Youth Orchestras hear Rochester Philharmonic prior to their own concert Sunday

Submitted Photo On Saturday, April 29, members of the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) traveled to hear the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Star Wars and More: The Best of John Williams.” Costumed characters like the Stormtrooper pictured greeted the audience in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre. The three CRYS orchestras will present their Spring Gala Concert in Chautauqua Institution's Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 7.

JAMESTOWN — The young musicians of the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) had an inspiring outing last Saturday when they heard the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Star Wars and More: The Best of John Williams.”

As the concert promotion described, “From a galaxy far, far away to a boy’s first day at Hogwarts, (John Williams) is the master behind the sound of the greatest films of our time.” Guest conductor Stuart Chafetz directed music from Star Wars, ET, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, and more.

Chafetz spends his summers at Chautauqua Institution, where he is the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s timpanist and conductor for the annual Fourth of July and Opera Pops concerts, and where the three CRYS orchestras will perform Sunday, May 7.

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony will present its Spring Gala concert at 4 p.m. in Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. The program culminates with their own John Williams work: a combined presentation of the main theme from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

In celebration of CRYS’s 30th anniversary, alumni who would like to participate in the finale can email their interest to

CRYS Music Director and Conductor Bryan Eckenrode will conduct the beginning string players of Prelude Strings, the intermediate musicians of the Young Artists Orchestra, and the String Chamber Orchestra’s high school and college students in a program ranging from works by Vivaldi, Corelli, and Grieg to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” and Leroy Anderson’s “Blue Tango.”

A beautiful music-themed quilt crafted by Linda Fuchs in red, white, and black will be raffled at the event. A reception will be held on the porch of the hall following the performance.

Tickets are $12; children five and under are free. Presale tickets for $10 are available from the musicians, by emailing, orby calling (716) 664-2465, ext. 202.

The Rochester Philharmonic trip was supported in part by a grant from the Karl Peterson Field of Interest Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

For more information about the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, visit their Facebook page or website,