2023-2024 Schedule

 

2023


13 rehearsals, 1 sectional, ES & JS Tours, Winter concert

 

Sept 11*, 18, (no rehearsal 25 – Yom Kippur)

Oct 2*, 9, 16, 23, 30

Oct 29 – 1pm-4pm ES sectionals 

Oct 29 – 4pm-7pm YS sectionals

Nov 6*, 13, 20, 27

Nov 19 – 1pm-4pm JS sectionals 

Dec 4*, 11 (YS only on the 11th)

Dec 7 (snow date 8th ) – ES Tour  

Dec 7 (snow date 8th ) – JS Tour 

 

Sunday, December 10, 2023 - Winter concert

ES 2:00 pm, JS 3:00 pm, YS 4:15 pm
Hankin Academic Arts Auditorium, WCC

 

 

2024 


14 rehearsals, 1 sectional, ES & JS Tours, Spring Gala concert

 

JANUARY

Jan 8*, (no rehearsal 15 MLK day), 22, 29 

Monday, January 15, 2024 YS Lewis-Lionti concert


FEBRUARY
Feb 5*, 12, (no rehearsal 19 President’s day), 26


MARCH

March 4*, 11, 18, 25

March 3 – 1pm-4pm ES sectionals 

March 3 – 4pm-7pm YS sectionals


APRIL

April (no rehearsal 1 spring break), 8*, 15, (no rehearsal 22 Passover), 24 (a Wednesday)

April 19 ES Tour
April 22 – No rehearsal (Passover)

April 24 (Wednesday) – JS Tour (in lieu of rehearsal), ES rehearsal at WCC, no YS rehearsal.

Sunday, April 28, 2024 Spring Gala, Lincoln Center

 

AUDITIONS for 2024-2025 Season:

Monday, May 6 - Moving Up to JS and YS, 

and New to ES

Saturday, May 11 - New to ES, JS, and YS

 

Last board meeting May 13*

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(*) GWYOA Board meetings



Announcements


In February 2023, our conductor and leader for many years, Victor Lionti, passed. He was not only a consummate musician but a wonderful teacher and inspiring man. 

 

It is a great loss indeed to lose both Victor and his son, Vincent, in such a short span of time. To paraphrase our conductor, Bernard Klinger, ”we all carry some of Victor and Vincent with us; not only did they possess so much musical knowledge, but they also brought an even-ness, humanity, humility, sincerity, and ability to appreciate others. They have set a high bar for us.”


The Board will be organizing a fund in memory of Victor and Vincent Lionti. Details will be forthcoming.  You can find the obituary for Victor here.


Welcome to the 2023-2024 Season

Please see Member Info for arrival and rehearsal times, plus related info.

Parent/Guardian Info for additional detailed information

Rehearsals and the Winter Concert are held at Westchester Community College's Academic Arts Building near parking lot #4.  

About the GWYOA

The Greater Westchester Youth Orchestras Association
is dedicated to the development of young people’s
musicianship through rehearsing and performing together.

The GWYOA is a not-for-profit organization providing excellent grounding in cooperation, helping young people to develop self- esteem, and promoting harmony in our ethnically diverse community through classical music training. Founded in 1953, the GWYOA consists of three orchestras made up of students in grades four through twelve from Westchester County, NY, and from the surrounding counties in the Tri-State area, working in cooperation with the Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY. All three of the orchestras perform Winter and Spring Concerts each year. 

History of the GWYOA

Mr. Harry Alshin, a string teacher in the Scarsdale school system, sowed the seeds for a Westchester-based youth orchestra in 1955. He first organized and conducted a countywide group of junior high-school students, preparing the young participants for the challenges of playing in a youth orchestra. Two years later, the original orchestra was established. The modern-day GWYOA is comprised of three groups: Elementary Strings (grades four through six), Junior Strings (grades seven through nine), and the Youth Symphony (for high-school musicians).

 

Maestro Alshin remained with Junior Strings until he retired in the 1980s. Dale Lewis was the next conductor, and was followed by Vincent Lionti in 1990. 

 

Elementary Strings was organized in 1983 and was first conducted by Jacqueline Stern. She moved on to lead the Junior Strings in 1996 (where she remains today) when Bernard Klinger joined GWYOA as the new (and current) conductor of the Elementary Strings.

 

The Youth Symphony has had only five conductors since its inception. Victor Lionti, who took over the baton in 1970 and maintained it for 25 years, holds the longest tenure. His son, Vincent Lionti, who played viola with the GWYOA from the age of 12 through high school, followed in his father’s footsteps and began leading the Youth Symphony in 1996. Vincent guided the Youth Symphony with passion for the next 24 years, but tragically passed away on April 3, 2020, from COVID-related illness. Following the incomprehensible loss of Vincent, the board of GWYOA appointed Kathleen Coletta Feldman to the position of interim conductor, and on November 3, 2021, made that appointment permanent.

 

During the early years, GWYOA was sponsored by Westchester County and rehearsals were held in the basement of the County Center. There was also a six-week sleep-away summer camp co-sponsored by the GWYOA and the county at Croton Point. For many years after that, GWYOA worked in cooperation with the Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY, where weekly rehearsals and certain performances were held. While adapting to the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, GWYOA has been working in cooperation with the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, White Plains High School, and St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church for rehearsals and performances.

Performance Venues

The GWYOA orchestras perform in a wide range of venues. In the past they have been honored to perform at:

Various local nursing homes, elementary and middle schools.