SCHENECTADY — The Empire State Youth Orchestra, known regionally and nationally as a premiere performance institution for young musicians living in Upstate New York and Western New England, returned to rehearsals for the 2021-2022 Season.
ESYO Symphony Orchestra starts the season with a performance at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall featuring guest conductor Andrés Rivas this Friday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m.
A complete list of ESYO Fall performances is available online at ESYO.org/tickets. Tickets can be purchased online for as little as $1 with ACCESS ESYO’s unique “pay what you can” ticket program.
The return to in- person regular rehearsals and live audience performances at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music marks a milestone in ESYO’s efforts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an emergence underscored by the hiring of Dr. David Bebe as ESYO’s first-ever Director of Education and a renewed sense of commitment to education, enrichment, and empowerment for members of ESYO performing ensembles and CHIME. The CHIME Program is ESYO’s music access program that provides free daily music instruction and ensemble education to students in Schenectady, Albany, and Troy School Districts.
“We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and our musicians during the pandemic,” said ESYO Executive Director Rebecca Calos. “We allowed ourselves to be flexible. We embraced innovation and made strategic investments in our educational infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing young musicians as we all emerge from the ongoing impact of COVID-19,” she continued.
Guiding ESYO’s ventures to enrich the musical experiences of ESYO musicians is Dr. David Bebe, a gifted cellist, conductor, and experienced pedagogue. Before joining ESYO as its first- ever Director of Education, Dr. Bebe was a frequent guest sectional coach with ESYO’s flagship performing ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and was an Associate Professor of Music at the College of St. Rose. Using his skills and experience developing string curriculum and performance courses, Dr. Bebe is a critical resource for ESYO’s artistic staff and CHIME Teaching Artists.
“I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues and the conductors at ESYO to identify and provide the tools ESYO musicians need to be successful in their ensemble, especially after COVID-19 interrupted music programs across the country” said Dr. Bebe “I’ve had the opportunity to work with emerging and developing musicians throughout my entire career. ESYO nurtures and supports amazingly talented and passionate musicians,” he continued.
Throughout the season, ESYO will develop events and programs that unify and strengthen ESYO ensembles and the CHIME program while discovering opportunities to bridge various levels, programs, and ensembles. Dr. Bebe will also focus his attention on supporting ESYO.
CHIME Teaching Artists, providing professional development and training, while building a curriculum that will nurture the growth of each CHIME musician. This past summer Dr. Bebe collaborated with ESYO conductors to create new summer offerings, which featured sight reading jams, brass workshops, nature hikes, and a summer chamber music program that culminated with a performance at Freedom Park in Scotia. This fall, Dr. Bebe launched a year- round chamber music program and the ESYO Chamber Orchestra that provides small- ensemble experiences for ESYO ensemble musicians.
“Chamber music is an incredibly powerful educational tool,” said Dr. Bebe. “It demands student leadership and, more importantly, a musical conversation between the performers that requires both leading and following at the same time.” With support from Dr. Bebe and a team of experienced coaches, ESYO musicians will experience music in a smaller, more musician directed ensemble. As with all ESYO-sponsored ensembles and programs, the ESYO Chamber Music program will culminate with a performance in early December.
ESYO’s 2021-2022 concert season restores a sense of “normalcy” for concert-goers with live audience performances across the region. This season, ESYO’s concerts will feature Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, Bizet’s L’Artesienne Suites No. 1 & No. 2, Jennifer Higdon’s Light, Danzon No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez and Jazz standards by Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.