News and Press - Archive

 

July, 2015

NYS Appoints Russell GER CONDUCTOR of Concert Orchestra

NYS is delighted to announce the appointment of Russell Ger as the Conductor of Concert Orchestra.  

Russell is a talented and inspirational conductor and musician who combines deep musical knowledge and strong orchestral leadership. Out Concert Orchestra Musicians had the pleasure of working with Russell in a rehearsal last season and seeing first-hand the passion, engagement and skillful technique that he brigns to his conducting. He will be a fine addition to our team of NYS conductors and support the standard of musical excellence to which we aspire as an organization.

March, 2015

NYS Appoints Gregory Robbins Guest COnductor of Concert Orchestra

As the search for the permanent Concert Orchestra Conductor continues we are pleased to announce that Gregory Robbins has been appointed Guest Conductor for the May Concert period.

Combining a unique background of formal conservatory training and digital media entrepreneurship, American conductor Gregory Robbins is the quintessential 21st Century artist. He is the founder and music director of the Delphi Chamber Orchestra, and was recently appointed Associate Conductor of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony.

A strong advocate for music education, Robbins has made conducting debuts at Yale School of Music, NYU, and lectured at Mannes College: The New School for Music. This summer he begins his appointment to the conducting staff  of the New York State Summer School for the Arts, in a program presented in conjunction with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He is currently in his second season as associate conductor of the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic. He was educated at Manhattan School of Music and Yale School of Music, and currently lives in New York City.

February, 2015

Winter Concert Features Concerto Competition Winner

This season's Winter Concert will feature Emily Azzarito, cello, in a performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto, Op. 85.

Emily Azzarito Emily began playing the cello at the age of 8. She is now an 18-year-old senior at New Canaan High School, CT. Emily has been a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony for eight years and has served as the Principal Cellist of the Principal Orchestra for two years.

In 2012, Emily was selected as a winner of the American Chamber Orchestra’s Concerto Competition. She performed the first movement of the Lalo Cello Concerto with Maestro Christopher Hisey and the orchestra later that spring. Additionally, she was invited to perform at the 2013 Leon Tec Showcase highlighting local outstanding young musicians. In 2013, she was 1st chair of the CT All-State Orchestra. This year, Emily was selected from thousands of young musicians from 12 Eastern states plus Europe to perform in the 2015 NAfME All-Eastern Honors Symphony Orchestra.

Emily won the 2013 Eastern Connecticut Symphony’s Victor Norman Concerto Competition and was awarded 1st prize at the Musical Club of Hartford’s Concerto Competition of 2013.

Emily studies cello privately with Lois Errante and Allison Eldredge and is coached in chamber music by Asya Meshberg. She has also studied piano with Christine Mangone and music theory with Maestro Arthur Sjogren.

Emily is a member of the National Honor Society and is the recipient of the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. She plans to continue her study of cello performance in college while majoring in Economics and Romance Languages. She plans to earn an MBA and potentially work in the music industry as a producer.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Winter Concert will take place on Sunday March 1, 2015 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

December, 2014

The application process is now closed - Conductor, Concert Orchestra

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is currently looking for a conductor for its Concert Orchestra.

 

June, 2014

Jonathan Yates Appointed Music Director of Music Mountain

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is happy to announce that our Music Director, Jonathan Yates, has been appointed Musical Director Designate of the prestigious chamber music festival, Music Mountain.

Music Mountain is the oldest continuing summer chamber music festival in this country, and Jonathan will be only the fourth Music Director in its 85-year history. Each year they offer a Chamber Music Series of 16 concerts, mainly on Sunday afternoons, a popular Saturday evening series of Jazz concerts, and a number of special events.

The setting of Music Mountain is very beautiful, in Falls Village, CT, amidst the splendor of the Berkshires. The centerpiece of the estate is Gordon Hall - one of the finest chamber music facilities in the country. With seating for 335 and legendary acoustics, Gordon Hall provides resonant and lovely sound, views of the gardens, grounds and hills from every seat or from the lawn, permitting listeners to savor music and nature as one.

Visit the Music Mountain website for more information.

January, 2014

Winter Concert Features Concerto Competition Winner

This season's Winter Concert will feature Ankit Anil, viola, in a performance of the Viola Concerto by William Walton.

Ankit AnilAnkit Anil, a senior at Fairfield Warde High School in Fairfield, CT, has been a serious musician for eight years and has been a part of many prestigious organizations. He has performed with the NAFME All-National Honors Orchestra at The Kennedy Center, is a former member of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra, a member of many chamber music ensembles, and a participant in town and state wide Honors Ensembles such as the Western Region, All-State, and 2013 All-Eastern Honors Orchestras. He has been a part of the 2012 ARIA International Music Academy and the 2013 Foulger International Music Festival. He serves as a student board member of Chamber Music Central of Westport, CT, and as a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Ankit is currently principal violist of the Norwalk Youth Symphony’s Principal Orchestra, and is principal violist of the Fairfield Warde High School Symphonic and Chamber Orchestras under the direction of Alexandra Dee.

