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Encyclopedia > California Youth Symphony

California Youth Symphony (CYS) is a San Francisco Bay Area symphony orchestra for young musicians of high school age and under. It was founded in 1952 by Aaron Sten and in 1963 became the first United States youth orchestra to tour abroad, performing twelve concerts in Japan. Since that time the orchestra has toured Mexico, Australia, and several countries in Europe and in Asia. In 1994, the orchestra placed first in the International Youth and Music Festival Competition in Vienna. The orchestra has also collaborated with youth orchestras in Japan and in Switzerland. Leo Eylar has been musical director since 1990. USGS satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay Area. ... Orchestra at City Hall (Edmonton). ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... World map showing the location of Asia. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ... “Wien” redirects here. ...


History and Tours

Officially, the California Youth Symphony, or CYS for short, is California's first established symphony-orchestra for some of California's most musically talented youth (although there is some controversy since the Young People's Symphony Orchestra in Berkeley was founded in 1935). Since its inception in 1952, it has toured several countries around the globe, a semi-annual tradition, and most recently completed a tour to the People's Republic of China. In the 2007-2008 season, the symphony will bring its talents to Japan and Korea. Korea (Korean: 한국 in South Korea or 조선 in North Korea, see below) is a geographic area, civilization, and former state situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. ...


CYS is notable for its challenging repertoire that includes works by Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók, Dmitri Shostakovich, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and Sergei Prokofiev, and a plethora more. CYS has also premiered many modern works, including the music director's Rhapsody for Orchestra, a piece nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (Russian: Игорь Фёдорович Стравинский, Igor Fëdorovič Stravinskij) (June 17, 1882 – April 6, 1971) was a Russian composer, considered by many in both the West and his native land to be the most influential composer of 20th-century music. ... Béla Bartók in 1927 Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist and collector of Eastern European and Middle Eastern folk music. ... Dmitri Shostakovich in 1942 Dmitri Shostakovich   (Russian: , Dmitrij Dmitrievič Å ostakovič) (September 25 [O.S. September 12] 1906–August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. ... Aaron Copland Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer of concert and film music. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Leonard Bernstein in 1971 Leonard Bernstein (IPA pronunciation: )[1] (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, and pianist. ... Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (Russian: , Sergej Sergejevič Prokofijev; April 27 (April 151 O.S.), 1891–March 5, 1953) was a Russian and Soviet composer who mastered numerous musical genres and came to be admired as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century. ... The Pulitzer Prize is an American award regarded as the highest national honor in print journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition. ...

CYS has also recorded several CDs, the most recent ones being "The Maestro's Pick," a compilation of CYS' best performances of the 2004-2005 season. More information regarding CYS recordings is available on the CYS official website, listed below. Sound samples are also available on the same page.

Related Ensembles

The CYS comprises several ensembles. In addition to the CYS Orchestra, there is an intermediate level Associate Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Flute Ensemble and Preparatory Ensembles for strings and winds. Overall, CYS musicians number over 500 from the greater San Francisco Bay Area, ranging from elementary school students to high school seniors. Composer-conductor Leo Eylar conducts the Associate Orchestra and the Senior Orchestra, the CYS premier orchestra.

Wind Preparatory Ensembles

There are two Wind Preparatory (Wind Prep, for short) Ensembles that function as large symphonic bands, and mainly comprise middle school students, along with some high school students. The Wind Preparatory Ensembles are under the direction of Rosita Amador. They are entitled "preparatory" because they serve to prepare the younger wind players for the more advanced full orchestras. The orchestration is typical, including flutes, oboes, clarinets, saxophones, bassoons, trumpets, French horns, trombones, and (tubas) (in relatively accurate score order). The group performs two concerts a year.

CYS Junior and Intermediate Preparatory String Ensembles

With Junior and Intermediate levels, the CYS String Preparatory Program provides string music instruction and ensemble experiences for younger musicians and prepares them to advance to the CYS Associate Orchestra. Under the direction of Kati Kyme, the CYS Intermediate String Ensemble performs 3 concerts per year.

Associate Orchestra

The Associate Orchestra CYS' intermediate level symphony-orchestra. Members of the 2nd Wind Prep Ensemble and the Intermediate Strings usually graduate to this orchestra, should they choose to stay in the institution, therefore rendering it a sort of convergent ensemble. The Associate Orchestra plays medium-difficult repertoire, and has typical orchestration.

This ensemble serves as an arena for younger, less-experienced musicians to gain incomparable experience in the world of performance and to prepare them for advancement to the CYS Senior Orchestra. The repertoire is varied and serves as a valuable introduction to the orchestral experience. The CYS Associate Orchestra performs 3-4 concerts per year. Members attend a summer day camp in August.

Senior Orchestra

The CYS Senior Orchestra is CYS' premier ensemble. It collectivizes some the most advanced players from the other CYS ensembles, as well as those not in CYS at all. It tours semiannually, under the baton of Maestro Leo Eylar, former co-concertmaster of the San Jose Symphony.

Flute Choir

Under the direction of Rosita Amador, the CYS Flute Ensemble provides flute instruction for younger players, preparing them to advance to the CYS Associate Orchestra. The group performs two concerts per year.

Percussion Ensemble

Under the direction of Artie Storch, the CYS Percussion Ensemble is a unique forum for talented musicians through grade 12. Members of the Ensemble study an exciting repertoire and perform in the Ensemble's 2-3 CYS concerts each year and at other music events around the Bay Area. In addition, students learn about and improve their techniques on a variety of percussion instruments. Membership is open to both members of the CYS orchestras and to other musicians. Percussion instruments are played by being struck, shaken, rubbed or scraped. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Newcomers must audition to get in and those that are already in the symphony must audition yearly to stay in. CYS members can promote to higher levels. The CYS levels of advancement might be portrayed as follows:

CYS Flute Ensemble/Wind Prep I/Beginning Strings-->CYS Flute Ensemble/Wind Prep II/Intermediate Strings-->Associate Orchestra-->CYS Orchestra

Non-Convergent (not part of the general promotion system): CYS Percussion Ensemble

CYS attracts some of the Bay Area's most talented young musicians, at all levels. It is a non-profit organization. A non-profit organization (abbreviated NPO, or non-profit or not-for-profit) is an organization whose primary objective is to support an issue or matter of private interest or public concern for non-commercial purposes, without concern for monetary profit. ...

External links

  • The California Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Young Artist Competition
  • CYS Critique
  • CYS Ensembles and other news



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