After nearly two years since their last performance for a live audience, ESYO Symphony Orchestra returned to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall to open what is sure to be an astonishing season filled with daring musical adventures, memorable moments, brilliant performances, and the music we love. Were you there? Get social and share your photos and experience online. Don't forget to tag @empirestateyo on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
One by one, the lights pierced the dark recesses of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. For the first time in two years, the Music Hall set the stage for ESYO's triumphant return.
On Thursday November 4th, ESYO Symphony Orchestra settled in to rehearse at the Music Hall. Hearing the teeming sounds of Jeniffer Higdon's "Light" for the first time in the hall was awe-inspiring. The acoustics at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is the perfect accompaniment to exceptional performance.
Each musician came to the dress rehearsal prepared to work hard and have fun. This special moment marked an important milestone in ESYO's emergence from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the sounds echoed through the hall, the 90+ member orchestra sounded together as one ensemble, not as three separate orchestras.
The next day, the musicians returned to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall early for a final run-through to polish their performance. After a run-through of each piece, the orchestra enjoyed a nice break while patrons arrived in anticipation of the first concert of the 2021-2022 season.
Friends, family, neighbors, and ESYO Alumni eagerly walked through the doors and made their way to their seats inside the concert hall. ESYO Finance Director Lisa Stulmaker and our partners at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall warmly greeted audiences as they arrived and made their way to the concert hall.
Volunteers scanned tickets, gave out programs books and ushered patrons to their seats. Thank you to all the amazing parents and neighbors who volunteer their time to help make our concerts run smoothy.
The performance began with "Light" by American composer Jennifer Higdon. The opening overture illuminated the concert hall and showed the world that youth orchestras are lights in the community. The rhythms and melodies of Danzón No. 2 by Arturo Márquez danced from the clarinets to the oboe, piano, violin, French horn, trumpet, flute, and piccolo.
Dvorak's 8th Symphony began with an emotional theme reflective of the challenges we faced since the beginning of the pandemic. As the flutes chirped, the joyous and buoyant expositions dispelled the looming clouds and gave way to a truly hopeful and beautiful symphony.
On Sunday, November 7th, ESYO's Chamber Percussion Ensemble and Youth Percussion Ensemble turned the Brown School Gym into a suitable performance space while volunteers welcomed over 80 friends, family, and percussion enthusiasts from around the area.
ESYO Conductors Genoveffa Vitale and John Antonio, together with the ESYO Chamber Percussion Ensemble, explored a wide range of contemporary pieces. From the vibraphone and marimba to the snare drum and timpani, each young musician cycled through the instruments gained valuable experience. The emerging percussionists also performed Brandon Dittgen's Asante with West African instruments, like the gankogui (cowbell), Shekere, and the conga's.
With ESYO conductor Richard Albagli at the podium and soloist William Lauricella, ESYO's Youth Percussion Ensemble returned to perform Arcadia II by David Maslanka. Like Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 performed a few days prior, the concerto for solo marimba and percussion ensemble emerges from the darkness and takes the listener on a contemplative walk through nature. ESYO's Youth Percussion Ensemble has a longstanding relationship with this piece, having performed the work in 2002 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall for NPR's "From the Top."
The ensemble brought the audience to their feet with a rousing and electric performance of Tetracurrent by Chad Floyd conducted by ESYO conductor Mark Foster.