Westchester Junior Strings Orchestra

2019-2020 Information

May 7, 2020

Dear Junior Strings musicians,

It has been a long while since I’ve written you, and so much has happened since then. The unspeakable death of our own Vincent Lionti tops that list, of course. I know many of you 9th graders were counting on playing under his baton next season (and the rest of you in the following years); I am terribly sad that you will not have that opportunity. Certainly, no one can replace Vincent Lionti, but rest assured that we are making plans for the continuation of strong leadership in Youth Symphony and our other programs for next year and in the future, and for the continued support of your musical education. We are here for you in every way we can be.

On a happier note, we are planning for a virtual audio recording of us playing Styres’ Rally, so dust off your music and start practicing it again! Early next week you will be sent directions for recording yourself and sending it back to us so that we can put it together for a final “performance.” The tempo will be quarter note=108. (You may be wondering why I chose that piece from all our repertoire: the straightforward tempo will make the process much simpler. Something as nuanced as the Holberg Suite would not have worked as well. I also thought we needed to be doing something upbeat.)

Styres’ Rally audio link that we're going to use as our "guide recording" when we do our recording: https://www.fjhmusic.com/strings/mp3/st6105.mp3

Once that is done, I will send you instructions for how to return your music to us; we will need it back by the end of May.

Finally, the sign-up for auditions for our next orchestra season are on the GWYOA website (https://www.gwyoa.org/auditions). You do not need to re-audition if you are in 7th or 8th grade, but 9th graders should sign up for a Zoom audition with our interim Youth Symphony conductor, Kathleen Coletta. If you have any friends who you think would be a good fit for either orchestra, please pass the word on to them, or feel free to give out my contact information.

Meanwhile, you and your families please stay well.

Warmest wishes,

Jacqueline Stern

March 23, 2020 Online Lesson - Click here to download this lesson

Hello again, Junior Strings musicians,

As of now, our seating assignments have been made in all sections, and you should know exactly what lines to play in every part of each piece of our music. If you’re confused, please let me know - happy to help you out.

This week I’d like you to practice Styres’ Rally, being sure you are playing the correct divisi part. Here’s a video I’d like you to hear

There’s some odd foot-stamping at the beginning, but I like the tempo and the nice, legato bows. I track this tempo at quarter note=96; see if you are up to that. Observe which are solo parts and which tutti. The accents and dynamic marks really make a difference, so be sure you are doing them all.

Playful Pizzicato:

First, go through this once on the slow side, watching the dynamics, tenuto and accent marks. Try to overdo the crescendos/decrescendos to make them effective. Can you play it straight through and really get everything? Then, put your metronome on 112 (for the dotted quarter) and see if you can play through with all the markings. It’s tricky to count the rests between entrances, but be sure you can do it accurately -- even without the help of the rest of the orchestra. Do the big, strummed chords sound full and ringing? As I’ve said, it helps to pizz. on a diagonal across the fingerboard.

Gavotte and Musette (from Holberg Suite)

This week, give extra focus to these paired movements. Again, be sure you’re playing the right part in the divisi. I love the contrast between the gentle legato phrases (Musette) and the light lift of the rest. Remember, these are dances, so try to get them “dancey.” We’re going for a tempo of around 76=half note, so try it with metronome at that tempo.

If you'd like to check in with me via video about any of this, I'd be very happy to meet up with you online.

That’s it for now. Keep healthy and making music!

Ms. Stern jacqueline.stern@gwyoa.org

March 14, 2020 Online Lesson - Click here to download this lesson

Dear Junior String Musicians,

I hope this finds you all healthy and hunkered down for some quiet study and maybe a little extra sleep. In lieu of this week’s rehearsal, I am sending you here some assignments, as well as clips for listening and study. Please read all the way to the bottom of this email.

This week I would like you to concentrate on the Holberg Suite, the real “meat” of our program. Please listen once to all the movements (even though I’ve selected different performances here for a little variety) without music. Then I’d like you to hear each movement while watching your part. In particular, please concentrate on the Air: focus on the rhythms and where the 32nd note figures fall. When you play the movement, have your metronome at 80=eighth note (you don’t need the metronome every time, but, say, about 3 to 4 times this week).

Here are things to concentrate on for specific sections (for all musicians, please observe the divisis according to your permanent seats):

1st violin:

1st movement - the bow stroke of the rhythm (as in the first measure): use tiny bow for the 16th notes. Be sure the accents and fp’s are all there. Measures 19-letter C, of course. Watch the pp/dolce at letter D. Strong and full on last 5 measures. 2nd movement - dynamics as printed. Watch where the grace notes fall, measures 10 and 12. Ritenuto, measure 23; a tempo at G. Gavotte/Musette - pay particular attention to the articulations, accents, staccati. Air - record yourself after a few days; hear it while watching the music! Rigaudon - in the poco meno mosso section, watch the articulations, and keep the tempo fluid, as in the recording below.

