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COVID-19 News and Announcements

Covid-19 Community Update: 8/17/2021

Dear Musicians & Families,

Final preparations are underway for the start of the new season.  ESYO's conductors and staff are looking forward to welcoming you back in September. ESYO continues to rely on the most up-to-date medical information and governmental guidance to make informed decisions about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a community, we remain committed to creating a safe studio space for ESYO musicians and conductors.  The Empire State Youth Orchestra expects all eligible musicians, conductors, and staff to be vaccinated to protect the health and safety of all involved in its program.   ESYO musicians, who are eligible to be vaccinated with an FDA emergency use authorized vaccine, are expected to receive their second shot at least ten days before their first rehearsal.  Individuals may request religious or medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements. ESYO will assess exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

We know that we can keep our friends and family safe by wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing our hands, and staying home if we are sick.  ESYO will continue to encourage our community to be mindful of the need to practice COVID-19 safety measures when we perform together.   This will include wearing a mask and using appropriate instrument PPE onstage and in the rehearsal studio regardless of vaccination status.

We are proud of the resiliency and incredible artistry demonstrated by you and your friends last season.  We look forward to welcoming you back for another exciting season filled with new opportunities and joyful music-making.
 
Sincerely, 
 
-The ESYO Team

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself, you should follow these tips, which apply to many viruses, including influenza:

• Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
• Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

COVID-19 Vaccines


All Announcements

Covid-19 Community Update: 8/17/2021
Dear Musicians & Families,

Final preparations are underway for the start of the new season.  ESYO's conductors and staff are looking forward to welcoming you back in September. ESYO continues to rely on the most up-to-date medical information and governmental guidance to make informed decisions about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a community, we remain committed to creating a safe studio space for ESYO musicians and conductors.  The Empire State Youth Orchestra expects all eligible musicians, conductors, and staff to be vaccinated to protect the health and safety of all involved in its program.   ESYO musicians, who are eligible to be vaccinated with an FDA emergency use authorized vaccine, are expected to receive their second shot at least ten days before their first rehearsal.  Individuals may request religious or medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements. ESYO will assess exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

We know that we can keep our friends and family safe by wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing our hands, and staying home if we are sick.  ESYO will continue to encourage our community to be mindful of the need to practice COVID-19 safety measures when we perform together.   This will include wearing a mask and using appropriate instrument PPE onstage and in the rehearsal studio regardless of vaccination status.

We are proud of the resiliency and incredible artistry demonstrated by you and your friends last season.  We look forward to welcoming you back for another exciting season filled with new opportunities and joyful music-making.
 
Sincerely, 
 
-The ESYO Team
Covid-19 Community Update: 1/25/2021

Dear Musicians & Families,

The new year brings each of us a renewed hope for a better tomorrow and plenty of time to make music together.

ESYO has been monitoring changes in daily COVID-19 numbers since the Tutti! Virtual Festival and remain committed to ensuring a safe-studio space for ensemble musicians and conductors. The Winter/Spring Concert Cycle for ESYO Ensembles will begin online using Google Classroom starting Sunday, January 24, 2020. We look forward to welcoming each of you back to Proctors beginning Sunday, February 7, 2020, for in-person rehearsals. You can view your ensemble's rehearsal schedule online at esyo.org/members/rehearsal-concert-calendar.

We know that we can keep our friends and family safe by wearing a mask, washing and sanitizing our hands, staying home if we are sick, and maintaining physical distance while making music together. Remember, if you can't attend a rehearsal due to COVID-19, you must notify your ensemble manager. If asked to quarantine, you may attend rehearsal online using ESYO Stream.

We are proud of the work you did in the Fall and cannot wait to hear what the new year has in store for you and your ensemble.

Sincerely,

-The ESYO Team

Covid-19 Community Update: 11/10/2020

Dear ESYO Musicians & Families,

COVID-19 has challenged us to live, rehearse, and perform differently. Despite the challenges, it has been an absolute joy to witness your music-making each week. We are incredibly proud of your hard work this term and look forward to celebrating with you at the Tutti! Festival. We are also thankful for your continued commitment to "playing it safe" during this pandemic.

