Tentative 2022-2023 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.

2022 - 11 Monday rehearsals, 1 Sunday sectional date TBD, Winter concert

September 12, 19 (skip: 26th Rosh Hashanah)

October 3, 10, 17, 24 (skip 31st Halloween)

November 7, 14, 21, 28

December 5 (skip 12th, 19th, 26th after concert)

Sunday, December 11, 2022 - Winter Concert,
Hankin Academic Arts Auditorium, WCC

2023 - 12 Monday rehearsals, 1 Sunday sectional date TBD, Spring Gala concert

January 9, 23, 30 (skip 2nd and 16th MLK Day)

February 6, 13, 27 (skip 21st Presidents' Day)

March 6, 13, 20, 27

April 10, 17 (skip 3rd Spring Break; skip 24th - after Spring Gala)

Sunday, April 23, 2023 - Spring Gala Concert,
David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center

AUDITIONS for 2023-2024 Season:

Saturday, April 29 - New to ES, JS, and YS

Monday, May 1 - Moving Up to JS and YS,

and New to ES

Supplemental Auditions for
the 2022-2023 Season

If you will be in the 4-6 grade in the Fall of 2022 and play VIOLA or BASS and would like to audition for the Westchester Elementary Strings, please complete this form and the conductor will schedule your audition.

If you will be in the 10-12 grade in the Fall of 2022 and play OBOE or TROMBONE and would like to audition for the Westchester Youth Symphony, please complete this form and the conductor will schedule your audition.

Please see our Auditions page for information on preparing for your audition.

GWYOA Volunteers Needed

Dear parents and guardians of the GWYOA,

We are looking for volunteers to serve on the Board starting this year!

We are looking for 2 people for finance, an assistant treasurer to help with workload and vendor relationships the other is a bookkeeping role. If you are interested in either of these finance roles, please email: treasurer@gwyoa.org

We are also looking for 2 Elementary Strings Liaisons who can be available at rehearsals to assist with logistics. If you are interested, please email: elena.inoue@gwyoa.org

We are also looking for a new Youth Symphony Liaisons who can be available at rehearsals to assist with logistics. If you are interested, please email: cricket.powell@gwyoa.org

We are looking for a graphic designer to keep our website up-to-date and create our Winter concert programs and Lincoln Center signage, please email: david.wentworth@gwyoa.org

The Board is a group of parents/guardians with child(ren) in the GWYOA who dedicate our time and energy to support our conductors and maintain a high-quality music experience for our children. The GWYOA is a truly special organization and we are proud of our continued efforts throughout the pandemic. Please consider offering your time to this worthy effort!


The GWYOA Board of Directors

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.