In addition to the Norwalk Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, Ankit has recently been announced as the winner of Fairfield Warde High School's Senior Concerto Competition. Ankit is also the winner of the 2013 Eastman Award from the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music.

His teachers include Rita Porfiris of The Hartt School, Teo Tetel, Carrie Mascaro, and Jody Rowitsch.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Winter Concert will take place on Sunday February 9, 2014 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

November, 2013

Strings for Newtown

Newtown, Conn., Resident Organizes Dec. 1, 2013, Newtown String Concert and Five Projects to Honor Shooting Victims

NEWTOWN, Conn., Oct. 11, 2013 -- A Dec. 1 string concert featuring Mark O’Connor, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Bruce Molsky, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Laraaji Venus, Brian Torff, the Norwalk Youth Symphony under the direction of Richard Brooks, and Donna Hebert with her group Mist Covered Mountains, kicks off a month of cross-country string concerts shining love and light on Newtown throughout December.

The local concert will take place at 3 p.m. at the Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St. Tickets are by a suggested donation of $10 to $50 and are available on the Newtown Peace Park website (http://www.newtownpeacepark.com). Proceeds will be donated to Healing Newtown, an arts-based local group.

Following the Dec. 14, 2012, murder of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a lone gunman, violinist and author Julie Lyonn Lieberman of Newtown knew she had to do something positive when she saw a sign created by a fellow town resident: "There is no foot so tiny that it can’t leave an imprint on this world."

Ms. Lieberman has created six projects as a tribute to the families and first responders. Taken together, they focus on creating a culture of kindness. These are the Newtown Peace Park website; a Violin of Peace award project; the Newtown Peace Park Handbook with contributions by international authors and peacemakers; a Newtown Peace Park free downloadable video filled with inspirational quotes; a series of memorial concerts called Strings for Newtown scheduled nationwide throughout December by string directors in 19 states as far away as California; and a string orchestra score titled "Newtown Peace Anthem" dedicated by Julie Lyonn Lieberman to Newtown’s fallen angels and published by Alfred Music.

Visitors to the Newtown Peace Park website can access links to Newtown charities for the families and first responders, a free download of the handbook and video, and information about the other projects. Determined to overcome evil with good through kindness education, participants in these projects want to memorialize the Sandy Hook tragedy through positive activities.

About Julie Lyonn Lieberman (http://www.julielyonn.com)
Newtown resident Julie Lyonn Lieberman is a specialist in American and world string styles, creative musicianship, and ergonomic approaches to music making. The author of a number of internationally acclaimed instructional books and DVDs as well as a National Public Radio series, she is the Artistic Director for the national summer program Strings Without Boundaries.

Artists Performing at the Newtown Congregational Church on Dec. 1, 2013:

Mark O’Connor is a multi-Grammy-winning American jazz, folk, classical violinist/composer and author. He perhaps is best known for his "Appalachia Waltz" and performing on Ken Burns’ "The War."

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason are known from "A Prairie Home Companion" and film soundtracks such as "Legends of the Fall" and "Brother’s Keeper." They did the music for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary "The Civil War" and their performance of the series’ signature tune, Jay’s haunting composition of "Ashokan Farewell," earned the couple international acclaim. The soundtrack won a Grammy and "Ashokan Farewell" was nominated for an Emmy.

Bruce Molsky is "one of America’s premier fiddling talents" (Mother Jones) and a twice- Grammy-nominated artist. He is the first permanent visiting professor in Berklee College of Music’s American Roots Program.

Brian Torff is a renowned bassist, composer, author and educator. He is a Professor of Music and Music Program Director at Fairfield University.

Donna Hébert is a Franco-American fiddler, singer, composer and educator. Named a state Artist’s Fellow in the Folk Arts, with two original songs included on Smithsonian anthologies, she also has won eight appointments as a master-teacher through the National Endowment’s Master Apprenticeship Program.

Laraaji Venus Nadabrahmananda has performed in the United States and abroad since the late 1970s with his innovative style of electric open-tuned zither/harp. He is best known for his recording in Brian Eno’s "Ambient" series.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is dedicated to enriching the lives of young people within a musical community. "We provide the finest possible training, practice, and performance opportunities, enabling our students to learn, share, and enjoy the power of music," its website explains.

The Violin of Peace will be designed and built by Paul Davies, who has created instruments for The Bob Dylan Band, The Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crowe, and Elvis Costello. This one-of-a-kind instrument will be custom designed with specialty woods.

Authors for the Newtown Peace Park Handbook include: Robert Zucker, author of "The Journey Through Grief and Loss: Helping Yourself and Your Child When Grief Is Shared"; Robert Fritz, author of "The Path of Least Resistance"; Douglas Noll, peacemaker and author of "Elusive Peace"; Si Lewen, internationally acclaimed artist featured in the film "Ritchie Boys" and author of "The Parade"; Azim Khamisa, international speaker and award-winning author of "Azim's Bardo: From Murder to Forgiveness"; and Della Burford, author of "Magical Earth Secrets."

May, 2013

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Class of 2013

NYS honored its graduating seniors in a ceremony at the 2013 Mother's Day Concert.

NYS Class of 2013

Jonathan Yates, Richard Brooks, and the Class of 2013

  • Emily Armstrong -
  • Ashley Bascom -
  • Harrison Besser -
  • Matthew Campbell -
  • Darius Colson -
  • Catie DeElsi -
  • James Dobbyn -
  • Ana Lucia Galarza -
  • Isa Goldberg -
  • Matthew Henninger -
  • Katie Hickson -
  • Molly James -
  • Bridget Johnson -
  • Kathy Kozinski -
  • Jillian Kutner -
  • Charlie Lo Presti -
  • Alex Lochoff -
  • Barbara Luther -
  • Sarah McDonald -
  • Alexandra Meilhac -
  • Lianne Metter -
  • Sarah Mitchell -
  • Ian Nanez -
  • Sydney Olshan -
  • Eva Redamonti -
  • Philip Syrrist -
  • Michael White -
  • Susana Wilson-Hawken -
  • Michelle Ye

The 2013 Ramer Memorial Scholarship Award was awarded to Michelle Ye. The Award is granted each year to a deserving senior as chosen by their peers on the basis of attendance, leadership, preparation, and commitment.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony extends its heartiest congratulations to our graduates and wishes them every success in the future.

May, 2013

NYS at Tanglewood

The Norwalk Youth Symphony, serving 30 towns in Connecticut and New York, will be performing at Tanglewood’s Seiji Ozawa Hall on Sunday, June 2nd  at 2 PM with the Fairfield County Children’s Choir Chamber Singers and pianist Gilbert Kalish. 

A highlight of the concert will be a performance by Gilbert Kalish of Beethoven’s Fantasia in C minor with the Norwalk Youth Symphony Principal Orchestra and Fairfield County Children’s Choir Chamber Singers.  The concert will also feature works by Bernstein, Copland and Mahler.

Gilbert Kalish’s influence as a pianist and educator has established him as a prominent figure in American music-making.  In 2006 he was awarded the Peabody Medal by the Peabody Conservatory for his outstanding contributions to music in America. He was the pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players for 30 years, and is known for his collaboration with mezzo-soprano Jan DeGaetani, soprano Dawn Upshaw and cellists Timothy Eddy and Joel Krosnik.  From 1985 to 1997 he served as chairman of the Tanglewood faculty. A distinguished professor at SUNY Stony Brook, Mr. Kalish has been an Artist of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2006.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony (NYS) is comprised of approximately 240 students in grades four through twelve.  The organization was founded in 1956 to enrich the lives of young people within a musical community. In partnership with parents, teachers, and schools, NYS provides exposure to diverse orchestral styles under the guidance of musical professionals, identify and educate motivated students regardless of financial circumstance, foster a sense of achievement and self-esteem through a developmental approach, and promote self-discipline and teamwork through respect for artistic standards.  NYS has performed at Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood, as well as in venues in Italy, Spain, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

The Fairfield County Children's Choir (FCCC) is a community-based choral program made up of over three hundred children in grades four through twelve. Founded in 1995 to provide children the opportunity to participate in a musical experience which is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable, the FCCC provides instruction in vocal technique, choral technique, music literacy and the appreciation of music through the practice and performance of great choral repertoire. The FCCC has performed throughout New England as well as in New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Oakland, Hawaii, Canada, England, Ireland, Austria and the Czech Republic. The group has shared the stage with such artists as Renee Fleming, Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz, Sam Waterston, and Christopher Plummer.

Tickets are priced at $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students and are available at the door before the concert.  For further information, please visit the NYS website at  www.norwalkyouthsymphony.org. You may also email NYS Executive Director Sara Watkins at nysed@optonline.net or phone the NYS office at 203-866-4100.

Event listing and concert program

January, 2013

Winter Concert Features Concerto Competition Winner

This season's Winter Concert will feature Matthew Henninger, clarinet, in a performance of the Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 73 by Carl Maria von Weber.

Matthew HenningerMatthew Henninger, 17, has been studying clarinet since the fourth grade and started private lessons in seventh grade. He is currently a senior at Brookfield High School and studies under Kathy Taylor, who is Principal Clarinetist of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony and Clarinetist of the Grammy-Nominated Borealis Wind Quintet. Matt has been a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony for six years and has been Principal Clarinet of the Principal Orchestra for two years.

As part of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, Matt has performed in Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center. He has also performed in a master class with clarinetist David Shifrin.

In the summer of 2011, Matt attended the Music Institute at Rhode Island College, where he was coached under Ian Greitzer and served as Principal Clarinet of the Wind Ensemble and Clarinetist of the Ravel Wind Quintet.

Matt participated, for the first time, in the CMEA program in 2012 and was Assistant Principal of the Western Regional Festival Orchestra and Assistant Principal of the All-State Festival Band. This year, Matt will serve as Principal Clarinetist of the All-New England Festival Orchestra, which features student musicians from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Winter Concert will take place on Sunday February 10, 2013 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

June, 2012

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Class of 2012

NYS honored its graduating seniors in a ceremony at the 2012 Mother's Day Concert.

