2020-2021 SEASON | FALL EDITION VOLUME 1
In the last two weeks, we began in-person rehearsals with our Symphony Orchestra, and it was great to see everyone back. We wore masks and socially distanced, and our youth had instrumentappropriate protective gear while they were playing. It was different, but we were thrilled to be together again. Pre-COVID, we rehearsed at several different venues, all of which were generous beyond measure in an effort to support musical education for our youth. Of course, from our point of view and theirs, this is no longer possible. For this year, we wanted a rehearsal space that to the greatest extent possible, was ours alone, that was accessed only by ESYO staff and ESYO musicians. Short of buying a building, this was not possible. However, we have gotten pretty close with Proctors. But Proctors is also experiencing COVID. Even with all the associated costs and hardship, they are working to support ESYO. In order to open the building and keep the lights on, we need to raise $100,000. They have been incredibly generous, as this is WAY below market rate (we know, because we’ve been out there looking!), but this is still an expense we have never before experienced, and one for which we certainly hadn’t budgeted. And so we are, out of sheer necessity, “passing the hat”. If 1,000 donors can give us $100 for this extraordinary appeal, we could cover our rehearsal space costs. Given that 1,000 donors would be truly an exceptional number, we would ask you to consider throwing $200 in the hat, or whatever you can afford at esyo.org/support/donate. We know this is a lot of money. We know you have been incredibly generous in the past, but we also know we cannot get through this without your help. Thank you so much in advance for your consideration. Our very best, Rebecca Calos Executive Director Anne-Marie Gorman Doyle Development Director Kurt Bratten Board Co-Chair Patty Michaelson Board Co-Chair
CARLOS ÁGREDA, MUSIC DIRECTOR All Together! Twelve ESYO ensembles return to the stage to perform the music you love. Enjoy each performance from the comfort of your own home with the grand opening of ESYO’s Virtual Concert Hall! THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2020 TO SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2020 VIRTUAL CONCERT HALL POWERED BY ESYO.ORG SPONSORED BY
SCHENECTADY, NY 12305 | 518.382.7581 | ESYO.ORG 2020 -2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Patty Michaelson Co-Chair Kurt Bratten Co-Chair Caitlin Mochrie Treasurer Mary Clyne Secretary Keith Abatto Daniele Adkins Robert Altman Brian Axford Robert Bengraff Ron Brosnihan Heather Chan James Haertel Andrew LaCoppola Kara Lais Michael Lister Barry Richman Christopher Shiley Elizabeth Silver Leslie Thiele George Vorsheim Omar Williams Andrea Restrepo Operations Assistant, Symphony Orchestra & String Orchestra Manager, and Librarian Anne-Marie Gorman Doyle Development Director Justin Cook Marketing & Publications Manager Sam Herman Administrative Assistant & Brand Manager ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF Rebecca Calos Executive Director Lisa Stulmaker Finance Director Sue Lascoe Director of Operations & Repertory Orchestra Manager CONDUCTING STAFF Carlos Ágreda Music Director & ESYO Symphony Orchestra David Beck ESYO Repertory Orchestra Joseph Gumpper ESYO String Orchestra Leo Milman ESYO Concertino Strings Richard Albagli ESYO Youth Percussion Ensemble & ESYO Repertory Percussion Ensemble Mark Foster David Fisk ESYO Youth Percussion Ensemble ESYO Repertory Jazz Orchestra John Antonio Julie Taylor ESYO Repertory Percussion Ensemble ESYO Concertino Wind Choir Genoveffa Vitale Scott Hopkins Dr. Robert Hansbrough Melodies of Christmas Chorale ESYO Chamber Percussion Ensemble & Concertino Percussion Ensemble ESYO Concertino Brass Choir Rae Jean Teeter ESYO Wind Orchestra Lee Russo ESYO Youth Jazz Orchestra CHIME STAFF Jared Shortmeier CHIME Program Administrative Director Alexandra Carella-Delfino Education Manager Connor Armbruster String Teaching Artist in Troy Jessica Bowen Troy Site Leader and String Teaching Artist Nyasia Darby CHIME at Yates Site Manager Michael Dee Wind Teaching Artist at Proctors Cathy Gatta String Teaching Artist at Yates Teresa Gatta Norton String Teaching Artist at Proctors Rachel Hill Strings Teaching Artist at Yates Matthew Johnson Lead Strings Teaching Artist at Proctors Amarie King Wind Teaching Artist at Van Corlaer & Proctors Lin Polster CHIME at Proctors Site Manager Bridie Schnore Yates Site Leader & String Teaching Artist Nicholaus Smith Brass & Percussion Teaching Artist at Proctors Elizabeth Torres CHIME at Van Corlaer Site Manager Susan Wheeler Van Corlaer Site Leader & Band Teaching Artist Monica Wilson-Roach CHIME Master Teaching Artist
Dear Friends, I am incredibly excited to welcome you to our 2020-2021 season. While we cannot perform for you in-person today, this season is shaping up to be one of the most memorable seasons in our 40-year history. Last March, the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered concert halls and closed theatres across the globe. It forced us to cancel our in-person activities and move our program online. Thankfully, we were able to restart ESYO this fall with in-person rehearsals and live-recorded concerts on stage, all together! The pandemic has challenged us in unprecedented ways. It has led us to rethink how we make music together while reinforcing the value of joyful music-making. It is easy to take live music for granted until something threatens to take it away. When COVID-19 threatened to silence ESYO, our vibrant young musicians refused to be silent. Inspired by their passion, our conductors and staff worked hard to incorporate creative strategies designed to keep everyone safe. We split our large orchestras into smaller chamber orchestras, commissioned the creation of specialized PPE for our winds and brass musicians, stayed social but kept our distance, adapted to new orchestra layouts, and learned to play our part without having a stand partner. Even in the face of quarantine, many students logged on and attended rehearsal using ESYO Stream, our new online rehearsal platform. As challenging as the last several months have been, we've done our best to turn each challenge into an opportunity. Our decision to create smaller orchestras have allowed us to discover and explore new repertoire, and our Virtual Concert Hall allows virtual audiences from Albany to Cajicá in Colombia the chance to invite ESYO into their homes. Most importantly, the opportunity to play together in-person after months of remote learning has reignited our appreciation for our friends, neighbors, and the music we love. This Festival represents the commitment and strength of each young ESYO musician. It's a testament to our resolve, and proof that we were able to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic. We made it, and that is why these concerts mean a lot to us; we are grateful we were able to record and produce beautiful music for you to enjoy at home. I hope that you enjoy tonight's concert and log on in the future to enjoy the beautiful music that comes from the joyful pursuit of musical excellence. I look forward to sharing with you the wonders of this season. Best, Carlos Ágreda Music Director ESYO Symphony Orchestra Conductor
Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) is continuing to challenge and inspire more than 600 of the most talented youth from the Capital Region of New York, Western New England, and all walks of life to achieve musical excellence through intensive instruction and high-level performance. Through twelve performing ensembles and ESYO CHIME, ESYO is igniting a lifelong love of music in the youngest members of our communities, and breaking boundaries between communities and backgrounds to grow the future of music. ESYO’s progressive program nourishes students in elementary through high school, growing with them as they expand their musical and personal capabilities. But, the ESYO experience is about more than exceptional music. Through the ESYO experience, young people build confidence, practice teamwork, and cultivate personal drive, giving them the skills to achieve success in music, college, and beyond. ESYO alums go on as leaders in fields as diverse as engineering and art. They can also be found in all areas of the music industry – from national orchestras and recording studios to music classrooms. ESYO also seeks to expand its impact beyond its membership, believing music can be a catalyst for social change in the communities in which ESYO musicians live, learn, and play. This belief is why ESYO has helped raise more than $8 million for Albany Medical Center’s pediatric oncology program through the Melodies of Christmas concerts. To further expand its impact, ESYO launched ESYO CHIME in 2015. Through free, daily music instruction and mentorship, ESYO CHIME provides young musicians in Schenectady, Albany, and Troy schools with comprehensive support from elementary school through high school. The CHIME team places children on the path to musical excellence and cultivates skills needed to succeed in all areas of life, including collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Founded by parents and music teachers Barry Richman, Eleanor Barnes, and Lois Lyman in 1979, the ESYO experience now includes everything from concerts at Carnegie Hall to benefit performances, master classes with exceptional musicians like the Shanghai Quartet, DEKA Quartet, and the Musicians of Ma’alwyck to international tours of Europe and Asia. All of this would not be accomplished without the support and the generosity of many individuals, corporations, and foundations whose gifts are an investment in the future of music. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us to learn, but not just in a classroom. It has challenged us to rehearse, but not always in a rehearsal room. It has challenged us to perform, both in-person and online. This season, join ESYO as we return to the stage and celebrate the grand opening of our first-ever Virtual Concert Hall. For more about ESYO or to pledge your support go to esyo.org. If you are a young musician interested in joining ESYO, there is a place for you! Online auditions will continue again in January.
