Youth Symphony Launches Annual Fund Drive; Prepares for 2020 Fall Chamber Symphony Concert


The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) board members launched their annual fund drive for 2020-2021, the organization’s 34rd season during the October month.

The board is continuously working to provide additional meaningful experiences for the students enrolled in CRYS, especially during this unusual season with additional hardships. In the spring of 2020, the rehearsal season ended three months early and the students were not able to perform in May. The board felt they had a financial responsibility to their students and their families, which led to the decision to provide a refund of tuition for the missed months to the students. The students could choose to apply this refund to tuition costs for the fall semester. For the organization, this resulted in loss of revenue not only for the spring, but also for the fall.

The Chamber Symphony Orchestra, the advanced ensemble of the organization, is currently preparing for their fall concert. The group rehearses weekly, socially distanced, with masks, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Lakewood. They will perform on November 21, at 7p.m. via livestream. The concert will be directed by acclaimed conductor and performer Bryan Eckenrode and will be free to the public. To reserve your spot for the live stream performance, register at Livestream registrations are limited, so be sure to register today! A virtual free-will offering will be taken.

Eckenrode leads and conducts all three CRYS orchestras, Prelude Strings, Young Artist Orchestra (YAO) as well as the Chamber Symphony Orchestra.

Membership in the organization is open to all students in Chautauqua County and surrounding areas who play an orchestral string, brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument. There is no audition required to participate. Interested students are encouraged to register for a future semester directly on the CRYS website.

CRYS students pay tuition, but significant financial assistance is offered to the students. CRYS receives essential funding from foundations in the community including The Chautauqua Regional Community Foundation, The Lenna Foundation and The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation. While parents, board members and students all participate in fundraising, support by individuals, local organizations and businesses is essential.

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony shows appreciation for its contributors by recognition on its website and in printed concert programs. Donors also typically receive preferential seating in the Spring Gala concert in May.

Tax-deductible contributions to the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony can be mailed to P.O. Box 3454, Jamestown, NY 14702 or made through the Donors page at

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