NYS Class of 2012

Jonathan Yates, Richard Brooks, and the Class of 2012

  • Lily Allen -
  • Christopher Bedoya -
  • Alina Carrel -
  • Chris Cavalea -
  • Maggie Corry -
  • Josie Harris -
  • Paige Henson -
  • Sheldon Irving -
  • Spencer Jaffe -
  • Moshin Jawed -
  • Evie Kaczmarek -
  • Sarah Lavy -
  • Jeffrey Levy -
  • Jason Lustbader -
  • Kareem Mishalani -
  • Kelly Mulvehill -
  • Shannon Reilly -
  • Gregory Schaefer -
  • Charlie Schlinkert -
  • Sydney Scott -
  • David Toto -
  • Ryan Walsh

The 2012 Ramer Memorial Scholarship Award was awarded to Shannon Reilly. The Award is granted each year to a deserving senior as chosen by their peers on the basis of attendance, leadership, preparation, and commitment.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony extends its heartiest congratulations to our graduates and wishes them every success in the future.

May, 2012

Mother's Day Concert 2012

The annual Mother's Day Concert marks the end of the Norwalk Youth Symphony's concert season.

The concert traditionally includes the presentation of our graduating seniors and awarding of the Ramer Memorial Scholarship Award, which is granted to a deserving senior as chosen by their peers on the basis of leadership, commitment, preparation and attendance.

Concerto Competition Winner - Shannon Reilly

Shannon ReillyThe Mother's Day Concert also features a performance by the winner of the NYS Concerto Competition. This year's concert will feature Shannon Reilly, violin, in a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77.

Ms. Reilly is a senior at Ridgefield High School, Ridgefield, CT. She has been a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony for eight years, and has served as Concertmaster the Principal Orchestra for two years. She is the founding member and first violinist of the Odysseus String Quartet. At Ridgefield High School, she is the Concertmaster of the String Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Pit Orchestra.

As a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, Ms. Reilly has performed at Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood. In 2008 she accompanied NYS on a tour of Europe, performing concerts in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. She has also performed with the orchestras of the Connecticut Western Region Music Festival and Connecticut All-State Music Festival, serving as Concertmaster of the All-State Orchestra in 2011. As a soloist, Ms. Reilly has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the New York Times Center, and the Steinway Recital Hall.

Ms. Reilly studies violin with Richard Rood, Concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She attended the MasterWorks Festival in Indiana for the third time during the summer of 2011 and has participated in master classes with Mr. Rood and Christopher Wu. She has studied the major repertoire works for the violin including the Sibelius and Brahms Violin Concertos, and is pursuing a career in classical violin performance.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Mother's Day Concert will take place on Sunday May 13, 2012 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

March, 2012

NYS to Perform at the International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Performance Tour has been invited to perform at the prestigious International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada.

As described on the Festival website, "The International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada is one of the most well-known and attractive cultural events of the city. It is held in the months of June and July in the palaces of the Alhambra and the venues include the main sites and most beautiful parts of the city. The Granada Festival has become widely known for the impressive performance venues and for the presence of the most outstanding performers of the day, together with an accurate inclusion of young artists who will undoubtedly become the great performers of the future."

"... the Festival can also be justifiably proud of having identified at a very young age such figures as Teresa Berganza, Lorin Maazel, Marta Argerich, Antonio the dancer, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jessye Norman, Montserrat Caballé and Joaquín Achúcarro among others. This trend has continued to the present day when each year, side by side with the great exponents of music and dance, outstanding young artists, musicians and dancers are invited ..."

The 2012 International Tour Orchestra

Jonathan Yates and the 2012 International Tour Orchestra

NYS will share the stage with notable performers including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Charles Dutoit, The Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Bavarian State Ballet, the Orquesta Nacional de España, and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

March, 2012

Norwalk Youth Symphony's Master Class Series Presents Caroline Stinson, Cello

On Sunday March 25, 2012 the Norwalk Youth Symphony Master Class Series will present cellist Caroline Stinson.

Caroline StinsonPraised for her vibrant lyricism, fresh interpretations and expressive performances, cellist Caroline Stinson is sought after by orchestras and fellow musicians in the US, Canada and Europe as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician for concerts of both traditional and contemporary repertoire. Ms. Stinson's invitations include Carnegie's Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Museum of Modern Art's Summergarden Series and Bargemusic in New York, Boston's Gardner Museum, Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian in the United States; the Koelner Philharmonie, Lucerne Festival and Cité de la Musique in Europe, and the Centennial Centre and Winspear Halls in Canada.

A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Stinson has commissioned concerti, works for cello solo and with electronics, in addition to chamber music through her work with the Lark Quartet, Open End (a new music and improvisation group she founded with her husband and composer, Andrew Waggoner) and the cello quartet, CELLO.

She has performed dozens of premieres in both North America and Europe and has worked closely with composers Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, John Harbison, Aaron Jay Kernis, Paul Moravec, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Steven Stucky, Joan Tower and Chen-Yi. As a soloist, she has performed with the Banff Festival and Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestras, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and the Interlochen World Youth and Syracuse Symphonies.

Caroline has performed and toured with a multitude of ensembles including the Bang On a Can All-Stars, ISCM League of Composers and Continuum of New York City and Accroche Note of France. Highlights of this season include the double-premiere of a new concerto for cello and winds by Steven Bryant with the Cornell Wind Ensemble and the Ridgewood Concert Band, a solo tour of Alberta with recitals, concerti and the premiere a new work for cello and electronics by T. Patrick Carrabre, in addition to ensemble commissions by William Bolcom with the Lark Quarte+ (plus) Stephen Salters and Mark Grey with the Meme Ensemble and Jessica Rivera at Carnegie's Zankel Hall and CalArts in San Francisco. Her début CD, Lines, will be released this season on Albany Records.

Her teachers have been Alan Harris (Cleveland), Maria Kliegel (Germany), Joel Krosnick (Juilliard) and Tanya Prochazka. Caroline is a teaching assistant to Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School and has been on the cello and chamber music faculty of the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University since 2004.

The NYS Master Class Series features accomplished musicians, from various musical backgrounds (orchestral, chamber and solo performance) who are to give a Master Class. All students and spectators can benefit as the master calls upon an individual or a group of students and coaches them on how to play a certain piece, shares interesting facts about the composer and talks about his/her experiences as a professional musician.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is pleased to open this extraordinary Master Class to the general public at no cost. This special event will take place on Sunday March 25, 2012 from 5PM until 7PM at Norwalk City Hall which is located at 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

August, 2011

2011 TEC Showcase Features NYS Musicians

The Leon Tec Showcase For Outstanding Young Musicians is an annual concert providing selected, gifted Connecticut high school musicians the opportunity to perform professionally, coached by a distinguished musician and by the artistic director for the event.

The 2011 Showcase features Christine Xu, piano and David Toto, cello, both members of Principal Orchestra, performing in the Arensky Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 32 in D minor.

This year's event takes place on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8:00 PM at The Unitarian Church in Westport, 10 Lyons Plains Road.

June, 2011

NYS Performance Tour of Spain, Summer 2012

La Mezquita CordobaNYS is excited to announce that our performance tour of Spain is scheduled for June 23 - July 1, 2012. This is our third international tour; in 2008 we visited Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic and in 2010 we visited and performed in Italy.

The tour will include the great cities of Madrid, Granada, and Seville. Sightseeing highlights include visits to the Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, the Plaza Mayor, and Prado Museum in Madrid, the Mezquita de Cordoba, and Alcázar of Seville.

Alcazar Seville


New for this trip, a shadow tour is also available for parents and friends, including stays at 5-star hotels.

More information and registration will be available at the first rehearsal of the season on September 18, 2011.

May, 2011

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Class of 2011

NYS honored its graduating seniors in a ceremony at the 2011 Mother's Day Concert.

NYS Class of 2011

Richard Brooks, Jonathan Yates, and the Class of 2011

  • Julio Baca -
  • Molly Blessing -
  • Margot Bruce -
  • Jedrik Chao -
  • Olivia Ford -
  • Ben Freeman -
  • Matthew Gentile -
  • Ilse Heine -
  • Carson Hele -
  • Gregory Henninger -
  • Victoria Jansson -
  • Meghan Loose -
  • Samantha Mendez -
  • Scott Mesh -
  • Megha Nadig -
  • Jennifer Park -
  • Deborah Reyes -
  • Adele Shenoy -
  • Samantha Small -
  • Whitney Steele -
  • Ellen Trinklein

Jedrik Chao Ramer Award

The 2011 Ramer Memorial Scholarship Award was awarded to Jedrik Chao. The Award is granted each year to a deserving senior as chosen by their peers on the basis of leadership, commitment, preparation and attendance.

 

Jedrik Chao receives the 2011 Ramer Memorial Scholarship Award from NYS Chairman Larry Reilly


 

The Norwalk Youth Symphony extends its heartiest congratulations to our graduates and wishes them every success in the future.

May, 2011

Mother's Day Concert 2011

The annual Mother's Day Concert marks the end of the Norwalk Youth Symphony's concert season.

The concert traditionally includes the presentation of our graduating seniors and awarding of the Ramer Memorial Scholarship Award, which is granted to a deserving senior as chosen by their peers on the basis of leadership, commitment, preparation and attendance.

Concerto Competition Winner - Christine Xu

Christine XiuThe Mother's Day Concert also features a performance by the winner of the NYS Concerto Competition. This year's concert will feature Christine Xu, piano, in a performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16.

Ms. Xu, a sophomore at Weston High School (WHS), is a talented pianist who began her music studies at the age of six. Since then she has matured into a "passionate and powerful player" whose performances are always full of "heartfelt emotion". In addition to winning the NYS Concerto Competition, Ms. Xu recently won first place in the senior division of the Ellen Spivak Chopin competition sponsored by the Schubert Club. She was awarded Honorable Mention at the prestigious Greater Bridgeport Symphony's Carlson Horn Competition in March 2011, and performed at the GBS Finalists' Showcase to critical acclaim. She was awarded the Gold Cup by the Young Musicians Festival for obtaining the highest ratings in the most advanced categories for three consecutive years.

