Youth Symphony Students Participate in 1891 Opera House’s Bach & Beyond

L to R: Samuel Mincarelli, Andria Kayes, Sofya Kyser, Soren Kyser, Ethan Livingston, Hannah Hornyak, Robert Hall, Hunter Giunta, and Jena Luce.

Article Contributed by
Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony

Every year since 1996, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House has treated the community to the Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival, a lively weekend celebration of Baroque music.

This year’s June 14-16 event includes a unique experience for students in the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS). At the Saturday evening concert, 8 p.m., June 15, the young musicians will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso, Opus 3, No. 11 as part of the Festival orchestra.

CRYS has three orchestras, Prelude Strings for beginning string players, Young Artists Orchestra for intermediate musicians, and Chamber Orchestra for advanced students. The Chamber members playing with the Bach & Beyond orchestra are Hunter Giunta, Robert Hall, Hannah Hornyak, Andria Kayes, Sofya Kyser, Soren Kyser, Ethan Livingston, Jena Luce, and Samuel Mincarelli.

Performing with a professional orchestra is an example of the distinctive opportunities CRYS provides its students. In addition to regular rehearsals with Maestro Eckenrode, CRYS students had intensive sectional coaching by professional performer/educators in preparation for their recent Spring Gala Concert at Chautauqua Institution’s Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. Students who are also part of Suzuki at Lutheran gave other local performances, and some participated in the Jamestown Concert Association’s master class with the Russian String Orchestra.

The Bach & Beyond Festival orchestra uses baroque bows that produce an authentic Baroque chamber music sound, like the small chamber groups that played for dinners in the 17th and early 18th centuries, and require a different technique than the usual bows. The Youth Symphony is one of the few youth orchestras in the world to use Baroque bows.

Artistic Director Grant Cooper conducts the Bach & Beyond Festival orchestra, in which CRYS Music Director and Conductor Bryan Eckenrode is cellist. The two teamed with CRYS Vice President Nina Karbacka to make this opportunity possible.

Karbacka, who founded the Jamestown Orchestra of Youth, CRYS’s predecessor, in 1988, observed, “CRYS participated in Bach & Beyond in 2008 and purchased our baroque bows for that special event. I am delighted that we are invited to again have this experience with Grant Cooper and the fine musicians of Bach & Beyond in the lovely Fredonia Opera House.”

All the details of the Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival (including ticket purchases, Pre-Concert Conversations with Maestro Cooper, a Special Opening Reception, and a Subscribers Reception that closes the weekend) and information on a 20-year retrospective set of CDs are at

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