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, Winter concert


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

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

November 7*, [Sun, 13 - JS Sectionals], 14, [Sun, 20 - ES Sectionals], 21, 28

December 5*, [Tue, 6 - ES at Sonesta Hotel], [Thur, 8 - JS at Westchester Mall], (skip 12th, 19th, 26th after concert)


Sunday, December 11, 2022 - Winter Concert,
ES
2:00 pm, JS 2:45 pm, YS 3:45 pm
Hankin Academic Arts Auditorium, WCC


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


January 9*, 23 , 30 (YS Lewis-Lionti Concert) (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

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(*) GWYOA Board meetings

Announcements


Youth Symphony:

Lewis-Lionti Concert

Monday, January 30, 2023, 7:00 pm

Hankin Academic Arts Auditorium, WCC

Welcome to the 2022-2023 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:

  • 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.