Music has the power to connect us as humans; to fill us with a joy that transcends cultural differences, language barriers, or economic situation. Youth Orchestra's like ESYO, provide a space for that connection to happen; a way for young people from across our region to gather to make music, share laughter, make new friends, and sound together in a joyful pursuit of musical excellence and an atmosphere of "serious fun."
ESYO's door has always been open to young musicians regardless of who they are, where they live, what their family can afford, or what they believe. In 2015, ESYO decided that it could do more than just hold the door open. This decision drove ESYO's actions to expand the pathway to musical excellence by helping dozens of children discover the power of creating harmony as members of ESYO CHIME. The door to ESYO is wide open, and the pathway we have built reaches further into the community. But we still need to do more.
With the help and support of the League of American Orchestra and with the guidance of YK Hong, ESYO is to begin the process of going beyond the door to listen and expand our understanding of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. YK brings 20 years of valuable experience as a highly-acclaimed speaker, artist, and anti-oppression facilitator. YK has worked with leading companies, colleges, and organizations like Netflix, Smith College, the YMCA, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Albany Symphony, and Soho Repertory Theatre.
ESYO’s Board, faculty, and staff are all united in a common desire to be inclusive and to provide an equitable program for all youth. The process will provoke, inspire, and transform us to build a program without barriers. Part of our job as educators is to lead by example and to foster in our young musicians the courage to lead change and advocate for a more just and empathetic world.
EYSO recognizes that this work is important, and we are ready to listen, to learn, and to grow, side by side with our youth, our families, and our community.