"It was a process, and it was challenging," said Ágreda. “The idea of synchronizing home performances in a grid-view video is not new, but we wanted to find a way to build an innovative virtual orchestra experience,” he continued. “What can we do that we wouldn’t be able to do if we were in person? How does a conductor fit in a virtual performance if he/she/they don’t have the musicians in front of them? That is how we came up with the idea of creating the first ever VR/360° orchestra”.
3 nights, 13 Ensembles, 400 young musicians from around the region sounding together online.
The three-night digital festival begins Thursday, June 11, and streams nightly online on Facebook Watch and YouTube at 7:00 PM through Saturday, June 13, 2020. The festival's title, "Sounding Together," comes from the root meaning of the word symphony.
At Empire State Youth Orchestra, we mourn the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, Tony McDade and too many others. We are saddened that the destruction and discrimination felt throughout our history is not a thing of the past but is clearly in evidence today.
You can help ESYO grow by sharing audition information with your friends, family, and community.
Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or email to share audition information. Whether they are just starting out or an experienced player, a jazz, or classical musician, ESYO has a place for young musicians who are passionate and dedicated music-makers.
The COVID-19 Emergency has Postponed Concerts, Closed Schools for the Year, and put Life as we Know it on Pause. But, from Living Rooms Around the Capital Region, ESYO Musicians are Playing Through the Pause and #SoundingTogether online.
Dear fellow ESYO members,
As you know, because of the current public health crisis, we are not able to perform live music together. In these trying times, members of the Young Leader Program are coordinating efforts to reach out to the local community and help bring comfort to those who are most vulnerable right now. Our goal is to provide musical entertainment for nursing homes, senior residencies, hospitals, and other care centers where people are not permitted to have visitors.
The Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO), known regionally and nationally for challenging and inspiring young people to achieve excellence through music, has adapted its rigorous education model for online learning. ESYO's transition to virtual learning will keep 600 young musicians from the region's cities and suburbs actively engaged in music-making while so much of normal life is on pause due to the spread of COVID-19. Last Tuesday, all 101 members of the Symphony Orchestra attended ESYO’s first virtual session.
Calling all ESYO friends and family! We are drafting our Strategic Plan for the next several years, and NEED YOUR INPUT TO MAKE IT THE BEST THAT IT CAN BE! Please take a few minutes to complete the survey!
ESYO is staying home now, so we can perform together later. But, this doesn't mean ESYO has stopped. We've gone online! Read all about it in the April edition of Downbeat, ESYO's e-newsletter.
Each year, 100 of the nation’s most advanced musicians, aged 14-18, come together at Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall to perform as part of a top-tier national youth orchestra. It is all part of the LA Philharmonic's YOLA National Festival, which spotlights exceptional talent from El Sistema-inspired programs from across the United States. Following a rigorous nationwide audition process, Schenectady High School sophomore and ESYO violist Eric Mulero will represent the Capital Region, ESYO and CHIME at the 2020 National YOLA National Festival.
Music is supposed to be played and shared with the world. Just because we cannot get together to perform on stage, music lives. #MusicIsNotCancelled
Let's show the world that ESYO is "sounding together" online. Be part of ESYO's movement to show the world that music is not cancelled. Join in and lets sound together.
Hundreds of ESYO Musicians to Share Their Love of Music With the Capital Region Community During the 2020 All-Day "Playathon" at Crossgates Mall
(Albany, NY) – Over 600 student musicians in the Empire State Youth Orchestra ensembles will share their love of music with the community during an all-day “Playathon” on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 10:30am to 6:30pm at Crossgates Mall. The event, which is a fundraiser for the organization, features 13 musical ensembles that include everything from classical to percussion to jazz. This year there is a fundraising goal set at $65,000 dollars. Even though the event is designed to raise money, it is free to anyone in the community who wants to enjoy music on that day.
ESYO Announces 2019-2020 Concert Season that Includes a 40th Birthday Celebration, a Performance with a Cellist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a Tour to South America
(Capital Region) – The Empire State Youth Orchestra has announced the 2019-2020 season which includes a 40th birthday celebration for the organization, a concert with an ESYO alumnus who is assistant principal cellist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a tour to South America. The organization is comprised of 13 performing ensembles and the successful CHIME (Creating Harmony Inspiring Musical Excellence) program.
New Arts Organization, Alliance for Music Performance in Troy (AMPT), is Created by Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and ESYO as a Joint Collaboration to Explore Musical Arts Opportunities for the Capital Region
(Troy, NY) – Leaders of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Corporation (TSBMH) and the Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) have announced the creation of a non-profit organization coined Alliance for Music Performance in Troy (AMPT) that will provide exciting new musical arts opportunities for the region. AMPT was developed to explore the use of the recently acquired vacant floors of the Troy Savings Bank building by the Troy Music Hall Corporation. AMPT will enable its partners to maximize their impact through shared resources, and to realize a broader vision to offer enhanced music and performance opportunities to the community.
