Youth Symphony Board Grows, Anticipates Exciting 2018-2019 Season

Youth Symphony Board Grows, Anticipates Exciting 2018-2019 Season

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Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony Board

Jamestown, N.Y. – With the addition of new members, the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) board anticipates an exciting 2018-2019 season.

“We are taking some leaps into new territory,” said President Nancy Larson, “with some great opportunities for our students!”

Larson explained that, for starters, the application process is being simplified, with students and parents applying directly instead of having to be recommended by their teachers. Teachers will instead be consulted for guidance on placing applicants into one of CRYS’s three orchestras.

Membership is open to all students from Chautauqua County and surrounding counties who play an orchestral instrument: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. The highlight of the season will be the Spring Gala Concert May 19, 2019, in Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, perhaps the premier performance hall in the region.

Part of the preparation for the new season includes planning enrichment experiences. CRYS students will have opportunities to attend several of the many high quality orchestra-related performances offered in the area.

CRYS is also seeking additional performance opportunities for its ensembles, such as at civic organization meetings and for holiday programs.

Rehearsals begin Saturday, September 29, for String Chamber Orchestra, the advanced ensemble of highly qualified and motivated string, wind, and percussion players in high school and college (playing levels IV, V and VI).

Rehearsals begin in January for Prelude Strings, the beginning string players (level I), and Young Artists Orchestra (YAO) of intermediate musicians (levels II and III).

All rehearsals are at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Lakewood: Prelude on Friday afternoons and YAO and String Chamber on Saturdays.

Music students who are interested in participating in a CRYS orchestra can complete an online application at Applicants’ teachers will be contacted for placement into one of the orchestras.

To participate in the advanced String Chamber Orchestra this fall, applications must be submitted by Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

Distinguished cellist and conductor Bryan Eckenrode is Music Director and Conductor for all three CRYS orchestras. His extensive conducting, performing, and recording background includes currently conducting the Warren Philharmonic and Amherst Symphony Orchestras and serving as principal cellist with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and the Southern Tier Symphony.

Assisting Eckenrode this season are Prelude Coach Marie Karbacka and String Coach Cody Hiller. Karbacka is director of orchestras for grades 5 through 12 at Southwestern Central Schools and was a long-time CRYS musician. Hill is violin instructor at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, plays in the Southern Tier Symphony and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and serves as Concertmaster of the Warren Philharmonic.

Also a former CRYS student, Tim Przybelinski left the CRYS board to become its orchestra manager. Beginning in the fall he will be the computer lab assistant at Falconer Central Schools while working with the combined Falconer/Frewsburg Marching Band. He currently plays with the Jamestown Municipal Band and Chautauqua Big Band Swing.

Attending their first meeting as new CRYS board members in August were Nina Karbacka, Mariana Mathewson, Emily Paterniti, and Audrey Ralston.

With a Masters degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia, Nina Karbacka founded CRYS – then the Jamestown Orchestra of Youth – in 1986. She taught strings for Jamestown Public Schools and is currently teaching students of all ages at Suzuki at Lutheran as well as serving on the Jamestown Board of Education and the board of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra.

Mathewson is a graduate of Mercyhurst University with a degree in Music Education with concentrations in Cello and Composition. She lives in Mayville, and maintains an active studio of piano and cello students in addition to free-lancing in the area.

Paterniti is a SUNY Fredonia graduate, earning a B.S. in Public Relations Communications and a B.A. in Arts Administration with an Applied Music minor. A Lakewood resident, she was a CRYS student and now works seasonally as a Sales and Support Specialist Supervisor at Chautauqua Institution.

As the parent of two, one of whom has been a CRYS student for two years, Ralston brings a parent’s perspective to the board. Living in Jamestown, she works for Eagle Systems and has extensive volunteer fundraising experience, including Chautauqua Music’s Christmas for Kids.

In addition to Larson, continuing CRYS board members are Michelle Battaglia, Kathy Geary, Lana Huston, and Marie Karbacka.

For more information about the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, including tuition rates, email, or visit

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