Youth Symphony Students To Participate In 1891 Opera House’s Bach & Beyond Saturday

Selected Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony students will perform as part of the Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival orchestra for the closing number at their concert on Saturday, June 15. Photographed following their recent Spring Gala Concert at Chautauqua Institution's Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, these students are, from left, Samuel Mincarelli, Andria Kayes, Sofya Kyser, Soren Kyser, Ethan Livingston, Hannah Hornyak, Robert Hall, Hunter Giunta and Jena Luce.

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

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

The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony 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 opportunities the youth symphony provides its students. In addition to regular rehearsals with Brian Eckenrode, Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony 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.

Grant Cooper, artistic director, conducts the Bach & Beyond Festival orchestra, in which Bryan Eckenrode, Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony music director and conductor, is cellist. The two teamed with Nina Karbacka, Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony board vice president, to make the opportunity possible. Karbacka founded the Jamestown Orchestra of Youth, the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony predecessor, in 1988.

“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,” Karbacka said.

All the details of the Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival — including ticket purchases, pre-concert conversations with 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 fredopera.org.

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