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ESYO Receives 165,000 Dollars in Grants and Support

CHIME PlayUSAGrants Support ESYO Programs Including CHIME (Creating Harmony
Inspiring Musical Excellence) and CHIME Young Leaders

(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.  

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) recently announced ESYO as a grant recipient for PlayUSA, a program that supports a wide range of instrumental music education projects across the United States, all specifically designed to reach low-income and underserved students on a local level. "ESYO is thrilled and honored to be selected to join this cohort. We know we will gain tremendously from the professional development opportunities this partnership will afford, as well as the resources that it will provide," said Rebecca Calos who serves as ESYO’s executive director.

ESYO has also received gifts from the Wright Family Foundation, the Seymour Fox Foundation, the Rea Charitable Trust and the Bender Family Foundation (donation amounts listed below). The funds will support the CHIME program as well as ESYO’s new Young Leaders program. This program will provide ESYO musicians in grades 9 through 12 the opportunity to pursue leadership roles such as mentoring younger, less-experienced CHIME players. Young Leaders will provide support for CHIME as teaching assistants, helping to run sectionals and give private lessons, and will also have opportunities to participate in professional development and training workshops.

The challenges facing underserved youth are complex, and cannot always be addressed simply by providing a tuition waiver. For example, many such youth lack a safe place to practice. In addition, many do not have access to individualized instruction, reliable transportation, or the means to purchase an instrument. CHIME meets all of these needs, and has a transformative impact on students and also the community at large.     

“Music education and the pursuit of excellence through music is incredibly valuable for the development of 21st century societies, and having the opportunity to continue our mission thanks to these recent grants is incredibly meaningful, especially when we want to provide access to music education opportunities,” said Carlos Ágreda, music director for ESYO.

Recent Grants:

Wright Family Foundation - $75,000 (ESYO CHIME Young Leaders)

Rea Charitable Trust - $50,000 (CHIME)

Carnegie Hall Weill Institute’s PLAYUSA 2019-2020 - $25,0000 (CHIME)

Bender Family Foundation - $10,000 (CHIME In-School Lessons)

Seymour Fox Foundation - $5,000 (CHIME)

For additional information on CHIME and/or any of the other ESYO ensembles visit: