Youth Symphony Receives United Arts Appeal Award

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Board members of the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) are thrilled that one of their musicians has been recognized by the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County (UAA).

CRYS is receiving an award from the UAA’s Projects Pool Grant Program for an honorarium for Kenneth

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony is receiving an award from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County Projects Pool Grant Program for an honorarium for alumni Kenneth Hultin. Hultin has arranged a composition that will be performed by the Youth Symphony at their Sunday, May 6 Spring Gala Concert in the Reg Lenna Civic Center. Hultin is shown here performing with the orchestra.

Hultin. Hultin has made an orchestral arrangement of the classic rock band OneRepublic’s “Secrets” for performance by the Youth Symphony at their Spring Gala Concert. A celebration of the completion of CRYS’s 25th season, the concert will be on Sunday, May 6 at 4 p.m. at the Reg Lenna Civic Center.

Descriptions of Hultin by CRYS Music Director and Conductor Bryan Eckenrode as “exceptionally talented” and Jamestown High School Orchestra Director and CRYS vice president Katie Derrenbacher as having “a natural understanding of music” contributed to winning the award.

A 2010 graduate of Jamestown High School, Kenny taught himself to play string bass during the summer before his junior year and was principal chair bass player his remaining two years in high school.

For the JHS Orchestra’s Awards Concert his senior year, Kenny organized and rehearsed a string ensemble with a drum set  that played his arrangement of a collection of Lady Gaga songs. The video on YouTube (“JHS orchestra performs Lady Gaga Medley”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_A6oMoka0g) “went viral” with more than 19,000 hits. At the awards event he received the College of Outstanding Musicians Award and the National School Orchestra Award, “the highest honor you can bestow upon a member of the high school orchestra to recognize excellence in playing and contributions to the ensemble.”

Primarily self-taught, Kenny plays guitar, keyboard, upright bass, electric bass, cello, and “dabbles in” other instruments. While at Jamestown Community College during the last academic year, he played in the symphonic band, jazz band and rock ensemble. He has played with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony since his senior year in high school and is now a member of the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a fan of video games, he has made orchestral arrangements of video game music. His works have been performed by the Vivace String Camp at Houghton College, Hamburg Central Schools, and the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, where he premiered several works. He is working on a commission for the Nichols School in Buffalo.

Unique in our area, the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony offers classical music education and performance opportunities to serious music students from elementary school through college. Under the direction of Maestro Bryan Eckenrode, students are enrolled in CRYS’s three orchestras: Prelude Strings for beginning string musicians, Young Artists Orchestra for intermediate students, and the Youth Symphony for highly talented and motivated musicians ages 12 through 20.

All three orchestras will be performing at the May 6 concert.

Tickets for the concert are $10 presale or $12 at the door for adults; 12 and under are $8 presale or $10 at the door, and there is no charge for ages five and under. Presale tickets are available from members of the orchestras and the Reg Lenna Civic Center box office, (716) 484-7070.

For more information about the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, visit www.CRYouthSymphony.com.