In the summer of 2009, Ms. Xu attended the Vianden Music Festival in Luxembourg where she was featured as a soloist and in chamber ensembles. This past summer, she participated in the Killington Music Festival in Vermont where her performances at concerts, master classes and outreach programs were received with great enthusiasm. In April, Ms. Xu and two other young pianists held a benefit concert at Westport's Steinway Hall, to raise funds for the American Red Cross/Japan Relief Fund.

Ms. Xu is also an accomplished cellist. She peforms with NYS as a cellist in the Principal Orchestra, with the WHS Symphonic Orchestra, and with chamber ensembles. She served as the assistant principal cellist at the 2010 Fairfield County String Festival and in 2011 she performed with other talented musicians from Connecticut at the CMEA Western Region High School Concert Festival. Ms. Xu will also perform at Carnegie Hall with the NYS Principal Orchestra in May.

Ms. Xu studies piano with Yoshie Akimoto and cello with Lois Errante.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Mother's Day Concert 2011 will take place on Sunday May 8, 2011 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

March, 2011

Norwalk Youth Symphony's Master Class Series Presents David Shifrin, Clarinet

On Sunday March 20, 2011 The Norwalk Youth Symphony Master Class Series will present clarinetist David Shifrin.

David Shifrin

One of only two wind players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award's inception in 1974, Mr. Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber music collaborator.

Mr. Shifrin has appeared with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit and Denver symphonies among many others in the US, and internationally with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In addition, he has served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra (under Stokowski), the Honolulu and Dallas symphonies and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony. Mr. Shifrin has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York City as well as the the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. A sought after a chamber musician, he collaborates frequently with such distinguished ensembles and artists as the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, Wynton Marsalis, and pianists Emanuel Ax and André Watts.

An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, David Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He has toured extensively throughout the US with CMSLC and appeared in several national television broadcasts on Live From Lincoln Center. He has also been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon since 1981.

Mr. Shifrin continues to broaden the repertoire for clarinet and orchestra by commissioning and championing the works of 20th and 21st century American composers.

The NYS Master Class Series features accomplished musicians, from various musical backgrounds (orchestral, chamber and solo performance) who are invited to give a Master Class. All students and spectators can benefit as the master calls upon an individual or a group of students and coaches them on how to play a certain piece, shares interesting facts about the composer and talks about his/her experiences as a professional musician.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is pleased to open this extraordinary Master Class to the general public at no cost. This special event will take place on Sunday March 20, 2011 from 5PM until 7PM at Norwalk City Hall which is located at 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

Mr. Shifrin's appearance is sponsored by Buffet Crampon

Buffet Crampon

October, 2010

Norwalk Youth Symphony's Master Class Series Presents John Dexter, Viola

On Sunday November 7, 2010 The Norwalk Youth Symphony Master Class Series will present violist John Dexter of the Manhattan String Quartet.

Mr. Dexter was born into a family of professional musicians. His musical training began in Des Moines, Iowa where he received his first performance degree at Drake University. He then traveled to New York City via a short army stay in the West Point Quartet to study at the Juilliard School with such luminaries as Dorothy Delay and Lillian Fuchs.

Since joining the Manhattan String Quartet in 1980, Mr. Dexter has made twenty critically acclaimed recordings; given Music Mountain radio broadcasts to millions; presented three Shostokovich cycles in New York City and on French radio. His touring with the quartet has taken him to North and South America, to Europe and on three historic tours of the former Soviet Union during the Glasnost era. Mr. Dexter is constantly expanding his activities as soloist with orchestra and guest artist with other chamber groups. His recording of Anthony Newman's Viola Concerto on Newport Classics has been accorded high praise by the critics for his virtuosity and musical poetry. As Principal Violist he has performed with the New York City Opera Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Joffrey Ballet in New York City, the American Symphony Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Mr. Dexter maintains a very active teaching schedule with a large private studio for individual lessons and chamber music coaching.

The NYS Master Class Series features accomplished musicians, from various musical backgrounds (orchestral, chamber and solo performance) who are invited to give a Master Class. All students and spectators can benefit as the master calls upon an individual or a group of students and coaches them on how to play a certain piece, shares interesting facts about the composer and talks about his/her experiences as a professional musician.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is pleased to open this extraordinary Master Class to the general public at no cost. This special event will take place on Sunday November 7, 2010 from 5PM until 7PM at Norwalk City Hall which is located at 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

October, 2010

Leon Tec Showcase Features NYS Musicians

The Leon Tec Showcase For Outstanding Young Musicians is an annual concert providing selected, gifted Connecticut high school musicians the opportunity to perform professionally, coached by a distinguished musician and by the artistic director for the event.

The 2010 Showcase features Jedrik Chao, violist in Principal Orchestra and NYS alum Sam Weiser, violin, performing in the Mozart Piano Quartet in G minor and Beethoven Piano Trio, Op. 11.

This year's event takes place on Friday, October 22, 2010 at 8:00 PM at the Unitarian Church in Westport.

