:00 noon-6:00pm and Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm, and two hours prior to the performance.

The Firehouse Arts Center is dedicated to inspiring passion through the arts.  The center is comprised of the 227-seat Firehouse Theater, the 2000 square foot Harrington Gallery, classrooms and rehearsal space, the grand atrium lobby, and the famous interior glass bridge.  With world-class performing and visual arts, exciting interactive programs for all ages, and a state-of-the-art venue which opened in 2010, we combine the sophistication of the culturally rich Bay Area arts landscape with the hospitality and intimacy of our own home town.  The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Avenue in downtown Pleasanton.  Media:  Jane Onojafe,, or 925-931-4855

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Mark Duncanson is available for interviews: 925-931-4828,