Youth Symphony receives grants from Community Foundation

Submitted Photo The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation awarded grants from the Blossom Fund to the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS). They support the honorariums of Conductor and Music Director Bryan Eckenrode and the professional musician-educators who will be coaching CRYS. Applications for the upcoming spring semester are being accepted through this Friday.

JAMESTOWN — The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) announced that it has received two grants from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The awards from the Blossom Fund are for honorariums for CRYS Music Director and Conductor Bryan Eckenrode and the professional musician-educators who will be coaching CRYS students in the upcoming semester.

Acknowledging the awards, Board President Nancy Larson said, “CRYS board members, parents, and students join me in expressing our appreciation to the Community Foundation for their consistent support. Guaranteeing Bryan’s continuing leadership is critical to our program, and we are most excited about the additional top-notch professional coaching our students will be receiving this year.”

As CRYS noted in applying to the Community Foundation, “Learning to play a musical instrument and participating in a musical group has been shown to increase intelligence, academic achievement, success in society, and success in life. Strengthening our young people’s minds and sense of responsibility will in turn strengthen our community.”

Applications for CRYS’s three orchestras — Prelude Strings (NYSSMA level I), Young Artists Orchestra (YAO, levels II and III), and Chamber Orchestra (levels IV, V and VI) — are being accepted through Friday, Jan. 11. Friday afternoon rehearsals for Prelude begin January 18. YAO and Chamber start rehearsing on Saturday, Jan. 19. All rehearsals are at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Lakewood.

Acclaimed both as a cellist and conductor, Eckenrode has led CRYS since 2003. Southwestern Central Schools Director of Orchestras for grades 5-12 Marie Karbacka and Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Instructor Cody Hiller are now staff prelude coach and string coach, respectively.

Advanced coaching will be offered by SUNY Fredonia School of Music faculty Marc Guy for brass; Sarah Hamilton, woodwinds; Kieran Hanlon, lower strings; and Kay Stonefelt, percussion. Erie Junior Philharmonic Overture and Chamber Strings Instructor Jennifer Jansen will coach upper strings. All have both extensive performance and teaching backgrounds.

The season will conclude with the Spring Gala Concert, Sunday, May 19, at Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, widely regarded as the premier performance venue in the region.

CRYS students pay tuition, and tuition assistance is available. Interested students can apply at CRYouthSymphony.com. Fall 2018 Chamber Orchestra members need not reapply.

To learn more about CRYS and its programs for young musicians, visit the website at CRYouthSymphony.com or the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony’s Facebook page. For more information, call 640-1391 or email chautauquarys@gmail.com.

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