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Youth Symphony Board Welcomes Former Students as New Members | Arts & Culture

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Youth Symphony Board Welcomes Former Students as New Members
Arts & Culture
Youth Symphony Board Welcomes Former Students as New Members

Jamestown, NY – The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) board welcomed two new members, Marie Karbacka and Tim O’Brien, at their September meeting.

Along with current member Tim Pryzbelinski, they make three board members who were CRYS students in their youth and are now music teachers.

“It’s very exciting to begin our 31st season with these additions to our board,” said newly elected president Nancy Larson. “With their experience and positions in our local music community, they will bring a valuable perspective and resource to our work!”

Marie Karbacka received her Bachelors in Music Performance, concentration voice, from Mercyhurst University and her Master of Music Education from SUNY Fredonia. She played in CRYS orchestras from middle school through her graduation from Jamestown High School, where she was in A Cappella Choir, Orchestra, and various bands. Now the director of orchestras for grades 5 through 12 at Southwestern Central Schools, the Jamestown resident joined the CRYS board in hopes to help the program grow and develop and to give musical input to the organization.

Tim O’Brien graduated from Allegheny College with majors in violin performance and biochemistry. He performed in CRYS orchestras from 8th grade until he graduated from Southwestern Central School. In addition to working full-time at Gateway Ophthalmology, O’Brien teaches violin at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts. Now a resident of Busti, he noted that he appreciates what CRYS did for him and sees serving on the board as a way of giving back.

In addition to Nancy Larson and Tim Pryzbelinski, continuing CRYS board members are Michelle Battaglia, Michelle Carlson, Kathy Geary, and Lana Huston. Pryzbelinski teaches grades 5-12 band at Chautauqua Lake Central School, and Battaglia is the middle school band director for Falconer Central Schools.

Distinguished performer and conductor Bryan Eckenrode is Music Director and Conductor for the three CRYS orchestras that offer distinct opportunities to serious music students. Prelude Strings is for beginning string players, Young Artists Orchestra (YAO) for intermediate musicians, and the String Chamber Orchestra is for highly talented and motivated string players in high school and college. 

Orchestra participants are selected by teacher recommendation and audition. Online and printable application forms can be found at CRYouthSymphony.com and must be submitted by December 15, 2017. Students will be auditioned on Saturday and Sunday, January 6 and 7, 2018, for proper placement in one of the three orchestras.

Part of the preparation for the new season includes planning an enrichment experience. Assisted by a grant from Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, last spring CRYS students traveled to hear the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Star Wars and More: The Best of John Williams.” They especially appreciated this opportunity as their own Spring Gala Concert concluded with a combined presentation of Williams’s main theme from Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

For more information about the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony and opportunities for young musicians, call (716) 664-2465 ext. 202, email chautauquarys@gmail.com, or visit CRYouthSymphony.com.


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