2nd violin:

1st movement - the bow stroke of the rhythm (as in the first measure): use tiny bow for the 16th notes. Be sure the accents and fp’s are all there. Measures 19-letter C, of course. Strong and full on last 5 measures, especially on the triplet in the second to last measure. 2nd movement - dynamics as printed. Ritenuto, measure 23; a tempo at G. Gavotte/Musette - I know you don’t know which part you will play in the divisi, so kindly look at both, especially in the Gavotte. Pay particular attention to the articulations, accents, staccati. Air - you don’t get to play the melody here, but you need to be rock-steady with the eighth note pulse. Rigaudon- in the poco meno mosso section, watch the articulations, and keep the tempo fluid, as in the recording below.

Viola:

1st movement - the bow stroke of the rhythm (as in the first measure): use tiny bow for the 16th notes. Be sure the accents and fp’s are all there. Measures 19-letter C, and particularly strong in measures 21-B, of course. 2nd movement - you have a very independent and important part here, so know it well and be able to play with strength. Gavotte/Musette - pay particular attention to the articulations, accents, staccati. Air - be rock-solid with the eighth note pulse here. Get totally secure and strong in measures

R to 52, your one little opportunity with the melody! Rigaudon - in the poco meno mosso section, watch the articulations, and keep the tempo fluid, as in the recording below.

Cello:

I know you don’t know which part you’re playing in the divisi, which is a bit of an issue, but please see the bottom of the email which is specific to this. 1st movement - pay attention to dynamics and accents in particular. Be sure that bow stroke (as in letter C) is accurate and spirited. Gavotte/Musette - pay particular attention to the articulations, accents, staccati. Air - this is a hard movement for the ‘celli, going from accompaniment to playing the melody with its hard rhythms and many chromatic notes. Please record yourself playing this movement and then hear it while watching your part (after studying the recording as I mentioned above). Are the rhythms and pitches really accurate? I believe in you all...I just know how difficult getting a section of 24 cellists in this movement is going to be! Rigaudon - just watch measures 37-40, and be ready for a fluid tempo in the Poco meno mosso section.

Bass:

1st movement - observe all dynamics and accent markings. Be sure that bow stroke (as in letter C) is accurate and spirited. Last five measures should be particularly strong, in tune and vibrant. 2nd movement - dynamics as printed. Ritenuto, measure 23; a tempo at G. Careful: this movement should never be heavy. Gavotte/Musette - pay particular attention to the articulations, accents, staccati. Air - practice especially on the measures where you join the ‘cellists on the melody: N to O, 32 to 35, 52 to the end; be sure they’re rhythmically accurate and in tune. Please follow along in the recording, as I mentioned above. Rigaudon - watch measures 37-40, and be ready for a fluid tempo in the Poco meno mosso section. Measures 67 to the da capo need to be strong, accurate and in tune.

Holberg Suite

Very casually dressed for a concert, but I love this exciting performance. Notice that the concertmaster is the conductor - possible in a group this small.

Note how fluid the tempo is! I hope you like this as much as I do.

Conductor Herbert Von Karajan gives this his usual incredible polish (and very German interpretation).

Yes, that's the tempo I'd like to do! (Note the foot stamping; really feels like folk music.)


Especially for ‘cellists: I will send you a dedicated email with the results of the seating audition and the seating for the whole section within the next few days. (Then you can figure out which parts to play in the divisis.)

Especially for 2nd violins auditioning via video: I’m assuming you all got my email with the “audition” instructions. If you haven’t sent me your video, please do so by the end of the weekend.

For everyone: I’ll send another email early next week with practice instructions for our other pieces. If you have any questions or concerns, you can email, text or call me - I’m around. I can do a Zoom practice with you or IChat if you have specific questions, or you just want to say hello! Stay well and enjoy the practice time!

Jacqueline Stern

jacqueline.stern@gwyoa.org /201-294-3276

Dear Junior Strings musicians,

First, this Monday (2/24), I will dismiss everyone except the "Czardas" 1st violinists at 8:15 so that we can have a little intensive rehearsal time on that piece.

​Next, March 16 is our special rehearsal with the Cassatt Quartet - sectionals and quartet performance. Musicians should arrive at 6:30 and we will go until 8:45. Pizza and salad will be served. If you are able to volunteer that evening (for set-up, clean-up, monitoring the sectional rooms, etc.) please send me a quick email, with my thanks in advance!

