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The ESYO Center for

Musical Youth

The regions first center for musical youth and the permanent home of ESYO. Located at 45 MacArthur Drive in Scotia-Glenville.

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    ESYO Center for Musical Youth

    The Center for Musical Youth will foster creative collaboration and musical discovery, with acoustically designed spaces that invite innovation and inspire joyful music-making.
    It will be the only one of its kind in upstate New York.

    • For the first time in ESYO’s 43-year history, our young musicians will be able to rehearse together at one location, building a vibrant youth musical community.
    • Youth will be able to arrive early and stay late, gathering with friends to “jam,” form student-led chamber groups, make a recording, use a practice room, or study music scores.
    • Percussionists will be able to practice independently on instruments that most youth do not possess, such as a 5-octave marimba.
    • Families will be welcome to convene in Wi-Fi accessible lounges or observe rehearsals, forging new friendships and fostering a robust musical community.

    Artist depiction of the rehersal room


    In March 2022, ESYO purchased the 8-acre campus at 45 MacArthur Drive in Scotia-Glenville, impressed by its natural light, large classrooms, gymnasium, office suites and small, commercial kitchen. The entire facility is all one floor, making the movement of percussion instruments a breeze, and offering an exceptional layout to ensure child safety and ADA compliance for accessibility. The project includes:

    Hover over the blue info circles below to see more

    • The transformation of the gymnasium into a 4,800sf acoustically designed orchestra rehearsal room.
    • The fit-out of administrative offices.
    • The installation of an acoustically sensitive, energy efficient HVAC system.
    • Acoustically treated music studios and sectional rooms.
    • A flex/lounge.
    • A new, 4000sf addition that will house a second large rehearsal room, a storage space, and an outdoor terrace.
    • Redesign of the parking lot to increase capacity to 175, and add charging stations.
    • AV systems installed throughout the building to support student recording, presentations, virtual sessions and rehearsal observation.

    A 4,800sf acoustically designed orchestra rehearsal room

    In-progress: Flex space / lounge

    Concept sketch of the terrace

    Hallway with natural lighting

    In-progress: Kitchen

    As of Janurary, 2023 ● Full Image (Opens in new window)  

    Project Team

    Health and Wellbeing

    At a time when the US Surgeon General has identified a mental health crisis among our youth, our Center will offer students a lifeline. Ample studies point to music’s positive impact on mental health and well-being. The largest investigation on the effect of music and youth brain development was conducted by James Hudziak and his team at the University of Vermont in 2014. Using MRI technology on 232 children ages 6-18, Hudziak concluded that playing music:

    • can help diminish anxiety, focus attention, and control emotions;
    • can influence the thickness in the part of the cortex related to working memory, attention control, planning for the future, and organization.

    ESYO's proposed music center will provide new and innovative ways to make music training more widely available to youths, beginning in childhood, and will expand access to high quality music instruction for young people outside of the school day.

    Reducing Eye strain

    Specialized lighting

    Protect Hearing

    Specialized acoustics

    Clean air

    New HVAC System

    To ensure the health and safety of our youth, the Center’s music spaces will protect hearing and eyesight strain with specialized acoustics and lighting. Additionally, the new energy saving HVAC system will provide high efficiency filtration to capture indoor air contaminants before they are introduced into spaces.


    • Daytime programming for early learners, such as KinderMusik
    • Homeschool ensembles
    • Accessible experiences for young people with disabilities
    • Extended-day programming (similar to CHIME) in partnership with local school districts
    • Summer camps targeting beginner & intermediate players as well as youth living in historically marginalized communities.
    • The proximity to SUNY Schenectady's School of Music will strengthen our existing partnership with the college and create a natural pathway to SUNY's robust music program.


    ESYO empowers youth to lead, both in and out of the rehearsal space. Whether it is a discussion about repertoire, the promotion of an upcoming performance or how best to create greater equity across the organization, our members are at the table.

    The Center's meeting spaces have been designed to empower our youth to explore their musical interests collaboratively. Whether it be in our new recording studio, percussion practice room, student lounge or on the outside terrace, youth will have a place to share ideas, laughter and inspiration. With a membership spread across the region, the Center will facilitate meaningful connections between diverse communities.


    The Center will also have a positive economic impact, with more than 600 families traveling to the Center each week, the business improvement corridors of Schenectady and Scotia/Glenville. The Center will provide:

    • 24,000sf of community arts space available for conferences and events;
    • Rental spaces for independent music teachers and other community-based music ensembles and programs including the Scotia/Glenville School District;
    • Additional employment opportunities for the creative sector;
    • An optimal location for regional, national and international musical festivals and events.


    ESYO seeks to remove barriers to music engagement, education and performance in variety of ways:

    While we have made great strides in fostering equity and inclusion, a physical Music Center will be a game changer:

    • The Center will allow ESYO to create a second extended day program, similar to CHIME, targeting youth living in under-resourced, rural communities.
    • While ACCESS ESYO has removed financial barriers from our public performances, our lack of a physical home has made it difficult to foster a broad base of parent/caregiver support for our youth. The Center’s lounge with wi-fi and kitchen facilities will welcome families into the musical spaces that their youth will occupy and will encourage interactions and conversations.
    • The Center will offer youth a physical place to gather for music making, learning, and leadership. With a membership spread across the region, the Center will facilitate meaningful connections between diverse communities of all ages.


    The ESYO Center for Musical Youth made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

    Interested in Learning More?

    Contact Becky Calos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for more information