ESYO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR Described as “a major career in the making” by Seen and Heard International, Colombian conductor and composer Carlos Ágreda is noted for his dynamic presence on the podium and breadth of repertoire, with musical interests ranging from opera and choral to contemporary and Latin-American music. Currently Music Director and Conductor of the Empire State Youth Orchestra, Ágreda was formerly a Conducting Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music under the mentorship of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He was also previously the Music Director at Corporación Coral y Orquestal de Colombia. Ágreda first came to international attention when he reached the third round in the Cadaqués Orchestra International Conducting Competition in 2013 at the age of 22, the youngest of the short-listed candidates. Since then, he has worked with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Curtis Symphony and Liverpool Mozart orchestras amongst others and has conducted a number of fully-staged opera productions with Opera Philadelphia and Curtis Opera Theatre. Highlights of the coming season include his inaugural concert as Music Director with the Empire State Youth Orchestra, a return to the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia as well as concerts with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín. An advocate of new music, Ágreda has conducted more than thirty world premieres. Particular highlights have included a concert of new works by British composer Jonathan Harvey at London’s Wigmore Hall and an appearance at the New Music North West Festival in 2016. He was invited to lead the Conducting Workshop at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2016 and in 2017, joined the Cabrillo Contemporary Music Festival as Conducting Fellow. As assistant conductor, Ágreda has worked alongside internationally renowned names such as Juanjo Mena, Yan Pascal Tortelier, David Robertson, Jon Storgårds and Sir Mark Elder with orchestras such as the Saint Louis and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras. He has also collaborated professionally with Sir Andrew Davis, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and Osmo Vänskä and has been invited to participate in many high-profile masterclasses with Stéphane Denève, Leonard Slatkin, Vasily Petrenko, Cristian Macelaru and Michael Tilson Thomas, to name a few. Ágreda is passionate about social transformation through art and community education, as well as the power of symphonic music to bring young people together. He has been involved in projects with Play on Philly (POP) and All City Orchestra in Philadelphia, Stockport Youth Orchestra in the UK and the Orquesta Unimúsica in Colombia. He was also the Music Director of a special community project at the Bogotá City Hall in collaboration with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Carlos Ágreda studied conducting and composition at the Juan N. Corpas University under the mentorship of Jorge Alejandro Salazar, graduating with summa cum laude honours in 2012. He continued his conducting studies at the Royal Northern College of Music on the prestigious Master’s programme under the tutelage of Clark Rundell and Mark Heron, graduating with distinction in 2016 before taking up a Conducting Fellowship at the Curtis Institute of Music. As a composer, Ágreda has won several prizes, including First Prize for both the Stockport Youth Orchestra Composition Competition (2016) and the Gustavo Gómez Ardila Composition Competition (2012). Several of his compositions have been performed by the leading professional orchestras in Colombia.
PROGRAM Virtual Concert Hall SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Thursday, December 3, 2020, 7:00 PM SYMPHONY CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA AT THE TUTTI! VIRTUAL FESTIVAL CARLOS ÁGREDA, MUSIC DIRECTOR & CONDUCTOR WOLFGANG A. MOZART Overture to Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492 (The Marriage of Figaro) MAURICE RAVEL Le Tombeau de Couperin ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD Dance in the Old Style LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Symphony No.1, op. 21 MAKING A DIFFERENCE This performance is made possible in part by the generosity of
FIRST VIOLINS Faith Borkowski Concertmaster Georgia Burtt Assistant Concertmaster Kristine Kim Sungwon Lee SECOND VIOLINS Ingrid Colafati Principal Caitlyn Chung Assistant Principal Daniel Joung VIOLAS Yu-Heng Wang Principal Annika Robin Assistant Principal Grace Wei Thomas Ahl CELLOS Trey Coughlin Principal Eujeong Choi Assistant Principal Ani Gregori Asadourian Vincent Zhang Jack Connelly BASS Jordan McMaster Principal Tony Donohue FLUTES Benjamin Halpin Chris Connors OBOES Anna Ryu Amanda Witherell CLARINETS John Giordano Patrick Yang BASSOON Elizabeth Novak Ryan Kegg HORN Alex Erb Kate Szumowski TRUMPETS Tyler Levine Brian McNamara TIMPANI Bailey Yerdon
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