I have confirmed our pre-Lincoln Center concert at Andrus-on-Hudson in Hastings for Thursday night, April 23rd; all musicians are expected to attend this performance. Arrival time will be 5:30 pm, performance will start at 6:00 pm. I am asking that everyone except for bassists and 'cellists bring a folding chair that evening (like we did last year), as they do not have enough chairs to accommodate all of us.

Happy music-making!

Jacqueline Stern

Special to violinists: see the attachment for your assignment (violin I or II) in Csardas, which is subject to change.

JUNIOR STRINGS: PRINCIPAL AUDITIONS

February 10 - Viola

Styre's Rally: solo (beg. to ms. 5) and ms. 13-19

Holberg Suite: Preludio - ms. 19 to B

Rigaudon - solo

February 10 - Bass

Styre's Rally: ms. 42-56

Holberg Suite: Sarabande - F to the end

Air - R to the end


February 24 - Concertmaster (violin I)

Styre's Rally: solo (beg. to ms. 5) and ms. 46-56

Holberg Suite: Air - O to P

Rigaudon - solo


March 2 - Cello

Styre's Rally: solo (beg. to 5) and ms. 13-19

Holberg Suite: Sarabande - ms. 9 to G

Air - Q to the end


March 9 - Violin II

Styre's Rally: ms. 38-46

Holberg Suite: Preludio - ms. 19 to B

Sarabande - beg. to F

Rehearsal Times and Location

Rehearsals are on Monday evenings. Rehearsals and the Winter Concert are held at Westchester Community Colleges Academic Arts Building near Parking lot #4. (see http://www.gwyoa.org/contact for map).

Time: 6:45 PM - 8:30 PM, on the Ground Floor. Please arrive by 6:30 PM for time to unpack and tune instruments.

What to bring to EVERY rehearsal: At the first rehearsal of each semester, each musician will be issued a folder with sharpened pencil and music, and this MUST be brought to each rehearsal, along with a folding music stand with your name on each removable part, extra set of strings (basses excluded), cellos and bassists bring rock stops, anything else you need for your instrument and filled water bottle (no sugary drinks). All musicians other than bassists should also have a mute – I recommend the rubber “Tourte” type. Be sure you don't get a "practice mute;" that's for a different purpose.


Mutes available from SharMusic.com: Violin / Viola , Cello

Inclement Weather Policy

GWYOA follows the Westchester Community College decisions for bad weather closures. Please check the WCC website (http://www.sunywcc.edu), call the WCC Information number at 914-606-6900, or contact your conductor or parent liaison when in doubt. Should a rehearsal be cancelled for weather, we will notify you by email. Please make sure we always have your current email address.

Concerts and Special Rehearsals

Junior Strings Fall Sectional Rehearsal - Monday, November 25, 6:30 pm

Junior Strings Fall Concert - Thursday, December 12, 2019

GWYOA Winter Concert - Sunday, December 15, 2019 (snow date Dec. 16), Westchester Community College’s, Hankin Academic Arts Building. Recorded concert, JS musicians need to arrive at 1:45 PM at regular Rehearsal Room for 2:15 PM performance. Tickets: $15 suggested donation at the door. Seating is general admission.

Special Rehearsal and Sectionals - Monday, March 16

Spring Concert: Thursday, April 23, 2020 – details to come

Spring Gala Concert - Sunday, April 26, 2020 at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC. Tickets are available for purchase through Lincoln Center’s box office a few weeks before the concert. Seating is general admission, although you may be asked to choose seats when purchasing tickets. Student BUS transportation from WCC is provided - and is REQUIRED. Report to WCC parking lot #4 for bus to Lincoln Center at 9:50 AM. Transportation back to WCC from Lincoln Center is NOT provided.

Concert Attire:

Concert attire, as specified below, is required at all performances.

Black suit (or black jacket/trousers), white button-down shirt, long tie (doesn't need to be black), black socks and shoes. No athletic shoes/sneakers.

OR

Black dress, ankle or floor-length, or black blouse (3/4 sleeved or longer) and ankle- or floor-length skirt or concert trousers, black tights, black closed-toe shoes. Please note that leggings are not a substitute for black trousers. No short sleeves, please.

General Information

Attendance and Behavior:

As per the Musicians' Contract, item #1 states: “Attendance at all rehearsals and performances is mandatory. Inappropriate behavior, excessive tardiness and absences (excused or not) jeopardizes the orchestra’s ability to perform and will necessitate a review by the conductor with the Board of Directors. More than two (2) absences per semester will be considered excessive and may constitute grounds for dismissal.” Cell phones and electronics must be silenced and out of sight during rehearsals.

