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Winter 2017


Events Calendar ORCHESTRA The McCrindle Concert

Sunday, March 18, 2018, 2pm Carnegie Hall - Stern Demarre McGill, flute

The Spring Concert

Sunday, May 27, 2018, 2pm Carnegie Hall - Stern Julia Bullock, soprano

JAZZ Ted Nash: Extended Works

NYYS Orchestra, Season Opening Concert, Carnegie Hall, November 19th, 2017 Dear Friends, The launch of the New York Youth Symphony’s 55th season has been an exciting time for all of us, especially the 240 extraordinary young musicians selected to participate in our award-winning programs this year. In addition to the usual schedule of rehearsals, master classes, workshops, and performances at premier venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center, students are playing an integral role in new activities designed to help NYYS serve a more diverse community of artists and audiences. Starting this fall, a group of NYYS students has been participating enthusiastically in an in-school residency at KIPP Middle School Academy in the South Bronx. The residency will continue through next May, with workshops, demonstrations and performances devoted to orchestra, jazz, chamber music, composition and conducting. The KIPP residency complements ongoing partnerships with the Harmony Program and Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, both El Sistema-inspired programs that serve underrepresented students. NYYS ensembles will also present free community concerts throughout the five boroughs, sharing the joy of music with a wide and diverse audience. As NYYS increases its presence in the community, we remain committed to providing the highest quality musical experiences for our own talented students, at a cost to families that is far lower than any of our peer organizations. Since the minimal fees that we charge cover only a small part of our annual budget, we rely on the generosity of our dedicated donors and friends to sustain the organization and help fulfill our mission of educating and inspiring young musicians through exceptional training and performance opportunities. We hope that you share our enthusiasm for all that we hope to accomplish this season, and ask that you use the envelope included with this newsletter to continue your support, or make a first gift, to help NYYS achieve its mission of providing outstanding music education and performance opportunities to all. We are grateful for your support and your interest in our vital work. Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday season! Sincerely, Shauna Quill, Executive Director

Tuesday, December 11, 2017 7:30 & 9:30pm Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center Ted Nash, saxopone

The Great Singers & Arrangers Sunday, March 5, 2018 7:30 & 9:30 PM Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center Vuyo Satashe, vocalist

An Evening with Maria Schneider

Monday, May 14, 2018, 7:30pm The Times Center Maria Schneider, composer

CHAMBER MUSIC An Evening of Chamber Music Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7:30pm National Arts Club

Festival Evening

Friday, April 27, 2018, 7:30pm Tenri Cultural Institute

An Evening Among Friends

Thursday, May 3, 2018, 7:30pm Carnegie Hall - Weill Hall

COMPOSITION Composition Date 2018 Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 7:30pm Symphony Space Leonard Nimoy Thalia Hall

Welcome Congratulations to the orchestra on a fantastic Season Opening!

First Music Application Deadline - December 22, 2017 Submissions are now being accepted for Orchestra, Jazz, and Chamber Music Commissions for the 2018/19 season. Each year the New York Youth Symphony’s First Music program commissions seven new compositions from America’s best young emerging orchestra, chamber music, and jazz composers under age 30. First Music has been widely acknowledged as one of the leading forces in the United States for bringing the work of gifted young composers to the public’s attention. Past recipients of the First Music commission include David Lang, Kevin Puts, Michael Torke, and Julia Wolfe, among others. Apply now at

Kickoff Weekend 2017/18 The annual Kickoff weekend was held at Camp DeWolfe on the Long Island Sound from September 15-17. Over 120 people traveled to the retreat, including the entire orchestra, music director Michael Repper, chaperones, and staff.

NYYS Annual Benefit The New York Youth Symphony’s 55th Annual Benefit was held at Tribeca Rooftop on October 24th, emceed by Elliott Forrest of WQXR. More than 260 guests attended the event, which raised over $270,000 for the NYYS’s Annual Scholarship Fund. Aspen Music Festival President and CEO Alan Fletcher was honored with the Theodore L. Kesselman Award for Arts Education, presented by Chris Theofanidis, composer and chair of the NYYS First Music program. Philanthropist Dani Bedoni was honored with the Johanna and Leslie Garfield Award for Arts Philanthropy, presented by Susan Rose. The event highlighted the NYYS Jazz Band, led by Andy Clausen, music director, and featured a special performance by Jazz Band Alum Benny Benack, and Venezuelan cuattro player Jorge Glem.

Student Profiles

Jun-Davinci Choi, NYYS Concertmaster NYYS Orchestra, Seasons 52-55

I joined the New York Youth Symphony during its 52nd season, when I was 13 years old. Since then, my Sundays have become a routine to look forward to throughout the week. True, there are some Sundays when I’m not particularly enthusiastic about the hour-and-half commute to the city. But when I step into rehearsal, I forget all about those little stresses of life and simply look forward to playing violin with friends and learning more about classical music. New York Youth Symphony has been an important stepping stone in my musical career. Looking back to my first ensemble experience in second grade, I remember being unable to follow the music and the conductor. A friend’s mother sat next to me and helped me write in the fingerings for all the notes. Just a few years ago, I started my first cycle at NYYS, faking over half the notes as we ran through the entirety of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite in one sitting during the first rehearsal! Throughout the past 3 years, I have learned what it takes to meet the expectations of this talented youth symphony. This season, having been given the opportunity to take on the role of concertmaster of the New York Youth Symphony, I feel great excitement about NYYS, and its potential growth under the new music director, Mike Repper, with more generations of musicians to come.