As expected, COVID-19 cases are rising in many of our communities, and we anticipate that positive cases of COVID-19 will continue to increase as cold & flu season progresses. ESYO will maintain its current safety guidelines while emphasizing the importance of wearing all required PPE, frequently washing your hands, and staying home if you are sick. Proctors and its facilities and restrooms remain closed to parents. ESYO made limited accommodations to support ESYO families that travel over 40 miles to attend a rehearsal. As a reminder, all members of the ESYO community who enter Proctors are required to complete the ESYO Health Questionnaire before arriving at rehearsal.

Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping ESYO sounding together, no matter what.

Sincerely,

The ESYO Team

Covid-19 Announcement 10/2/2020

Dear ESYO Friends & Family,

Rehearsals are underway at ESYO's safe-studio in Proctors. We've taken all the necessary precautions to ensure a safe season of joyful music-making. We are grateful to all the students and parents for making the start of our new season a success. We hope that you are enjoying sounding together as much as we enjoy hearing your music echo through the halls of Proctors.

By now, you've noticed that things are different. We've accessorized our instruments with some pretty inventive PPE. We've all grown accustomed to wearing masks, social distancing, and washing our hands more often. Some of us are even adapting to rehearsing online using ESYO Stream. As challenging as it is to play your instrument with these new changes, our ability to come together each week to play music with our friends is an opportunity that is not possible in many communities across the globe.   

Fall is here, and the traditional cold & flu season is right around the corner. Most of us have returned to school in some fashion and are increasingly meeting up with friends for the first time since March. For the health and safety of our friends and family and the wellbeing of the ESYO community, it is our collective responsibility to follow all recommended CDC health guidelines during rehearsal and outside of ESYO. COVID-19 is still a threat to health and wellbeing. We hope that you will continue to join together and play your part.

Here are a few important reminders. 

  1. Instrument PPE is like a face mask. It is required, and for it to work, we must wear it properly.  
  2. ESYO is serious fun! Bring your smile and excitement to rehearsal. It's ok to chat with your friends (and make new ones), but we must maintain a safe distance of 6ft or three Cellos between you and your friends. 
  3. Share your love of music and not your germs. If you are sick or someone in your household is showing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home, notify your ensemble manager, and attend rehearsal online using ESYO Stream.
  4. Be mindful of your health and complete the ESYO Health Questionnaire before each rehearsal. Be sure to bookmark the link in your web browser. https://esyo.org/health-questionnaire
  5. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water. Generously use the sanitizing station set-up outside Key Hall or GE Theatre.

We look forward to seeing and hearing your play each week. We are excited to announce that all ESYO concerts will be recorded live on Proctors Mainstage and streamed online to a virtual audience. Preparations are underway for the Grand Opening of ESYO's first-ever Virtual Concert Hall. Tickets and information about virtual performances are to be released shortly. 

Sincerely,

Your ESYO Team

COVID-19 Announcement 8/11/2020

Dear ESYO Friends and Family-

ESYO is staying home now, so we can perform together later. But, this doesn't mean that ESYO has stopped - we've gone online.

Our conductors and teaching artists are using techniques familiar to their students and are giving listening exercises, practice challenges, and general support online using outstanding virtual platforms. Our goal is to keep our musicians as active and engaged as possible, online.

Starting April 6, 2020, Google Classroom will be the hub for all ESYO ensemble communication and online learning.

When the time is right we will return to the rehearsal room. Until then, we look forward to connecting with you online.  

Click here for more information about ESYO Online and Google Classroom.

Stay home- stay safe- stay committed- keep playing. We'll do the same.

All our very best,

-The ESYO Team

April 4, 2020
Updated 4/6/2020 at 8:30 A.M.

Dear ESYO Friends and Family-

ESYO is staying home now, so we can perform together later. But, this doesn't mean that ESYO has stopped - we've gone online.

Our conductors and teaching artists are using techniques familiar to their students and are giving listening exercises, practice challenges, and general support online using outstanding virtual platforms. Our goal is to keep our musicians as active and engaged as possible, online.

Starting April 6, 2020, Google Classroom will be the hub for all ESYO ensemble communication and online learning.

When the time is right we will return to the rehearsal room. Until then, we look forward to connecting with you online.  

Click here for more information about ESYO Online and Google Classroom.

Stay home- stay safe- stay committed- keep playing. We'll do the same.

