Orchestras & Ensembles

Musically Daring

ESYO nourishes the personal and musical development of 600 young musicians through music performance.  ESYO supports 13 progressive ensemble experiences.

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ESYO CLASSICAL

Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Carlos Ágreda


Membership: 100+ mainly High School
Auditions: Early June

The flagship Symphony Orchestra is ESYO’s most advanced, and is reserved for players whose technical skills and musicality are at the highest level. The orchestra receives regular professional coaching and performs in the finest concert venues, including the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and Carnegie Hall.

The Symphony Orchestra tours internationally every 4 years and performs annually in Melodies of Christmas, CBS 6′s popular holiday program that has raised more than $8 million for the pediatric oncology program at Albany Medical Center. A fall rehearsal weekend retreat in the Catskills at Frost Valley YMCA, an annual young people’s concert, a free concert for senior citizens, and a concerto competition round out the program.

Repertory Orchestra

Conductor: David Beck


Membership: 90+ Middle & High School
Auditions: Early June 

ESYO Repertory Orchestra is a full symphonic orchestra that provides intermediate-level students with challenging rehearsal and performance opportunities while stressing fundamental technical and musical skills and the improvement of sight-reading abilities. The orchestra performs three or four concerts during the year and regularly performs with the Symphony Orchestra at a major venue.  The Repertory Orchestra participates in community collaborations and festivals, and participates in the ESYO fall Frost Valley rehearsal weekend retreat in the Catskill Mountains.

Wind Orchestra

Conductor: Dr. Robert S. Hansbrough


Membership: 50+ Middle & High School
Auditions: Early June; additional audition opportunities in September as needed

ESYO Wind Orchestra performs a wide variety of literature, including original wind ensemble pieces, marches, chamber music, and transcriptions of orchestral works. The focus of training is concentrated on performance standards, tone production, precision, musicality, individual and group style, and practice habits. The brass and wind sections alternate weekly to engage in a 30 minute choir rehearsal. The ensemble gives several concerts a year and performs annually with The College of Saint Rose’s Wind Ensemble. The ensemble toured Hungary in August 2018, performing by invitation at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Festival in Mako.

String Orchestra

Conductor: Joseph Gumpper


Membership: 60+ mainly 4th-9th graders
Auditions: Early June

ESYO String Orchestra gives string players training in the techniques of playing in large ensembles and lays the foundation for participation in other ESYO ensembles. Supplementing area school string programs, the orchestra gives three concerts a year and participates in an annual string festival.

Concertino Strings

Conductor: Leo Milman


Membership: 40+ Elementary & Middle School
Auditions: Early June

ESYO Concertino Strings is a performance-based ensemble with a focus on educating and fostering a love of music in beginning string musicians. Music is chosen to challenge all players, and to add to their canon of musical knowledge. ESYO Concertino Strings presents two concerts every year.

Concertino Winds & Percussion

Woodwind Choir Conductor: Julie Taylor
Brass Choir Conductor: Scott Hopkins
Percussion Ensemble Conductor: Genoveffa Vitale

Rehearsals: 10 weeks in late winter/spring only
Membership: 40+ mainly Middle School
Auditions: Not Required. Teacher recommendation required. Registration mid-December.

Recognizing the need to provide a solid foundation for beginning wind and brass players aspiring to advance their ensemble skills, ESYO started Concertino Winds in 2016 with a woodwind and brass choir. Starting in 2019, the program will expand to include an introductory percussion ensemble.  Musicians participate in 90 minute rehearsals for ten weeks culminating in a recital at the close of the session. 

Concert Chorale

Chorale Conductor: Rae Jean Teeter

Rehearsals: Wednesday's during the Fall Concert Cycle
Membership: 75 High School only
Auditions: September 2021

ESYO Concert Chorale is ESYO's flagship choir for experienced high school vocalists. Members of ESYO's Concert Chorale perform and explore a wide variety of challenging repertoire ranging from classical masterworks and symphonic masterpieces to traditional folksongs, and contemporary choral works by living composers.  ESYO Concert Chorale is featured alongside ESYO's Symphony Orchestra at CBS 6 Albany's Melodies of Christmas concerts at Proctors in Schenectady. 


ESYO PERCUSSION

Youth Percussion Ensemble

Co-Conductors: Mark Foster & Richard Albagli


Membership: 10 mainly High School
Auditions: Early June 

The Youth Percussion Ensemble is one of ESYO’s three percussion ensembles, following the model of our progressive training program by providing a clear path for young percussionists to follow as they develop and improve their ensemble skills under the supervision of several of the area’s top percussion players. Typically, the members of the Youth Percussion Ensemble also perform in Youth Orchestra and Repertory Orchestra. The Youth Percussion Ensemble routinely performs in festivals and clinics throughout the northeast, and has been a guest performer at Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival.  ESYO is one of the only youth music organizations in the country to host three percussion ensembles.

Repertory Percussion Ensemble

Co-Conductors: John Antonio & Richard Albagli


Members: 10 mainly Middle & High School
Auditions: Early June

The Repertory Percussion Ensemble is one of ESYO’s three percussion ensembles, following the model of our progressive training program by providing a clear path for young percussionists to follow as they develop and improve their ensemble skills under the supervision of several of the area’s top percussion players. Some members of this ensemble also perform in Repertory Orchestra and Wind Orchestra. The Repertory Percussion Ensemble routinely performs in festivals and clinics throughout the northeast. ESYO is one of the only youth music organizations in the country to host three percussion ensembles.

Chamber Percussion Ensemble

Conductor: Genoveffa Vitale


Membership: 7+ mainly Elementary & Middle School
Auditions: Early June

Chamber Percussion Ensemble is one of ESYO’s three percussion ensembles, following the model of our progressive training program by providing young percussionists a clear path to follow as they develop and improve their ensemble skills under the supervision of several of the area’s top percussion players. Chamber Percussion Ensemble offers our youngest members an intensive entry point into the world of percussion, with opportunities to participate in area festivals and regional clinics. ESYO is one of the only youth music organizations in the country to host three percussion ensembles.


ESYO JAZZ

Youth Jazz Orchestra

Conductor: Lee Russo  


Membership: 18+ mainly High School
Auditions: Early June

The ESYO Youth Jazz Orchestra performs a wide range of music from the early swing of the 1920s to the exciting jazz/rock fusion of the 1980s to today’s contemporary jazz. The orchestra has performed with Eastman’s Jazz Ensemble and has worked with guest artists such as “Blue” Lou Marini and Allen Vizzutti, and Grammy-award winning pianist/ composer Bill Cunliffe.

Repertory Jazz Orchestra

Conductor: David Fisk


Membership: 18+ mainly Middle & High School
Auditions: Early June

The ESYO Repertory Jazz Orchestra is an intermediate level group that performs a wide range of music from the early swing of the 1920s to the exciting jazz/rock fusion of the 1980s to today’s contemporary jazz. The orchestra occasionally commissions new work, including a world premier of Walk Like the Guv, from jazz trombonist Michael Davis.