IN THE NEWS

Photo caption: In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) invites alumni to join the finale at the Spring Gala Concert on Sunday afternoon, May 7, in the Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall at Chautauqua Institution. Pictured here, cellist and CRYS Conductor and Music Director Bryan Eckenrode coaches members of the String Chamber Orchestra in preparation for the Gala.

Celebrating 30 Years, Youth Symphony Orchestras Prep for May 7 Concert

April 23, 2017

Jamestown, NY – “We’re proud that what began 30 years ago as the Jamestown Area Orchestra of Youth is now the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS), with three youth orchestras,” stated board president Katie Derrenbacher.

Announcing the plans for the CRYS Spring Gala Concert, Derrenbacher said Bryan Eckenrode, who has been the organization’s Conductor and Music Director since 2003, will conduct the 4 p.m. concert on Sunday, May 7, in the Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall at Chautauqua Institution.

The varied program has Prelude Strings, the beginning string players, performing 16th & 17th Century Dance Tunes and Aires as well as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The selections by the intermediate musicians of the Young Artists Orchestra (YAO) include “Sleepers Awake” from J.S. Bach’s Cantata No. 140 and Leroy Anderson’s “Blue Tango.” The String Chamber Orchestra, for those in high school and college, will perform works by Vivaldi, Corelli, and Grieg, plus Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”

YAO and the String Chamber Orchestra had intensive rehearsals recently in preparation for the concert. Small groups of students found different spaces to work in the Reg Lenna Civic Center in downtown Jamestown, their usual rehearsal venue. Coaches prepping the young musicians included Faith Graham, Marie Karbacka, Michelle Battaglia, and Amy Cross.

The Gala will conclude with all three orchestras playing Dmitri Kabalevsky’s Polka and the main theme from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by John Williams.

CRYS alumni who would like to participate in the finale are invited to email their interest to chautauquays@gmail.com.

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 chautauquays@gmail.com, or by calling (716) 664-2465, ext. 202.

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

Photo caption: The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) has received a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for a trip to hear the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Star Wars and More: The Best of John Williams.” The Star Wars theme was performed by the combined orchestras at last May’s Spring Gala Concert in Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth Lenna Hall, as pictured here.

Youth Symphony Receives Community Foundation Grant

January 13, 2017

Jamestown, NY – The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) has received a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for a spring enrichment experience for its musicians.

The grant will help cover the expenses for a trip to hear the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Star Wars and More: The Best of John Williams.” The trip will include supper at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and a “backstage” get-together with some of the orchestra members.

“We are so grateful for this support from the Community Foundation,” said CRYS board president Katie Derrenbacher, “and this will be such a wonderful opportunity for our students!”

The award comes from the Karl Peterson Field of Interest Fund.

CRYS sponsors three orchestras. Prelude Strings is the orchestra for beginning string players, primarily middle schoolers. Young Artists Orchestra (YAO) is a full orchestra for mid-level and above players, primarily upper middle and high school students. The most advanced orchestra, the String Chamber Orchestra, is 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.

Derrenbacher noted that the Star Wars theme was performed by the combined orchestras at last May’s Spring Gala Concert at Chautauqua, adding, “The students were delighted with this selection, so we expect the program by the Rochester Philharmonic to have great appeal.”

A composer of classical concerti and other orchestral works, John Williams’s music for Star Wars was named by the American Film Institute as the greatest American film score of all time. Its soundtrack was preserved by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Orchestra students are selected by teacher recommendation. Auditions were held recently to determine correct ensemble and seating placement.

Prelude Strings rehearses on Friday afternoons, while YAO and String Chamber Orchestra rehearse on Saturday morning and afternoon.

The season will culminate with the Spring Gala Concert scheduled for Sunday afternoon, May 7, 2017, at Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth Lenna Hall, recognized as the premier performance hall in the area.

CRYS students pay tuition, but no one is turned away for inability to pay. The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony shows appreciation for its contributors by recognition on its website and in printed concert programs. Tax-deductible gifts can be mailed to the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony P.O. Box 3454, Jamestown, NY 14702.

To learn more about CRYS and its programs for young musicians, call (716) 664-2465, ext. 202, email chautauquarys@gmail.com, or visit the website at www.CRYouthSymphony.com or the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony’s Facebook page.

Youth Symphony Audition Applications

Friday, December 16


Jamestown, NY – “The three orchestras of the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) present wonderful opportunities for serious music students!”

