CRYS board welcomes new members, manager

JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony board welcomed three new members and their new manager at a recent meeting.

Joining the board were Julia Herman, Nancy Larson and Tim Przybelinski. Tammy Lachner is CRYS’s new manager.

“It’s exciting to begin our 30th season with these great additions and we’re looking forward to some of the changes we are making,” President Katie Derrenbacher said.

Craig A. Meyer and Donnie Kehr portray Elton John and Billy Joel respectively backed by the Rocket Band. “Piano Men: A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel” was well-received at King Concert Hall on Sept. 23.

With degrees from Jamestown Community College, the University at Buffalo, and a masters of science in adolescence education from St. Bonaventure University, Julie Herman served as CRYS manager for the past four seasons and is now joining the board. A resident of Conewango, she is employed by Gowanda Central School District as a teaching assistant.

Recently retired after 40 years in the optical business locally, Nancy Larson is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia with majors in French horn and music education. She is now actively performing in several groups including New Horizons Band of Western New York, Jamestown Area Community Orchestra, Jamestown Community College Concert Band, Jamestown Municipal Band, Warren Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Institution’s Thursday Morning Brass, as well as pit orchestras for JCC and Lucille Ball Little Theatre.

Tim Przybelinski teaches grades 5-12 band at Chautauqua Lake Central School. He holds a bachelor of music education degree from Penn State University and a master of music in trombone performance degree from the University of Delaware. A Jamestown native, he graduated from Jamestown High School and was also a CRY student.

CRYS’s new manager, Tammy Lachner, is a graduate of Southwestern Central School and Jamestown Community College. The owner of Tammarie Designs, she has a website with a blog and Etsy shop. Her son participates in CRYS’s Young Artists Orchestra.

In addition to Derrenbacher, continuing CRYS board members are Michelle Battaglia, Michelle Carlson, Sarah Flaherty, Kathy Geary and Lana Huston.

Derrenbacher noted that the closing a few years ago of the Suzuki Strings program in the Jamestown Public Schools has made a difference in the ages at which students reach different performance levels. At the same time, student musicians have many demands on their time.

As a result, she said, “We are continuing to have three orchestras, but we are changing their makeup and – in one case – their name.”

Prelude Strings will remain the orchestra for beginning string players. These students will now be primarily middle schoolers, instead of the elementary students of the past.

The Young Artists Orchestra will include players of orchestral instruments at NYSSMA level III or IV and above, primarily upper middle and high school students.

The most advanced orchestra, formerly the Youth Symphony, will become the String Chamber Orchestra, exclusively for string players in high school and college. Students who study another instrument as well as a string can play in both YAO and the String Chamber Orchestra.

Distinguished performer and conductor Bryan Eckenrode is CRYSMusic Director and Conductor for rehearsals that begin in January.

Orchestra participants are selected by teacher recommendation. Students will be auditioned in early January for proper placement in one of the three orchestras.

For more information about the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony and opportunities for young musicians, call 664-2465, ext. 202, or visit