Youth Symphony fall rehearsals under way

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony has started rehearsals again after a long spring and summer quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration can still be accepted for a short time and can be found on the CRYS website at CRYouthSymphony.com. An up-to-date live rehearsal and performance calendar can also be found on the website.

Rehearsals look very different than the last rehearsal in March. Many precautions are taking place to ensure proper pandemic procedures and student safety. Students will be wearing masks and will be placed six feet apart from one another and from the music director. Disinfecting procedures will take place before and after the rehearsals begin.

Also, while CRYS is normally open to all orchestral instruments; strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, the Chamber Orchestra this fall will be only open to string players. This is because the nature of wind instruments makes it difficult to prevent excess aerosol spreading within the rehearsal space. Also, percussionists normally share equipment and switch instruments frequently. It is in the interest of safety to only include string players who can wear masks and keep social distance from each other during the entire rehearsal.

Even though it isn’t possible to include all students, CRYS officials said they are committed to provide a musical experience to whom it can.

“Students are hungry to come back,” said music director Bryan Eckenrode. “They are ready to play as a group again and they are eager to make music again.”

In addition, Eckenrode has recently held a “virtual masterclass series” where students were able to log on to learn about various topics including being a professional musician, how to become a successful performer, practice techniques as well as playing techniques of string instruments such as the violin and the cello. The virtual masterclasses were held via Zoom Webinar. The sessions were recorded and are now able to be viewed on the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony Website and Facebook Page.

All rehearsals will take place at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Lakewood, New York and the first rehearsal took place on Oct. 3.

Registration is open to all students in Chautauqua County and the surrounding areas. Participation is now also available to Jamestown Community College students as a credit-bearing course.

Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony students do pay tuition to participate, however, there is opportunity for financial assistance available for all students.

To learn more about CRYS and its programs for young musicians, email manager Tim Przybelinski at ChautauquaRYS@gmail.com or visit CRYouthSymphony.com or the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony’s Facebook page.


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