September, 2010

Remembering Cameron Bruce, 1992 - 2010

Cameron Bruce

The NYS community is deeply saddened by the loss of a vibrant alum, Cameron Bruce. Cameron passed away on September 13, 2010 at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where he was beginning his Engineering studies.

Those who accompanied NYS on the tour of Italy, or who attended the 2009 Giving Concert, will remember Cameron as one of our trumpeters who were featured in the performance of Leroy Anderson's Bugler's Holiday.

Cameron was an important part of NYS for five years, graduating in 2010. In the 2009-10 season he served as Assistant Principal trumpet in the Principal Orchestra, and in our Chamber Orchestra in its inaugural season.

Cameron was a dedicated musician, student, and athlete, and an active member of his community. He handled the demands of NYS, the Staples High School Swim Team, and his academic studies with grace and an ever-present smile. Cameron will always be remembered by his NYS family.

Cameron Bruce

Cameron with conductor Tara Simoncic and fellow NYS musicians on tour in Italy

Westport News article with additional information about Cameron, and information on funeral services.

Video performance of Bugler's Holiday, recorded during the Italy tour.

Donations made to the Norwalk Youth Symphony Memorial Scholarship Fund in Cameron Bruce's name will be used to provide scholarships for the next NYS international tour.

August, 2010

Norwalk Youth Symphony Appoints New Conductor

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is very excited to announce that it has secured the services of a wonderful new Conductor to lead the Principal Orchestra for the upcoming 2010-11 season. Mr. Jonathan Yates will be taking up the baton from his predecessor Ms. Tara Simoncic, who has accepted the position of Assistant Conductor of the Harrisburg, PA Symphony Orchestra. 

Jonathan received his BA in music, magna cum laude, from Harvard University, his Masters of Music in piano from State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his Graduate Diploma in Conducting from The Julliard School.  He has impressive experience as a conductor and musician.  His current and past conducting positions include the Camerata Notturna in New York, the Sarah Lawrence Orchestra, the 92nd Street Y Community Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Harvard University Bach Society Orchestra. 

Additional biographical information about Jonathan Yates.

May, 2010

Mother's Day Concert 2010 Features Concerto Competition Winner, Commissioned Work

The annual Mother's Day Concert marks the end of the Norwalk Youth Symphony's concert season.

The concert traditionally includes the presentation of our graduating seniors and awarding of the Ramer Memorial Scholarship, which is granted to a deserving senior as chosen by their peers on the basis of leadership, commitment, preparation and attendance.

Sophie FeinbergConcerto Competition Winner - Sophie Feinberg

The Mother's Day Concert also features a performance by the winner of the NYS Concerto Competition. This year's concert will feature Sophie Feinberg, principal cellist of the Principal Orchestra, in a performance of the Elgar Concerto for Cello in E minor, Op. 85.

Ms. Feinberg, 17, has been playing the cello since the age of 9 and studies privately with Lois Errante. She has been with the Norwalk Youth Symphony since 2002. In addition to winning the NYS competition she was 2nd place winner in the 2010 Stamford Symphony Instrumental Scholarship Competition.

Ms. Feinberg studies chamber music with Asya Meshberg and has attended the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians, as well as Kinhaven Music School. Her Eroica Quartet won first prize in the 2009 Greenwich Center for Chamber Music Scholarship Competition, and were the featured artists in the 2009 Leon Tec Young Artist Showcase.

During the summer of 2008, Ms. Feinberg toured Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic as Principal cellist and soloist with NYS. She is thrilled to once again be traveling with NYS on their performance tour through Italy this summer.

Ms. Feinberg will be attending McGill University to pursue a degree in cello performance at the Schulich School of Music while studying under Matt Haimovitz.

Richard BrooksWorld Premiere of Norwalk Jam, by composer Dan Cooper

The Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Richard Brooks, will premiere Dan Cooper's Norwalk Jam, commissioned for the orchestra by the Norwalk Youth Symphony.

A Manhattan-native composer and multi-instrumentalist, Mr. Cooper has music degrees from Columbia, The New England Conservatory, and Princeton.

As a composer, Mr. Cooper was a 2000 Aaron Copland composition fellow at Tanglewood, and has composed original scores for several acclaimed Shakespeare & Company productions. Mr. Cooper's music has been recognized with awards, commissions, premieres, recordings, showcases and residencies from Albany Symphony, Artists International, ASCAP, Cary Trust, Empire State Youth Orchestra, Engine 27, Fontainebleau, Imani Winds, International Street Cannibals, Meet the Composer, NARAS, New York New Music Ensemble, and Palisades Virtuosi, among others.

As a multi-instrumentalist specializing in 7-string bass guitar and also flute with electronics, Mr. Cooper has performed all over the world, perhaps most notably as a member of singer Ute Lemper's trio, including performances in performances at Town Hall, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, and Tokyo's Bunkamura Orchard Hall, plus broadcasts on NBC, Radio France, Bravo, and RAI.

Mr. Cooper is currently on the faculty of the State University of New York/FIT, where he has created new courses in American Music, European-Classical Music, and Latin-American and Caribbean Music. Since 2005, he has also taught Music and Literature classes at the Greenwich House Senior Center.