All our very best,

-The ESYO Team

 

Becky Calos
Executive Director
March 20, 2020
Updated 3/20/2020 at 3:30 P.M.
Dear ESYO Friends and Family  -
 
"Uncharted territory"
"Unprecedented times"
"The new normal"
 
These phrases are entering our vernacular with "unprecedented" speed! Although much is new, we still have music. Whether we are players, or listeners; composers or conductors, music brings a peace and joy that can't be found anywhere else.
 
 
And that's why, at ESYO, we are working diligently to keep 600 young musicians as engaged as possible...virtually. How does that work? Well, our conductors have some pretty amazing ideas! Tuesday nights normally find our Music Director and the Symphony Orchestra hard at work at Brown school, rehearsing from 7:00 - 10:00 pm. What happened last Tuesday night? At 7:00 pm, one hundred and one Symphony members, including Music Director Carlos and Orchestra Manager Andrea, met through an online platform and held their first virtual get together. The idea was new to everyone, and yet every single member attended. Commitment? You bet. And there were loads of ideas on how to work together while apart, practice tips, and more.
 
Other conductors are using techniques familiar to their students and giving listening exercises, practice exercises, ideas for collaboration, and general support. They are making use of outstanding virtual platforms that will keep our kids focused, and yes, engaged.
 
Are there silver linings to this crazy situation? YES! Where there's a challenge, there's growth!
  • We are challenged to learn - but not in a classroom
  • We are challenged to practice - but not with a stand partner
  • We are challenged to listen - but not to a conductor on a podium
  • We are challenged to engage - but not face to face
  • We are challenged to stay motivated in an environment where we might feel isolated and alone, but we know that we are not.

We hope you will join us in our endeavors to continue to move forward in a brand new environment. Maybe you cannot teach virtually, or aid in a students' practice, or help them listen more effectively, but you can wish us well, and follow our updates! You can let us know what YOU are doing to "stay on track" during this challenging time! It is not familiar, but we are committed.

Now. The spring. We are indeed postponing our spring concerts and events, but wait until you see what's next! We look forward to a big celebration bash when the time is right, and rest assured you will be at the top of the invite list! Our creative hats are on, and we are planning already. Got any ideas? Throw them our way! We'll put them in the mix and see what comes out on top.

Stay healthy - stay safe - stay committed - stay motivated. We'll do the same.

All our very best
- The ESYO Team

 

Becky Calos
Executive Director
March 13, 2020
Dear ESYO families,
 
The health and safety of our members, families, staff and volunteers are of our utmost concern. As many of you know, the COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation requiring all of us to be responsive to the changes that are occurring daily. Recently we learned that the College of Saint Rose will be closing for the month of March, following the lead of many other institutions in our region, choosing to operate virtually rather than put their students at risk. We, too, do not wish to contribute to the spread of the virus. Unlike a neighborhood school that has a relatively closed community, ESYO's membership hails from a two-hour radius of the Capital Region, making it, perhaps, more vulnerable to viral spread.
 
For this reason, we have made the decision to suspend all rehearsals, concerts and events that were due to take place from March 15 to April 4. We hope we will be able to resume our normal programming on April 5th, but we will, of course, be closely monitoring the situation and will provide you with regular updates.
 
Rather than halt our musical progress entirely during this interim, however, we are hoping to provide virtual instruction and guidance to help our members continue to develop their skills and practice their repertoire. Stating the obvious, this is a brand new situation for all of us! I'm sure you understand that these are uncharted waters, and this plan will be difficult to implement. What we can promise you is that all staff and conductors will do their very best to keep our students engaged and connected.
 
Our Artistic Staff is meeting in the coming days to coordinate this effort. You will receive a communication from your conductor before your next scheduled rehearsal, describing their plan for the virtual learning that might take place over the next few weeks.
 
Best regards,
 
Becky Calos
Executive Director
March 10, 2020

COVID-19 Message

We want to assure you that we are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19/Coronavirus situation. The safety and security of our members, staff, families, volunteers, and audiences is our highest priority. We are following the lead of our city, state, and federal officials and are prepared to implement responses recommended by public health authorities.  
All rehearsals will take place as scheduled. We remain vigilant and prepared to make decisions based on current needs, as well as in response to changing conditions. We will make every effort to notify you as soon as possible should adjustments be necessary.
We want to emphasize that anyone who is not feeling well, or is exhibiting flu-like symptoms should not come to rehearsal, concerts or events. If you or a family member begin showing these symptoms and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider.