The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

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Concert May 3, 2024

BE A PART OF IT IN THE HEART OF IT. Manhattan School of Music MSMNYC.EDU New York, NY

Spring Concert

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Concert Hall at Severance Music Center Friday, May 3, 2024, at 8 PM

Daniel Reith, conductor


ÉDOUARD LALO (1823–1892)


Umoja: Anthem of Unity

Cello Concerto in D minor

I. Prélude: Lento — Allegro maestoso

II. Intermezzo: Andantino con moto — Allegro presto

III. Introduction: Andante — Allegro vivace

Elena Ziegler, cello


Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

I. Andante sostenuto — Moderato con anima

II. Andantino in modo di canzona

III. Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato

IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco

This program is about 1 hour, 40 minutes in length.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s 2023–24 season is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Gray Gund, 1942–2023.

Major support for The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is provided by The Geoffrey and Sarah Gund Endowment.

This evening’s concert will be broadcast on Ideastream/ WCLV Classical 90.3 FM on Sunday, June 16, at 4 PM.



Composed: women’s chorus, 1997; woodwind quintet, 1999; orchestra, 2019

Duration: about 10 minutes


September 3, 1970, in Louisville, Kentucky

In its original form, Umoja , the Swahili word for “unity” and the first principle of the African Diaspora holiday Kwanzaa, was composed as a simple song for women’s choir. It embodied a sense of “tribal unity” through the feel of a drum circle, the sharing of history through traditional “call-and-response” form and the repetition of a memorable sing-song melody. It was rearranged as a woodwind quintet during the genesis of Coleman’s chamber music ensemble, Imani Winds, with the intent of providing an anthem that celebrated the diverse heritages of the ensemble itself.

Almost two decades later from the original, the orchestral version brings an expansion and sophistication to the short and sweet melody, beginning with sustained ethereal passages that float and shift from a bowed vibraphone, supporting the introduction of the melody by solo violin. Here the melody is sweetly singing in its simplest form with an earnest reminiscence of Appalachian style music. From there, the melody dances and weaves throughout the instrument families, interrupted by dissonant viewpoints led by the brass and percussion sections, which represent the clash of injustices, racism, and hate that threaten to gain a foothold in the world today. Spiky textures turn into an aggressive exchange between upper woodwinds and percussion before a return to the melody as a gentle reminder of kindness and humanity. Through the brass-led ensemble tutti, the journey ends with a bold call of unity that harkens back to the original anthem.

The score includes the following inscription:

Listen my people, Children of ALL It’s time for Unity

Hear the Winds call.

Oh a-hum, a-hum Nkosi ah.

Oh a-hum, a-hum Nkosi ah.


Umoja has seen the creation of many versions that are like siblings to one another, similar in many ways, but each with a unique voice that is informed by Coleman’s ever evolving creativity and perspective. Regarding the orchestral version, Coleman states, “This version honors the simple melody that ever was, but is now a full exploration into the meaning of freedom and unity. Now more than ever, Umoja has to ring as a strong and beautiful anthem for the world we live in today.”

Courtesy of Valerie Coleman


Once upon a time

There was a girl sitting on her bedroom floor

Sheet music in front of her

And earbuds in her ears

She was uninformed, unprepared

All she knew were the notes on the page and the music in her ear

She considered not the composer

The composition, context

She merely listened and watched the scenes unfold

And this is what she saw:

Hesitant, soft, the world is hung in suspense

Breathlessly awaiting the first blush of dawn

The sun timidly peeps her face over the hill

And you can see every frosted spiderweb

A violin ushers in the full bloom of sunrise

The sun reaches out warm tendrils of light

Melts the frost bit by bit

And the drowsy town begins to wake


A boy kicks petulantly, and the milk can spills

Instant regret.

His mother’s voice rises sharply through the morning breeze

A slipper slaps, the boy yelps, and chaos ensues

As baby cries and dog barks, the boy slips out inconspicuously

Free from the shackles of chores, he runs off to play with his friends

Mischief is so much more enjoyable with cohorts

And then the clear storyline fades

And an eddy of experiences swirl before the girl’s eyes

Dancing in the rain

And running down green hills in a dress with a bonnet in hand and hair flying

Strolling down a dusty farm road with geese following close behind

And knitting with a grandmother on a porch step

Watching the ships come into the harbor from abroad

And embarking on a ship

Leaving your small town

With the salt mist on your face

The wind in your hair

The horizon stretching ahead of you

And the sailors swinging from the sails

Then the music ended

And the girl gently came back down to earth.

Cyprus Foster is a violinist in her second year in The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. Besides music, her interests include soccer, composition, and creative writing. This poem was based on Foster’s impressions of listening to Valerie Coleman’s Umoja for the first time.



Composed: 1877

Duration: about 25 minutes


January 27, 1823, in Lille, France


April 22, 1892, in Paris

Édouard Lalo has long retained a favored place in the symphonic repertory with his tuneful Symphonie espagnole, which is more like a five-movement violin concerto (and not really what we think of today as a symphony). Equally popular is his Cello Concerto, which students everywhere keep on their music stands.

Frustrated in the field of opera, where his successes were few — with the exception of Le Roi d’Ys (The King of Ys) — Lalo turned his attention in the 1870s to composing symphonic works. He was encouraged in this by the formation of new orchestras and the Société Nationale de Musique, whose purpose was to demonstrate that France, defeated in arms after the Franco-Prussian War, could offer a real challenge to Germany in cultural riches and refinement.

Lalo began with a Violin Concerto, composed for the great Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, in 1874. The Symphonie espagnole, also for Sarasate and an immediate hit, followed the next year. The Cello Concerto falls in the middle of this productive period for Lalo, composed in 1877 and soon heard across Europe (and beyond).

Cello concertos of top quality have always been scarce (none by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, or Mendelssohn), yet Lalo’s is certainly the equal of Haydn’s and Robert Schumann’s. Superbly written for the instrument, it is a melodious and well-balanced work that shows his fine craftsmanship in the best light.

Each movement starts slowly. In the first movement, a firm declaration of the orchestra’s main theme, punctuated by Lalo’s signature fortissimo (very loud) thumps, prefaces the soloist’s entry. Some expressive refrains lead into the stirring main section, led forcefully by the soloist, who is given little respite in the whole of this energetic movement. The second subject, in the cello’s most expressive tenor range, is a gorgeous melody heard against some delicate flute entries and rich harmony. There are some extraordinarily compelling pages to close the movement, as the torrent of notes from the cello seems to drive onward and upward to the final recall of the opening theme in the full orchestra.

The middle movement functions as the expected concerto slow movement, but Lalo ingeniously works it to also function as a dance-like scherzo movement by sliding into


a swift 6/8 tempo. Against a constant pattern of plucked strings and low flutes, the cello has teasing rhythms and repetitive phrases, almost as if improvising rather than following notes on a printed page. A return of the slow music and, in turn, an encore of the swift music provide perfect balance.

The finale third movement draws fully on Lalo’s unstoppable sense of rhythm and his effortless melodic gift. Here, the vigor and energy of Lalo’s music places it in striking contrast with the willowy, watery style that is too often assumed to be an essential characteristic of French music.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s 2023–24 season is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Gray Gund, 1942–2023. Support for COYO is provided by: The Geoffrey and Sarah Gund Endowment Martha Holden Jennings Foundation The George Gund Foundation The Gloria P. and William E. Dean Jr. Endowed Fund The Jules and Ruth Vinney Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Touring Fund


Composed: 1877–78

Duration: about 45 minutes


May 7, 1840, in Votkinsk, Russia


November 6, 1893, in St. Petersburg

Few works in the orchestral repertoire carry such a strong emotional charge as Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. The capacity of this music to move us to the depths is by design. Tchaikovsky admitted as much: “There is not a note in this symphony … which I did not feel deeply, and which did not serve as an echo of sincere impulses within my soul.”

To his patroness Nadezhda von Meck, with whom he kept up a close correspondence for over 14 years, only ever meeting twice (both briefly, and by accident), he explained the program of the Fourth Symphony in great detail. According to his first-hand analysis, the gloomier parts of the work are concerned with fate (represented in the opening passage for brass) and depression, and the eternal struggle to rise above it. There are some brighter moments, and the finale supposedly presents a shared joy of community, a cure for the self-hatred and despair that otherwise invades the soul.

It can be argued (and many have) as to whether Tchaikovsky intended for Madame von Meck (or us) to take this program literally. Certainly we should not assume that the symphony is merely a record of the emotional and psychological crisis that he suffered at the time of its composition. The year 1877 brought the composer to a point where suicide was at least a possibility — spurred in part by his failed, two-and-a-half-month marriage that he hoped would cure him of his homosexuality — which doubtless are reflected in the symphony’s music. But the process of creating art is not a simple translation of life into another medium — a transformation occurs in the creative mind. How specifically the music mirrors actual events is not easy to determine. Nor do we need to know in order to enjoy this musical masterpiece.

At the start of the Fourth Symphony, the forthright statement of horns and bassoons grabs the listener’s attention. We are not likely to overlook its recurrence at critical points in this and later movements — and we are not supposed to. But the music settles into a plaintive flow in a halting triple rhythm, overwhelmingly committed to the minor key. The first movement offers some striking contrasts of mood and key, but the main theme returns, and the symphonic argument leads to the first of many stupendous climaxes in this work.


The second movement is not a profound moment of soul-searching, but a tender intermezzo featuring the solo oboe (and later, other winds), very lightly accompanied. There is a strong Russian flavor in this movement and no smiles.

The mood lightens in the third movement, one of Tchaikovsky’s best inventions. The conventional division of the orchestra into three families of strings, woodwinds, and brass gave him the idea of featuring each in turn, each with its own melody, its own tempo, and its own character. The strings, furthermore, are plucked throughout, the entire movement calling for pizzicato. The divisions are not watertight — the themes keep intruding — but the impression is of a teasing game, full of humor and free from dark thoughts of any kind.

The noisy finale features in its midst a Russian folk song based on a descending minor scale answered (sometimes) by two solid “thumps.” In due course, the solemn main theme makes its dramatic reappearance, but it cannot stem the tide of high spirits that close the symphony, leaving Tchaikovsky’s depression far behind.



Join us for a festival of concerts, conversations & ideas, inspired by Mozart’s The Magic Flute.


“The second movement of the symphony expresses another aspect of sadness. This is that melancholy feeling which comes in the evening when, weary from one’s toil, one sits alone with a book — but it falls from the hand.”

— Tchaikovsky on the second movement of his Fourth Symphony

In the Fourth Symphony, Tchaikovsky opens his second movement with one of the most famous oboe solos in the world. Perhaps one of the most interesting experiences for any oboist is going from playing the excerpt for an audition to playing it with the full orchestra. Many auditions, including the one for The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, list the solo as a required entry or seating audition excerpt. I believe that the biggest difference between audition and performance is the musician’s confidence.

For many, including myself, it’s normal to have nerves before performing in front of judges, since the excerpt is completely exposed. The full score only consists of a light pizzicato from the strings, leaving room for the oboist to express themselves. The solo is placed in an ideal range to play the soft melody that will be echoed by the other sections throughout the movement. Much of that original anxiety gradually fades each rehearsal as the musician prepares themself, building composure and trust in their abilities.

Though my colleague Andrew will play the solo in this evening’s performance, after preparing it for my Youth Orchestra audition and playing it with the orchestra at the occasional rehearsal, I can personally say that after much hard work behind the scenes, a sense of satisfaction and pride comes from showcasing one’s talents through Tchaikovsky’s oboe solo and his entire symphony.

— Eliana Fittante

Eliana Fittante is a freshman oboist who is in her first year of playing in The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. She also participates in cross country, show choir, and writes both creative prose and poetry.



Because we are a youth orchestra, for many of us, this is our first time learning most of the pieces we get to play. The opportunity to rehearse and perform great music that we have heard many times in recordings and concerts is an incredible experience. This year, I especially enjoyed playing Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony in our winter concert. Shostakovich is one of the first composers whose music I really fell in love with. I loved that he could make cheerful, innocent melodies sound so bitterly sarcastic, and how this made his music feel intensely intimate and painful. After listening to my favorite recordings of Shostakovich symphonies so many times, I was thrilled to have the chance to play the Fifth Symphony with The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

Learning an orchestral work for the first time also presents a number of challenges. A piece sounds very different in a recording than it does while playing it yourself in a large group. In recordings, or even in attending live performances as an audience member, it’s a lot easier to hear individual parts and how they fit together. When playing in an orchestra, though, it can be challenging to listen to other sections across the stage while still paying attention to your own section’s sound, and to simultaneously hear how all the parts form one musically cohesive piece. Rehearsing pieces that I have previously only heard in recordings provides an opportunity to appreciate them from a different and unique perspective, which I find to be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of playing in an orchestra.

Abigail Loeffler is a junior in high school as a homeschool student. She has played violin for four years and is currently in her first year with The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.


Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) violinist Cyprus Foster created this piece of word art after asking her friends and colleagues in the Youth Orchestra the following question: how would you describe COYO in one word?

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Cleveland Orchestra musician Hans Clebsch coaches COYO horn students in Reinberger Chamber Hall.
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Sherry Du


