Youth Symphony has Successful Spring Gala

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony recently was able to hold an in-person Annual Spring Gala. This was the first in-person performance of the year as the fall concert was exclusively virtual.

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Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony

The concert featured three different string ensembles; a Suzuki string group, Prelude Strings and the Chamber Symphony Orchestra. Prelude Strings and the Chamber Orchestra are ensembles of CRYS while the Suzuki group was a featured guest ensemble instructed by CRYS president, Nina Karbacka. The Chamber Symphony Orchestra accompanied the Suzuki group’s performance.

Both ensembles were directed by the esteemed conductor and performer, Bryan Eckenrode. Eckenrode has been the music director for CRYS for the past two decades.

Many families and friends were able to enjoy the live performance as the setting was placed outdoors, and therefore minimized the threat of COVID-19. The students were thrilled to be able to perform in a concert this year as most school programs had to cancel their plans for a live performance.

In preparation for the concert, the students of the chamber orchestra had an opportunity to work with string coach Jennifer Jansen. Jennifer is the principal violist of the Erie Chamber Orchestra. She is also a member of the Erie Philharmonic (violin), subs with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra and the Southern Tier Symphony. Apart from her playing, Jennifer is the conductor of the Intermezzo and Prelude String Ensembles of the Erie Junior Philharmonic. She also has private teaching studios in Erie, Jamestown and Dunkirk. CRYS is thrilled to be able to provide the enriching experience of working with various professional musicians to their students.

A video recording of the Spring Gala as well as a video recording of the fall concert can be viewed on the organization’s website;

Traditionally, CRYS ensembles are open to string students as well as students who play orchestral wind and percussion instruments. During the 2020-2021 school year, only string students were able to participate due to pandemic restrictions. The organization will be thrilled to invite wind and percussion players to participate again this coming fall.

Registration will be available to students for the fall semester within the upcoming weeks at Participation is open to all students who play an orchestral string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. CRYS is also a newly registered ensemble class through JCC which college students may take for college credit. Last year, CRYS included students in first grade through seniors in high school, as well as every age in between.

To learn more about CRYS and its programs for young musicians, email or visit or the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony’s Facebook page.