2021-2022 Announcements


Winter Concert Tickets

In order to expedite audience flow at the concert venue, we highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance by:

1) submitting a Request Form

and

2) making your PayPal payment

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Dear GWYOA Members, Families, and Guests,


We are thrilled to announce the details of the Winter Concert 2021 at White Plains High School.

GWYOA Winter Concert 2021

Sunday, December 12, 2021

White Plains High School, 550 North Street, White Plains, NY 10605


Westchester Elementary Strings - Arrival 12:00 pm*, Performance 1:00 pm

Westchester Junior Strings - Arrival 1:00 pm*, Performance 2:00 pm

Westchester Youth Symphony - Arrival 2:15 pm*, Performance 3:15 pm


* The times may change slightly, but will not be earlier than 12:00 pm



Concert Attire

Due to possible shortages we recommend acquiring concert clothing as soon as possible.


Black or navy pants, black socks and shoes, white shirt with conservative, straight tie, and black jacket. Shirts must be tucked inside pants.

-or-

All white blouses, black shoes, black bottoms (skirts must be knee length or longer).

Please note: Black leggings do not conform to this dress code. No athletic shoes/ sneakers.


Tickets

In order to expedite audience flow at the concert venue, we highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance by:

1) submitting a Request Form

and

2) making your PayPal payment

  • Tickets cost $15 each. You only need to purchase (1) ticket for each guest for the entire concert. Musicians do not need a ticket to attend additional performance(s).

  • Tickets are first come first served. Make sure you complete your purchase by submitting the request form AND making your PayPal payment (make sure you note musicians name before checking out).

  • Purchased tickets will be available for pick-up at your designated musicians rehearsal check-in table beginning on Monday, November 22. Tickets not retrieved at rehearsals will be available at Will Call on the day of the concert (ticket table at the auditorium entrance).

  • Seating is general admission.

  • Additional tickets may be ordered by submitting the request form again and leaving a note in the Comments area, "additional tickets". Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at the venue.


Masks and Distancing

Please wear a mask – all guests and musicians – at all times. (Brass & winds musicians may pull their masks down only while they are performing.)

Please maintain social distancing. Do not crowd while entering or exiting the auditorium. Leave a seat empty on either side of family parties.

Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

We strongly encourage the COVID-19 vaccination for all age-eligible students.


Performers:

We will collect proof of vaccination (2 shots of Pfizer/Moderna, 1 shot J&J) starting now for all students. Please email the photo or screenshot to the liaisons of your orchestra. On the day of the concert, temperatures will be taken at the door upon their arrival.

-or-

For unvaccinated students, they will need proof of a negative test within 72 hours prior to the concert which also can be emailed to liaisons or presented at the concert. On the day of the concert, temperatures will be taken at the door upon their arrival.


Guests:

Proof of vaccination for audience members (2 shots of Pfizer/Moderna, 1 shot J&J) or proof of negative test within 72 hours will be collected at the admission doors prior to the concert, along with temperature checks.


Types of COVID-19 tests

Approved: NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) tests

typically collected with a nasal or throat swab, or saliva

  • RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction)

  • LAMP (Loop-mediated isothermal amplification)

  • TMA (Transcription mediated amplification)

  • NEAR (Nicking endonuclease amplification reaction)

Not approved: Antibody tests, at home self test kits


Please feel free to contact your orchestras liaisons with any questions.

Welcome Conductor Feldman!

The Westchester Youth Symphony has had only five conductors since its inception. Harry Alshin sowed the seeds for a Westchester-based youth orchestra in 1955. Dale Lewis was the next conductor, followed by Victor Lionti, who took over the baton in 1970 and maintained it for 25 years.

His son, Vincent Lionti, followed in his father's footsteps and in 1996 began passionately guiding the Westchester Youth Symphony for the next 24 years.

Tragically, Vincent passed away on April 3, 2020 from a COVID-19 related illness.

Following the incomprehensible loss of Vincent, the GWYOA board of directors appointed Kathleen Coletta Feldman to the position of interim conductor for the COVID challenged 2020-2021 season.

Conductor Feldman's dedicated enthusiasm during the difficult season, combined with her boundless energy, knowledge, expertise, and rapport with her musicians surpassed the board's expectations.

On November 3, 2021 the board appointed her permanent conductor.

2021-2022 Schedule

In case of a last minute change to the schedule, it is extremely important that we have your current contact information. Updates may be sent to Parent Liaisons of your child's orchestra.

Monday, November 15

Monday, November 22

Monday, November 29

Monday, December 6

Sunday, December 12, 1:00 pm - Winter Concert, White Plains HS

Monday, January 3

Monday, January 10

Monday, January 24

Monday, January 31

Monday, February 7

Monday, February 14

Monday, February 28

Monday, March 7

Monday, March 14

Monday, March 21

Monday, March 28

Monday, April 4

Monday, April 18

Monday, April 25

Monday, May 2

Sunday, May 8 - Spring Gala Concert,
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

Welcome to a New Season of the GWYOA

Rehearsal Times

Elementary Strings: Arrival: 5:00 pm, Rehearsal: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm - Tutak Hall

Junior Strings: Arrival: 6:45 pm, Rehearsal: 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm - Gym

Youth Symphony: Arrival: 7:00 pm, Rehearsal: 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm - Tutak Hall

Rehearsal Location

Rehearsals will be held at St. Gregory the Enlightener Armenian Church: 1131 North St., White Plains, NY 10605 - Google map: https://goo.gl/maps/xw9MTEMCWDdy5PHP7
Overhead Map: https://www.gwyoa.org/home/st-gregory

Tuition

Full tuition for the 2021-2022 season:

Elementary Strings: $515, Junior Strings: $555, Youth Symphony: $580

Families with multiple children in the GWYOA are entitled to a 10% tuition reduction off of each child's tuition (Sibling Discount). Make sure you select the appropriate amount on the drop down menu.

Please note: through the generosity of the Stanley C. Staś Chmielewski and Dr. Herman L. Eberhardt Scholarship Fund, tuition assistance is available. Email treasurer@gwyoa.org to inquire.

Refund policy: 100% refund before the 1st rehearsal*; 75% refund after 1st rehearsal*; 50% after 2nd rehearsal*; 25% after 3rd rehearsal*; no refund after 4th rehearsal.

* minus $50 processing fee


2021-2022 Notable

Greenwich Symphony Orchestra's Teen Talent Contest

Congratulations to GWYOA JS members Jordan Pak and Aniketh Arvind, for winning in the 6th-8th Grade division, and YS member Alex Pak who received an Honorable Mention in the 9th-12th Grade division of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra's Teen Talent Contest.

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:

  • Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts

  • Carnegie Hall

  • David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

  • Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center

  • Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center

  • Ellis Island

  • Kennedy Center

  • SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center

  • Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital

  • MENC Eastern Division Conference

  • NYSSMA State Conferences

  • White Plains Performing Arts Center

  • 1976 Bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia

Various local nursing homes, elementary and middle schools.