Hudson High School

Cyprus Foster


Avaneesh Polaconda

Strongsville High School

Hana Mazak

Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

Harris Wang

Solon High School

Grace Watters

Bio-Med Science Academy

Chengyu Jiang

Solon High School

Andrew Heinzen

Cleveland Heights High School

Elizabeth Liu

Beachwood High School

Anika Westerbeke

Hawken Mastery School

Alice Han

Beachwood High School

Kailani Farivar

Solon High School

Alex Jin

Aurora High School

Hannah Lee

Hudson High School

Nikita Shu-Li Thakore

Hathaway Brown

Cailyn Hua

Western Reserve Academy


Sophie Ng


Avon High School

Carol Huang


Hathaway Brown

Philip Yao

Aurora High School

Aika Birch

Jackson High School

Peter Dzero

Hudson Montessori School

Kevin Zhao

Solon High School

Cavin Xue

Western Reserve Academy

Mason Zhang

Shaker Heights High School

Abigail Loeffler


Aaron Wei

Solon High School

James Gordon

Cleveland School of the Arts

Nathaniel Tisch

Cleveland Heights High School

Brayden Qi

Hawken Upper School

Kaden Runge

Hawken Upper School


Julia Peyrebrune T The Lyceum

Milo Page C, L Homeschooled

Lindsey Jones


Connor Smith

North Olmsted High School

Raahil Shammin

Lake Ridge Academy

Yi-Kun Zhao University School

Jason Wei

Solon High School

Elizabeth Pineda

Hawken Upper School


Ada Ortan C, L

Avon High School

Stine Adkins T

Westlake High School

Chengyu Li


Beachwood High School

Louis X. Wang

Solon High School

Evan Tanko

Wadsworth High School

Aiden Tian

Hawken Upper School

Nicholas Jacques

Menlo Park Academy

Kaiden Honaker Twinsburg High School

Calem Nagy

Avon High School

Claire Hua Western Reserve Academy

Elena Ziegler

Copley High School

Michael Zhu University School


Rowan Toth-Cseplo


Travis Phillips


Sullivan Wiggins

Shaker Heights High School

Jaren Jenyk

Twinsburg High School

Luca Brusco

Brunswick High School

Bobby Johnston

Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School

Kate Davis

Firestone CLC



Cole Flores C

Strongsville High School

Christine Kim

Hathaway Brown

Elena Ko T

Avon High School

Jonah Miller L



Cole Flores T

Christine Kim

Elena Ko C


Eliana Fittante L

Ontario High School

Jamil Halabi C

Strongsville High School

Andrew Kelly T Bay High School

Isabel Martin

Walsh Jesuit High School


Isabel Martin C


Nicholas Vance Garrett C

Cleveland School of the Arts

Ava Haehn L

Riverside High School

Luke Kuang

University School

Abby Maher T

Strongsville High School


Abby Maher C


William Huber C Firestone CLC

Meghan Janke L

Green High School

Bernadette Slattery T Westlake High School


Jack Berendt C, L, T

Aurora High School

Olivia Simpson

Strongsville High School

Samuel Zozulya

Strongsville High School

Layan Atieh**


Frank Berendt

Aurora High School

Joey Dunn C, T

Coventry High School

Sam Haskell L

Brunswick High School

Owen Rinaldo

Stow-Munroe Falls High School


Grace Berendt C, L

Aurora High School

Elden Schrembeck T

Lake High School

Thomas Toth

Mentor High School


Casey Mobley C, T

Wadsworth High School

The following eight endowed Youth Orchestra chairs have been created in recognition of generous gifts to The Cleveland Orchestra’s endowment: Concertmaster, Daniel Majeske Memorial Chair  Principal Cello, Barbara P. and Alan S. Geismer Chair

Principal Viola, Anthony T. and Patricia A. Lauria Chair


Nathaniel Pino T

Solon High School

David Schrembeck C, L

Lake High School


Abby Bemak

Lakeland Community College

Nathaniel Pino

Justin Reimschisel

Solon High School


Lina Tian C Hathaway Brown


Saya Uejima C Green High School


Kennedy McKain


Nick Taylor


Lauren Generette

Performers are listed alphabetically within each woodwind, brass, and percussion section. Superscripts indicate principal player according to the following key:

C Coleman

L Lalo

T Tchaikovsky

** Extra/substitute musician

Principal Bass, Anthony F. Knight Memorial Chair  Principal Flute, Virginia S. Jones Memorial Chair  Piccolo, Patience Cameron Hoskins Chair

Principal Harp, Norma Battes Chair

Principal Keyboard, Victor C. Laughlin M.D. Memorial Chair



Music Director, The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Assistant Conductor, The Cleveland Orchestra, Sidney and Doris Dworkin Chair

Daniel Reith was appointed assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and music director of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) starting in the 2022–23 season. As COYO’s music director, Reith oversees the ensemble’s artistic planning, selects personnel for the ensemble, and leads rehearsals and performances of the Youth Orchestra. He’s also actively involved with the Orchestra’s education programs and community performances, and provides assistance for the Orchestra’s Classical and Blossom Music Festival seasons.

Reith was the 2019 winner of Opptakt, Talent Norway’s program for fostering young conductors, and has since performed with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, and the Norwegian Armed Forces. In 2022, Reith made his debuts with the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He also served as assistant conductor for the Norwegian Opera production of Orpheus in the Underworld

In addition to his conducting work, Reith is a talented pianist and chamber musician, having performed in concerts and competitions throughout Germany, Norway, and other countries. Reith has been awarded several scholarships in Germany, where he’s worked with orchestras such as the Hamburg Philharmonic and Neubrandenburg Philharmonic.

Reith grew up in Bühl, Germany, and studied music in his home country as well as Norway. He received bachelor’s degrees in piano from Freiburg’s Academy of Music and the Norwegian Academy of Music. He also received a bachelor’s degree in music theory at Freiburg’s Academy of Music, followed by a bachelor’s degree in conducting at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. In 2021, he received his master’s degree in conducting at the Norwegian Academy of Music.




