The ESYO Team
The ESYO family is a network of talented conductors, educators, dedicated administrators, and devoted board members. Together we support our young musicians and help model the excellence that is central to the ESYO experience.
Meet Etienne Abelin
ESYO's Music Director
Swiss conductor Etienne Abelin has been described as a "post-classical pioneer" in the BBC Music Magazine and an "icon of new ways in classical music" by the Musica Viva Magazine Brazil.
Abelin won the exceptional accolade of being a musical collaborator for 18 years of a classical music legend, the late Claudio Abbado, who has been described as one of the three all-time greatest conductors by BBC Music. As such, he was handpicked by Mr. Abbado to be a founding member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and the Orchestra Mozart Bologna where he was the Principal Second Violin for seven years. With these orchestras, he performed in the world's post prestigious concert halls and recorded for labels such as Deutsche Grammophon or Harmonia Mundi.
Dr. David Bebe
Mary Rose Petrozola
ESYO Chime Team
Through free daily music instruction and mentorship, the ESYO CHIME Program provides young musicians comprehensive support at both the elementary and middle school levels. CHIME places children on the path to musical excellence and cultivates skills needed to succeed in all areas of life, including collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. To learn more about CHIME contact us at
Board of Directors and Luminaries
All aspects of organizational success are supported and driven by an active Board of Directors, which includes a broad spectrum of community leaders ranging from finance, to the law, to school classrooms. The Board of Directors meets bi-monthly. The Executive Committee, consisting of all Board Officers and Committee Chairs, meets in the alternating months. All Board Committees and Task Forces meet regularly, often monthly. Collectively the ESYO Board of Directors shares a love for music, an understanding of the principles of governance, management and finance, a commitment to raising funds, a position of influence and involvement in the community, and the ability and willingness to contribute time and expertise to the organization.
Certified Allergy & Asthma Consultants, Director of Financial Operations
Katherine Hart Crain
ESYO Luminary Award
The Board of Directors grants the ESYO Luminary Award from time to time, to honor an individual for his or her distinguished service to Empire State Youth Orchestra. Honorees are selected based on their extraordinary service to the organization and/or as a member of the Board of Directors for a period of at least 20 years. They demonstrate deep devotion to the vision, values, and mission of the organization and exhibit strong leadership within the organization. The Luminary Award is one of the highest honors the ESYO Board of Directors can bestow and is granted only to individuals who truly embody the spirit of ESYO.
Luminary Award Recipient 2018
Beth Antonio currently serves as ESYO’s percussion coordinator and as the organizer of ESYO's annual Frost Valley retreat. A parent of two ESYO percussion alums, Beth has been an active member of the ESYO community for more than two decades. During this time, Beth produced and acted in Young People’s Concerts, coordinated three international tours, organized countless Frost Valley retreats and provided crucial managerial support for our percussion program. As a member of the Board of Directors, Beth helped oversee ESYO’s continued success and growth, and as part of the Artistic Committee, she helped guide the launch of ESYO’s CHIME program. In addition to being an integral member of the ESYO family, Beth is an avid community volunteer and proud grandmother.
Luminary Award Recipient 2016
Gareth “Gary” Griffiths joined Empire State Youth Orchestra as a general manager, and was instrumental in helping to establish and grow the organization. Gary served on the Board of Directors for more than two decades, during which time she was the Chairperson of the Artistic Committee and helped lead the Music Director search that resulted in the hiring of Helen Cha-Pyo. Gary continues to lend her time and talent to organize the annual Lois Lyman Concerto Competition and serves as Community Chairperson for the annual Melodies of Christmas performances. Gary is a respected music director and artistic leader in the community, and is a dedicated parent to an ESYO alumnus.
Dr. Edward S. Marschilok
Luminary Award Recipient 2016
Dr. Edward S. Marschilok joined the Empire State Youth Orchestra’s Board of Directors in 1996. During his two decades of service, he was the Chairperson of the Artistic Committee and also served on the Finance Committee where he helped preserve both the artistic and fiscal integrity of the organization for generations of young musicians. In addition to participating in governance, Ed has contributed his exceptional personal expertise as a skilled coach and as a guest musician. He has accompanied the orchestra as a performer on several international tours, and frequently offers his formidable skill on the contrabassoon to round out our performances.