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Empire State Youth Orchestras

Schenectady, NY         

As the premier music organization for youth in the greater Capital Region of New York State, Empire State Youth Orchestras (ESYO) has offered an enriching education and performance program for talented young musicians for 37 years. Started as a single orchestra in 1979, today’s ESYO consists of 9 performing groups and CHIME, a sistema-inspired community based music training program for underserved youth. Coached and conducted by professionals, ESYO musicians annually give approximately 30 public performances in the best concert halls in the region; ESYO’s flagship group, the Youth Orchestra, regularly performs at Carnegie Hall and Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood (summer home of the Boston Symphony). ESYO has received three prestigious awards for its adventurous programming from the American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers (ASCAP).

 The ESYO Experience includes many outstanding opportunities: collaborating with other music organizations, including the Albany Symphony Orchestra; participating in master classes with such renowned artists as Boston Brass; working with composers of note such as Jin Hi Kim, Samuel Adler, and Clint Needham. ESYO’s Youth Orchestra has had four European tours and in 2012, the orchestra toured Asia performing in Beijing, Shanghai, and, in Seoul, at a festival for youth orchestras and on the US Army Base for troops and their families. The impetus for this tour was an invitation to perform at the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu – an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experience for ESYO musicians. In July, 2016 the Youth Orchestra will tour Portugal and collaborate with Portugal’s Sistema-inspired Orchestra.

Between 30% and 50% of ESYO graduates pursue careers in all areas of the music profession – on and off stage as well as in the classroom.   Alumni are members of Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic as well as Manhattan Transfer and the SF Jazz Collective.

ESYO prides itself on also teaching our musicians about the importance of giving back to the community. The Youth Orchestra has helped raise over $6 million for Albany Medical Center’s pediatric cancer program by performing for over30 years in televised “Melodies of Christmas” benefit concerts. During the South Korean portion of the 2012 Asian tour, our musicians shared their music with survivors of Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) on Sorok Island and at Aeyangwon Hopsital. All of these experiences help our musicians and audiences to see and hear the wonderfully diverse world we live in.

What is ESYO?

Meet the amazing musicians, conductors, and coaches who make up Empire State Youth Orchestras!

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