Elena Ziegler has been a member of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra since 2021. She started cello studies at age 5 with Andris Koh, and later studied with Pamela Kelly and Martha Baldwin at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). She currently studies with Dmitry Kouzov from Oberlin Conservatory. Additionally, she has received coaching in orchestral music with Charles Bernard and sonata repertoire with Carolyn Gadiel Warner (both members of The Cleveland Orchestra).

Ziegler has participated in several summer music programs, including the Bowdoin International Chamber Music Festival, Orford Music, Ascent Cello Festival, and the Credo Chamber Music Festival. She has also been recognized in music competitions, placing first in the Sigma Alpha Iota String Competition in 2019, winning the elementary (2015) and junior divisions (2021) for the Cleveland Cello Society Scholarship Competition, and receiving prizes in the Ohio Federation of Music Club’s Charlotte & W. Alfred Grey Competition (2022 and 2023).

Ziegler is also actively involved in local music activities and charities. She has been invited several times to perform at the Tuesday Musical Association’s membership program as a representative of the Brahms Allegro Junior Music Club. In 2016, Ziegler participated in the fundraising concert Bach for Locks alongside her violinist sister, Marina, to raise money for the local cancer center, Stewart’s Caring Place. She also performs regularly for local nursing and retirement homes.

In 2017 and 2018, Ziegler sang in the Mussettes Ensemble for the Apollo’s Fire production Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain and performed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in December 2018. In her spare time, Ziegler enjoys teaching cello and drawing. She attends Copley High School, where she is in the 11th grade.



Stine Adkins (cello, 2022–24) will attend Oberlin College and Conservatory to double major in cello performance and mathematics

Abby Bemak (percussion, 2022–24)

Sherry Du (violin, 2020–24) will attend the University of Pennsylvania to major in chemical and biomolecular engineering with a minor in violin performance

Joey Dunn (trumpet, 2023–24) will attend The University of Akron to major in music education and performance

James Gordon (violin, 2023–24) will attend either Baldwin Wallace University or Butler University to major in violin performance

Ava Haehn (clarinet, 2020–24)

Jamil Halabi (oboe, 2023–24) will attend Baldwin Wallace University to major in oboe performance and music education

William Huber (bassoon, 2023–24)

Christine Kim (flute, 2022–24)

Elena Ko (flute, 2022–24) will attend Brown University to double major in English and literary arts

Luke Kuang (clarinet, 2023–24) will attend the University of Virginia

Abby Maher (clarinet, 2023–24) will attend the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music to double major in clarinet performance and music education

Hana Mazak (violin, 2020–24)

Jonah Miller (flute, 2023–24)

Casey Mobley (tuba, 2022–24) will attend the University of Tennessee to major in music performance

Calem Nagy (cello, 2023–24)

Sophie Ng (violin, 2020–24) will attend the University of Michigan to major in violin performance

Ada Ortan (cello, 2020–24)

Milo Page (viola, 2020–24) will attend Oberlin College and Conservatory to major in viola performance

Julia Peyrebrune (viola, 2021–24) will attend Hillsdale College

Kaden Runge (violin, 2023–24) will attend either The Ohio State University or Northeastern University

David Schrembeck (percussion, 2022–24) will attend The University of Akron to double major in music education and percussion performance

Elden Schrembeck (trombone, 2022–24) will attend The University of Akron to major in trombone performance and jazz studies

Raahil Shammin (viola, 2023–24) will attend Swarthmore College to major in mathematics

Evan Tanko (cello, 2023–24) will attend The University of Akron to double major in aerospace engineering and cello performance

Nikita Shu-Li Thakore (violin, 2023–24) will attend Boston University to major in economics and biology

Nathaniel Tisch (violin, 2023–24) plans to major in history

Thomas Toth (trombone, 2022–24) will attend the University of Cincinnati CollegeConservatory of Music to major in trombone performance

Rowan Toth-Cseplo (bass, 2021–24) will attend the Eastman School of Music to major in bass performance

Cavin Xue (violin, 2021–24) will attend Brown University to major in biomedical engineering

Philip Yao (violin, 2023–24)

Samuel Zozulya (horn, 2023–24) will attend Baldwin Wallace University to major in horn performance



The thousands of students who have been members of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra represent a remarkable group of talented young people. For some, their interest in music has carried them forward into careers as educators and performers. For others, music continues as an important part of their lives and careers in business, the arts, recreation, or community service. We offer our sincere congratulations to this year’s class and wish them success on the next leg of their journey!