May, 2010

The Gold Standard - NYS at Fantastic Festivals

On May 22, 2010, Prelude Orchestra, Philharmonia String Orchestra, and Philharmonia Orchestral Winds participated in performances and adjudication at the 2010 Fantastic Festivals.

All 3 ensembles achieved Gold ratings for their performances, which took place at Norwalk Concert Hall.

The ensembles performed before a panel of judges who are experienced school and youth orchestra conductors. The judges commended the ensembles for "polish", "focus", "attentiveness to the conductors", "tone quality", and "solid fundamentals and foundation of skills", while giving constructive commentary on such matters as interpretation and musicianship to help the conductors and musicians identify areas for improvement.

Congratulations to all of our ensembles, and also to their conductors Susan Jimenez, Carly Kulawitz, and Jessica McNamara.

See highlights from the event in the Photo Gallery.

April, 2010

NYS Fundraiser for Haiti Relief

On April 16, 2010, the NYS Chamber Orchestra performed in a concert to benefit AmeriCares Haiti Relief Fund. The concert, held at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, attracted an enthusiastic audience and raised over $700.

This was the second concert peformance by the Chamber Orchestra, a new ensemble that debuted during the 2009-10 season. The orchestra features musicians from the Principal Orchestra under the direction of NYS Music Director Tara Simoncic.

The program included Gounod's Symphony No. 1 and a performance of Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, highlighted by the solo violin of NYS Alum Chris Burkhalter. The group also presented Copland's Appalachian Spring in its original form for 13 players, in a stirring performance which prompted Ms. Simoncic to comment to the audience that "Kids don't play Appalachian Spring...but we did!".

The program concluded with an arrangement of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, which gave the group a rare opportunity to let their (bow) hair down and provide a funky backbeat to accompany the beatboxing and guitar of guest artist Akil Dasan.

See highlights from the event in the Photo Gallery and on our Vimeo video channel.

January, 2010

Norwalk Youth Symphony's Master Class Series Presents Bärli Nugent, Flute

On Sunday April 25, 2010 The Norwalk Youth Symphony Master Class Series will present flutist Bärli Nugent.

Ms. Nugent, an alumnus of the Norwalk Youth Symphony Principal Orchestra, is the Assistant Dean, Director of Chamber Music, and a faculty member of the Juilliard School, and Director of Chamber Music for the Aspen Music Festival and School.

She received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Juilliard, and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

A founding member of the Aspen Wind Quintet, winners of the 1984 Naumburg Chamber Music Award, she performed over 1,000 concerts with the Quintet throughout the United States, Europe, the former Soviet Union, and North Africa. Principal flute of the Concordia Orchestra under conductor Marin Alsop for eighteen years, she co-curated the Concerti di Mezzogiorno chamber music series with Gian Carlo Menotti for the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.

A former faculty member at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, she has presented seminars at Juilliard, Hartt, Princeton, Stanford, the Chautauqua Institution, Beijing's Central Conservatory, Guangxi Arts College, Xinghai Conservatory, Shenzhen Conservatory, National Conservatory of Algiers, Vilnius Conservatory, and the Aarhus Conservatory. She was Program Director for the 2008 Emerson Quartet International Chamber Music Workshop, has served on advisory panels for Chamber Music America and the national board for the Aspen Music Festival and School, and been published by Chamber Music magazine and the Juilliard Journal.

The NYS Master Class Series features accomplished musicians, from various musical backgrounds (orchestral, chamber and solo performance) who are invited to give a Master Class. All students and spectators can benefit as the master calls upon an individual or a group of students and coaches them on how to play a certain piece, shares interesting facts about the composer and talks about his/her experiences as a professional musician.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is pleased to open this extraordinary Master Class to the general public at no cost. This special event will take place on Sunday April 25, 2010 from 5PM until 7PM at Norwalk City Hall which is located at 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

December, 2009

Norwalk Youth Symphony's Master Class Series Presents Darrett Adkins, Cello

On Sunday January 10, 2010 The Norwalk Youth Symphony Master Class Series will present acclaimed cellist and recording artist Darrett Adkins.

Mr. Adkins has performed both nationally and internationally. Mr. Adkins was the 'Cellist of Honor' at the Rio de Janeiro International Cello Encounter; King Harald of Norway attended his Oslo debut. Mr. Adkins has recently performed with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Tochio Soloisten, Seoul's Prime Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Until 2002 Mr. Adkins was a member of Flux, a string quartet dedicated to cutting-edge music. He appeared in major festivals in New York, Melbourne (Australia), Southern California (Ojai), and Oslo.

Mr. Adkins is a faculty member at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, The Juilliard School and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

The NYS Master Class Series features accomplished musicians, from various musical backgrounds (orchestral, chamber and solo performance) who are invited to give a Master Class. All students and spectators can benefit as the master calls upon an individual or a group of students and coaches them on how to play a certain piece, shares interesting facts about the composer and talks about his/her experiences as a professional musician.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is pleased to open this extraordinary Master Class to the general public at no cost. This special event will take place on Sunday January 10, 2010 from 5PM until 7PM at Norwalk City Hall which is located at 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.