My experience in the New York Youth Symphony began with the Jazz Band’s 2015-2016 season. I had been encouraged to audition by a friend that was in the band the year before, and I did so excitedly but also worried that I would not make it in. I was absolutely beside myself when I received my acceptance email and became an official member of the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band. I have now been a member of the band for three years and I can honestly say that each of those years has been an amazing experience and journey, no one year better than the others. Over the course of my three years of involvement with the band I have been provided with so many outstanding opportunities it is hard to list them all here! I have had the fortune to work with not only one amazing director of the Jazz Band, but two; I have been able to play with the Jazz Band at Dizzy’s Club CocaCola; I have been able to play alongside guest artists such as Victor Goines, Sean Jones, Robin Eubanks to name a few; and I was even able to travel to Brazil with the band during my first season! I am truly grateful for all of the opportunities I have had through New York Youth Symphony and I plan to take all of the experience I have gained into my career as I graduate from NYU this year. I hope to become a working musician, playing in bands and putting together my own projects in the coming years!

The NYYS Composition Program began its season with a workshop at ASCAP featuring the music of composer Aleksandra Vrebalov (right). Director Dr. Kyle Blaha and associate director Tim Mauthe have a brilliant line-up for the season, including visits from trailblazing composers Paola Prestini, Michael Gordon, David Adamcyk, Jessie Montgomery, and more. Professional readings by the Attacca Quartet, Ryan Jackson, and the Decoda Ensemble will round out the year!

Kasey Fassett, saxophone NYYS Jazz Band, seasons 53-55

Beyond the NYYS NYYS’s first-ever in-school residency at KIPP Academy in the Bronx kicked off in November with conducting lessons! Music director Michael Repper gave the middle school students their first group lesson. The students put their skills to use right away conducting members of the NYYS Orchestra on Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and A-ha’s Take on Me – two classics (from different genres)! Next up: the jazz band will head up to the school for improvisation lessons at the start of the New Year!

Sixteen students participated in the inaugural How to Audition Like a Boss Workshop, held October 16-24 at the National Opera Center. Led by Cory Lee of the Liberated Performer, all-star faculty from the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, helped guide students throughout the 4-day experience. Through master classes, Alexander Technique, and one-on-one sessions with Cory, the students made tremendous progress, all captured in their before and after videos! “By attending the NYYS audition workshop, I gained valuable insight and guidance from professional musicians that have raised both my confidence and musicality.” - Brian Isaacs, Principal Violist, NYYS Orchestra “I really benefitted from the audition workshop because it gave me concrete techniques and tips to prepare for auditions.” - Alexa Jacob, violin, NYYS Orchestra

110 W. 40th St., Suite 1503, New York, NY 10018 (212) 581-5933 •

New York Youth Symphony Board of Trustees A. Slade Mills, Jr., Co-Chair Robert L. Poster, Co-Chair Melissa B. Eisenstat, President Robert J. Levine, Sr. Vice-President William A. Kapell, Vice-President Benson J. Chapman, Treasurer Susan S. Rai, Secretary Cecile Antier Jacob Bousso Bettina Buss Rhea Graffman Cohen Michael R. DiYanni Barbara E. Field Elliott Forrest Julian A. Jadow Sung Yoon Kim David P. Levin Ruth E. Pachman Peter Park Suzanne K. Ponsot Ian C. Schaefer Steven D. Shaiman

Cornelia Thomsen Christine van Itallie Rima Vargas-Vetter Marica F. Vilcek Andrew Watson Anna Weber

Emeritus Trustees Leslie Garfield

Chair Emeritus

Jo Garfield Barry Goldberg

Executive Director Emeritus

Music Director, Orchestra Michael Repper Director, Chamber Music Lisa Tipton Director, Composition Kyle Blaha Director, Jazz Andy Clausen Executive Director Shauna Quill

About the NYYS The New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) is a leader in music education, performance, and commissioning in the New York metropolitan area. Founded in 1963, the New York Youth Symphony’s first performance at Carnegie Hall featured a young Israeli violinist, Itzhak Perlman. Now in its 55th season, the organization has grown significantly and offers groundbreaking and rigorous programs in composition, conducting, chamber music, jazz, and commissioning – and in the last two years, international touring opportunities. Its mission is to educate and inspire young musicians through exceptional ensemble training and performance opportunities. In addition the NYYS aims to develop the next generation of musical citizens, whose involvement in music lasts a lifetime, and whose assets built by music engagement will fuel their success in life – personal development, creativity, self-discipline, resiliency, and an ability to work well with others.

Learn more about us at

Photo credits: Shasa Arutyunuva (Andy Clausen photo), Shauna Quill (Kick-off weekend) , Fadi Kheir (Carnegie Hall photo) and Chris Lee (Annual Benefit photos)

The programs of the New York Youth Symphony are made possible by the support of: New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York Youth Symphony Winter 2017 Newsletter  
New York Youth Symphony Winter 2017 Newsletter  

Educating and inspiring young musicians through exceptional training and performance opportunities.