Empire State Youth Orchestra

Empire State Youth Orchestra

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Empire State Youth Orchestra

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Empire State Youth Orchestras (ESYO) was founded as a single orchestra in 1979 by a group of dedicated parents and music educators. Today's ESYO consists of nine performing ensembles: two full orchestras, a wind orchestra, a string ensemble, two jazz ensembles, and three percussion ensembles. These groups are progressive in nature, but every musician must audition each year for a spot in an ensemble, even if he/she was a member the previous year.

In addition to its performing groups, ESYO has an outreach program of instrumental instruction for inner-city youth in Albany and Schenectady, New York. Known as the City Instruments Training Program, there are 3 components: a string program in Albany; a brass program in Albany (starting fall 2011); and a string program in Schenectady. City Instruments provides free, private, weekly music lessons in school for students selected for the program. The goal of City Instruments is for the students to improve enough to successfully audition for ESYO ensembles. This aligns with ESYO's mission of educating young people and instilling a life-long appreciation for music as well as reaching diverse audiences. This program is entirely funded by donations and grants.

Based in the Capital Region of upstate New York, ESYO ensembles are composed of a total of approximately 300 talented and musically advanced high- and middle-school students from New York State and western New England. The most advanced group, the Youth Orchestra, is...
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