With these words, board president Katie Derrenbacher announced plans for the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony’s 30th season and the importance of teachers recommending their students soon.

CRYS sponsors three orchestras. Prelude Strings is the orchestra for beginning string players, primarily middle schoolers. Young Artists Orchestra (YAO) is a full orchestra for mid-level and above players, primarily upper middle and high school students. The most advanced orchestra, the String Chamber Orchestra, is 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.

As Music Director and Conductor, Bryan Eckenrode brings outstanding experience to his young students. The Buffalo Philharmonic is among the orchestras he has performed with, including as principal cellist of the British Columbia (Canada) Mozart Festival Orchestra. The program coordinator for Artpark’s Music in the Woods series, Eckenrode is music director and conductor for the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, has made frequent guest conducting appearances, and has taught at Canisius and Villa Maria Colleges, SUNY Buffalo State, and the Nichols School in Buffalo.

Orchestra students are selected by teacher recommendation. In order to determine correct ensemble and seating placement, auditions are planned for Saturday and Sunday, January 7 and 8, 2017. Audition application forms need to be completed by December 16.

Weekly rehearsals for Prelude Strings begin on Friday, January 13, 2017, 4 to 5:30 p.m., at Christ First United Methodist Church on Lakeview Avenue in Jamestown. YAO and String Chamber Orchestra begin rehearsals at the Reg Lenna Center for The Arts in downtown Jamestown on Saturday, January 14, 2017. YAO will rehearse 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Chamber Orchestra, 12:15 to1:45 p.m.

Plans are being made for a spring enrichment experience for all CRYS students to hear the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Star Wars and More: The Best of John Williams.” The trip will include supper at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and a “backstage” get-together with some of the orchestra members.

The season will culminate with the Spring Gala Concert scheduled for Sunday afternoon, May 7, 2017, at Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth Lenna Hall, recognized as the premier performance hall in the area.

CRYS students pay tuition, but no one is turned away for inability to pay. CRYS receives essential funding from foundations and other organizations in the community. While parents, board members and students all participate in fund raising, support by individuals and local organizations and businesses is significant.

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony shows appreciation for its contributors by recognition on its website and in printed concert programs. Tax-deductible contributions to the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony can be mailed to P.O. Box 3454, Jamestown, NY 14702.

To learn more about CRYS and its programs for young musicians, call (716) 664-2465, ext. 202, email chautauquarys@gmail.com, or visit the website at www.CRYouthSymphony.com or the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony’s Facebook page.

Photo caption: The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) has received two grants from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation’s Blossom Fund. The awards will support CRYS’s Chautauqua Weekend and the honorarium for Conductor and Music Director Bryan Eckenrode. Eckenrode is pictured here conducting a rehearsal of the Youth Symphony in Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.

Youth Symphony Receives Two Grants from Community Foundation

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jamestown, NY – The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) has received two grants from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

Both awards come from the Community Foundation’s Blossom Fund. One supports the honorarium for Conductor and Music Director Bryan Eckenrode, and the other funds the Youth Symphony’s Chautauqua Weekend.

“The Community Foundation is wonderfully supportive of our work,” said CRYS board president Tanya Anderson, “and we’re so grateful for everything they do.”

Maestro Eckenrode is well known both as a cellist and a conductor. When he began with the organization in 2003, it had a single orchestra that is now the Youth Symphony/. The Youth Symphony is CRYS’s premier performance group of highly talented and motivated high school and college musicians. Prelude Strings for beginning string musicians and the Young Artists Orchestra for intermediate players were formed under Eckenrode’s leadership.

Following recent auditions, all three orchestras are beginning rehearsals for their Spring Gala on Sunday afternoon, May 15, 2016. For the first time in recent years, this concert will be in the Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall at Chautauqua Institution.

The Chautauqua Weekend is an immersion experience for Youth Symphony members. The Weekend includes an overnight at Chautauqua Institution’s Bellinger Hall, private lessons with expert instructors, participation in small group lessons, and extensive rehearsing.

“It is especially exciting that this year the May concert will be in the same fantastic space where the Youth Symphony rehearses during their Chautauqua Weekend,” added Anderson. “We’re looking forward to an exceptional event!”

For more information about the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, call (716) 664-2465, ext. 202, or visit the website at www.CRYouthSymphony.com.