ESYO Receives 165,000 Dollars in Grants and Support
(Schenectady, NY) – The Empire State Youth Orchestra has recently received significant grant contributions thanks to a variety of organizations that support music education. The generous contributions, that total $165,000 dollars, were awarded to ESYO to support the growth of CHIME (Creating Harmony Inspiring Musical Excellence). CHIME provides young musicians an equal opportunity to develop skills and break down barriers. It has expanded considerably since its inception four years ago.
ESYO Presents “Encore Stage,” A Cabaret Where High School Seniors Perform for the Community
(Schenectady, NY) – Members of the Empire State Youth Orchestra senior class will share their love of music with the community during “Encore Stage” an event designed to highlight ESYO musicians in a chamber music setting. The afternoon, which will include light refreshments, is an open house where music lovers can come for an hour or stay the entire time. It is free to the public with suggested donations that support ESYO’s scholarship program.
ESYO Symphony Orchestra To Perform April Concert At Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Celebrating A Sense of Community as a Way to Overcome Challenges
(Troy, NY) – The ESYO “Symphony Orchestra” will present a vibrant concert on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. This concert will include Lois Lyman Concerto Competition winner William Han who will perform Cello Concerto No. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich.
The musical program includes: Three Dances by M. Camargo Guarnieri, Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 107 by Dmitri Shotokovich and the Symphony No. 4, Op. 36 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
ESYO Receives $20,000 Dollar Grant from the William Gundry Broughton Charitable Private Foundation to Support CHIME Program
(Schenectady, NY) – The Empire State Youth Orchestra has received a significant grant of $20,000 thanks to the William Gundry Broughton Charitable Private Foundation. The generous contribution was awarded to the organization to help support the growth of CHIME (Creating Harmony Inspiring Musical Excellence) by providing funds for additional teaching artists. It was recently announced by ESYO that the CHIME program has expanded to four program sites across two cities, serving more than 120 children, all within a three-year time frame. CHIME operates daily throughout the school year, providing children in underserved communities with two to three hours of free music instruction and rehearsal each afternoon. Additionally, the program operates for four weeks each summer.
Hundreds of ESYO Musicians to Share Their Love of Music With the Capital Region Community During the 2019 All-Day "Playathon" at Crossgates Mall
$60,000 Dollar Fundraising Goal is Set to Support the Organization
(Albany, NY) – Hundreds of student musicians in the Empire State Youth Orchestra ensembles will share their love of music with the community during an all-day “Playathon” on Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 10:30am to 6:30pm at Crossgates Mall. The event, which is a fundraiser for the organization, features 11 musical ensembles that include everything from classical to percussion to jazz. This year there is a fundraising goal set at $60,000 dollars. Even though the event is designed to raise money, it is free to anyone in the community who wants to enjoy music on that day.
New Year, New Name for ESYO's Flagship Orchestra
Introducing ESYO Symphony Orchestra! No worries, we're still the same Empire State Youth Orchestra! Many of you have known our flagship orchestra as "Youth Orchestra" but we've come a long way since 1979. Beginning with a single orchestra forty years ago, ESYO has grown to include twelve performing ensembles, wind and brass choirs, and CHIME, our free music-training program. Empire State Youth Orchestra was once an easily recognizable label for our most advanced symphonic orchestra, but now the name serves a dual purpose as the umbrella brand for our numerous ensembles. In order to more clearly identify our Youth Orchestra musicians, the Board of Directors has voted to officially change the name to "ESYO Symphony Orchestra." We look forward to ESYO Symphony Orchestra's concert at Playathon on February 2, and hope you will be there to applaud their performance!
ESYO CHIME Program Expands to Include Troy, NY
Mission Provides Young Musicians the Opportunity to Develop Skills While Breaking Down Barriers
(Troy, NY) –The Empire State Youth Orchestra’s (ESYO) CHIME (Creating Harmony, Inspiring Musical Excellence) program, which currently provides young musicians in the Schenectady City School District an equal opportunity to develop their skills and break down barriers, has expanded into the Troy, NY region providing students at Carroll Hill Elementary School enrichment after school. CHIME was created and developed by leaders at ESYO three years ago.
ESYO Announces 40th Season Celebrating A Love of Music With Works That Include: Capriccio Espagnol (Rimsky-Korsakov), New World Symphony (Dvorak) and Symphony No. 4 (Tchaikovsky)
Music Director Carlos Ágreda is Passionate About His New Role Inspiring Young Musicians in our Region
(Schenectady, NY) – The Empire State Youth Orchestra has announced the 2018-2019 season which celebrates 40 years of the organization and the hiring of Carlos Ágreda, the new music director and conductor of the Youth Orchestra. The organization is comprised of 10 performing ensembles that collectively play over 30 concerts each year.
ESYO Board of Directors Announces New Music Director
Carlos Ágreda, a Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, Appointed to Position
(Schenectady, NY) – The Empire State Youth Orchestra board of directors has announced the hiring of a new music director after an extensive global search. Members of the board appointed Carlos Ágreda to the position. He will come to the Capital Region in early June and take over for Music Director Helen Cha-Pyo as she closes out the season after 16 years with the organization.