The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is a full symphonic ensemble composed of 90 young musicians drawn from 41 communities in 11 counties across Northern Ohio. Founded in 1986 by Jahja Ling (then resident conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra), The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) provides serious young music students of middle and high school age with a unique pre-professional orchestral training experience. The 2023–24 season marks COYO’s 38th season and the second under the direction of Daniel Reith.

Among the acclaimed artists to work with COYO are Marin Alsop, Pierre Boulez, Stéphane Denève, Christoph von Dohnányi, Giancarlo Guerrero, Witold Lutosławski, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Michael Tilson Thomas, Antoni Wit, and Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. The ensemble has been featured on three international tours.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is part of a suite of Cleveland Orchestra programs designed to nurture aspiring young musicians, which also includes The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, The Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus and Preparatory Chorus, and the Crescendo and Music Mentors pathways initiatives for students in Cleveland schools. In addition, with the support of many generous individual, foundation, corporate, and governmental funding partners, the Orchestra’s full range of education and community programs reach more than 100,000 young people and adults annually, helping to foster a lifelong relationship with music by removing barriers to participation, advocating for and helping to facilitate equitable access to comprehensive music education in schools, and harnessing the life-changing power in service to the community.



The following members of The Cleveland Orchestra have served as section coaches for the Youth Orchestra in preparation for this concert:


Stephen Tavani

Assistant Concertmaster

Kathleen Collins

Katherine Bormann


Stanley Konopka Assistant Principal


David Alan Harrell


Mark Atherton


Jessica Sindell Assistant Principal


Frank Rosenwein Principal


Robert Woolfrey


Phil Austin Emeritus


Hans Clebsch


Jack Sutte


Shachar Israel

Assistant Principal


Yasuhito Sugiyama


Donald Miller Emeritus


Trina Struble Principal


Joela Jones Emeritus


Michael Ferraguto Librarian



The members of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra express gratitude to their school music directors for the role they play on a daily basis in developing musical skills:

Jason Burdett

Aurora High School

Mason Smith

Aurora High School

Jesse Martin

Avon High School

Devon Gess

Bay High School

David Luddington

Beachwood High School

Allison Siekmann

Beachwood High School

Steven Cocchiola


Heights High School

Scott Hanna


Heights High School

Ethan Eraybar

Brunswick High School

Valerie Roman

Brunswick High School

Daniel Heim

Cleveland Heights High School

Robert Davis

Cleveland School of the Arts

Dianna Richardson

Cleveland School of the Arts

Basil Kochan

Copley High School

Brandon Cummings

Coventry High School

Matthew Kennedy

Firestone CLC

Sloan Stakleff

Firestone CLC

Amy Rach

Green High School

James Hogan

Hathaway Brown

Curtis Prichard

Hathaway Brown

Stanislav Golovin

Hawken School

Liesl Hook

Hawken School

Kyra Mihalski

Hawken School

Yu Yuan

Hawken School

Roberto Iriarte

Hudson High School

James Rhodes

Hudson Montessori School

Scott Eversdyke

Jackson High School

Jared Cooey

Lake Local Schools

Molibeth Cardwell

Lake Ridge Academy

Joseph Kucel

The Lyceum

Steve Poremba

Mentor High School

Erik Kalish

North Olmsted High School

Emily Cromwell

Oberlin High School

Elijah Henkel

Ontario High School

Donna Jelen

Shaker Heights High School

Gerald MacDougall

Solon High School

Mark Mauldin

Solon High School

Greg Newman

Stow-Munroe Falls High School

Andrew Hire

Strongsville High School

Brian King

Strongsville High School

Damon Conn

Twinsburg High School

David Kay

University School

Devon Steve

University School

Dana Hire

Wadsworth High School

Nicholas Ratay

Walsh Jesuit High School

Margaret Karam

Western Reserve Academy

Hilary Patriok

Westlake High School



The members of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra express gratitude to their private teachers for their support, insight, and expertise:


Masha Andreini

Andrea Belding-Elson

Wei-Shu Co

Kathleen Collins*

Heather Crawford

Vladimir Deninzon

Francesca dePasquale

Kim Gomez*

Wei-Fang Gu*

Liesl Hook

Callista Koh

Amy Lee*

James MacQueen

Kimberly Meier-Sims

Sonja Braaten Molloy*

Eugenia Poustyreva

James Rhodes

Barton (Sam) Rotberg

Carol Ruzicka

Laura Shuster

Stephen Sims

Jennifer Walvoord

Joy Wiener

Ann Yu

Yu Yuan*


Jeffrey Irvine

Laura Keunen-Poper

Carol Ross

Lembi Veskimets*

Eric Wong

Louise Zeitlin


Martha Baldwin*

Kellan Degnan

Marla Gigliotti

Abbey Hansen

David Alan Harrell*

Hannah Hintz

Dimitry Kouzov

Paul Kushious*

Daniel Pereira

Elizabeth Zadinsky


Patricia Johnston

Tracy Rowell

Bryan Thomas

Gavin VanWinkle-Bright

Susan Yelanjian


Kyra Kester

Alexa Still

Audrey Whartenby

Jackie Wood


Carol Bernhardt

Kathleen Fling

Corbin Stair*

Danna Sundet


Stanislav Golovin

Mary Ann Neiman

Tom Tweedle

Robert Woolfrey*


Cynthia Cioffari

Tom English

Judith Guegold


Alan DeMattia

Melinda Kellerstrass


Michael Fox

Jerry Kleman

Michael Miller*

Erik Sundet


Adam Landry

Eric Richmond

Lauren Rudzinskas


Christopher Blaha


Katy La Favre

Jennalee Quillen

Luke Rinderknecht

Joan Wenzel


Jody Guinn


Mayumi Kikuchi

* Member of The Cleveland Orchestra



As a courtesy to the audience members and musicians in the hall, late-arriving patrons are asked to wait quietly until the first convenient break in the program, when ushers will help you to your seats. These seating breaks are at the discretion of the House Manager in consultation with the performing artists.


Please silence any alarms or ringers on pagers, cell phones, or wristwatches prior to the start of the concert.



Audio recording, photography, and videography are prohibited during performances at Severance. Photographs of the hall and selfies can be taken when the performance is not in progress. As a courtesy to others, please turn off any phone/ device that makes noise or emits light.


Get instant access to your tickets for Cleveland Orchestra concerts at Blossom Music Center and Severance by using the Ticket Wallet App. More information is at


Contact an usher or a member of house staff if you require medical assistance. Emergency exits are clearly marked throughout the building. Ushers and house staff will provide instructions in the event of an emergency.


For the comfort of those around you, please reduce the volume on hearing aids and other devices that may produce a noise that would detract from the program. Infrared Assistive-Listening Devices are available. Please see the House Manager or Head Usher for more details.


Regardless of age, each person must have a ticket and be able to sit quietly in a seat throughout the performance. Classical Season subscription concerts are not recommended for children under the age of 8. However, there are several age-appropriate series designed specifically for children and youth, including Music Explorers (recommended for children 3 to 6 years old) and Family Concerts (for ages 7 and older).

Copyright © 2024 by The Cleveland Orchestra and Musical Arts Association

Kevin McBrien, Publications Manager (

Program books for Cleveland Orchestra concerts are produced by The Cleveland Orchestra and are distributed free to attending audience members. The Cleveland Orchestra is proud to have its home, Severance Music Center, located on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, with whom it has a long history of collaboration and partnership.

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