Westchester Junior Strings Contact Information:

Conductor: Jacqueline Stern: jacqueline.stern@gwyoa.org

Parent Liaisons: Mrs. Amy Chan: amy.chan@gwyoa.org / Mrs. Cricket Powell: cricket.powell@gwyoa.org

JS ARCHIVE

Junior Strings Concert at The Westchester - Thursday, December 6, 2018, 6:30 PM

Our first concert of the season will be at The Westchester at 6:30 PM, with arrival time at 5:50 PM. Parents, family and friends welcome.

VENUE: The Westchester, Savor Food Hall on level 4 - 125 Westchester Ave, White Plains, NY 10601 (Google Map) / The Westchester Mall map: https://www.simon.com/mall/the-westchester/map/#/

It is located in White Plains at the corner of Bloomingdale Road and Westchester Avenues, exit 8 or 8W, right off Route 287.

PARKING / DROP-OFF: Parking is available at the Mall. Drop-off is at the Nordstrom Valet area; take the elevator to the 3rd floor and the escalator up one level to the Savor Food Hall on level 4. Head to the right past the coffee stand.

DRESS CODE: Concert Attire is required (see below)

BRING THE FOLLOWING: Music stand, folder, mutes, ‘cello/bass straps or rockstops and extra strings. Also, bring a reusable water bottle.

5:50 PM — Arrive at Savor Food Hall on level 4

6:30 PM — Performance begins

After their performance, JS members will be served scones baked by New Castle Scone Co. Ingredients list is available from Parent Liaisons for those with allergies, GWYOA is not responsible for monitoring or treating Members with allergies*.

PARENTS please make sure your child knows WHERE TO MEET YOU.


* Please be reminded that for students having medical or health related concerns during GWYOA events (Monday night practices, tours, concerts, sectionals, etc), the responsibility of any medical oversight for these concerns are with the parents/guardians. This is to ensure that proper attention is provided should the need arise. GWYOA cannot take on the responsibility of providing individualized care and oversight at such events.


GWYOA Winter Concert - Sunday, December 9, 2018, 1:00 PM

VENUE: Westchester Community College's, Hankin Academic Arts Building Auditorium (map).

PARKING: The nearest parking lot to the venue is Lot #4 (same as rehearsals), but you must climb a hill to get to the Auditorium entrance, which may be difficult for some of our grandparents. Please see the overhead map and instructions for Handicap drop off route. Musicians and Guests proceed up the hill towards the regular rehearsal room, Musicians (and Guests that need to use the elevator) head left to the sign for the GREEN ROOM building side entrance, Guests continue up the hill to Auditorium entrance.

TICKETS: $15 suggested donation at the door. Seating is general admission.

PROGRAM*: Elementary Strings - 1:00 PM, Junior Strings - 1:45 PM, Youth Symphony - 2:45 PM (* Anticipated starting time, performances will NOT begin earlier. )

DRESS CODE: Concert Attire is required (see below)

BRING THE FOLLOWING: Music stand, folder, mutes, ‘cello/bass straps or rockstops and extra strings. Also, bring a reusable water bottle.

1:15 PM — Junior Strings musicians Arrive at regular Rehearsal Room

1:30 PM — Proceed upstairs to stage

1:45 PM — Performance begins

MUSICIANS this is a recorded concert, make sure your music, stands, and chairs are organized and ready for the entire concert.

After their performance, JS members will exit the stage and proceed back to their Rehearsal Room to pack up and gather their belongings.

Junior Strings Spring Concert at Andrus on Hudson

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Arrival time: 5:30 pm

Performance begins: 6:00 pm (we will be done around 6:45 pm)

Location: Andrus on Hudson - 185 Old Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 (http://www.andrusonhudson.org/)

Please bring a folding chair for violin and viola musicians.

Congratulations! Welcome to the 2019-2020 season of the GWYOA.

You will be redirected to Active Network to register, pay tuition and create an online account. The online account will allow you to receive GWYOA emails and keep your personal information up to date. We are terribly sorry for the inconvenience, we are utilizing a new registration and management system this season, thus you will need to enter information that you had previously provided us. Thank you for your understanding!

In order to hold your seat in the orchestra, you will need to complete registration, including paying tuition, and sign the Musicians' Contract by August 1, 2019. Wait Listed musicians will be offered your seat after the deadline.

If you have multiple children in the GWYOA, please register all of them at the same time to receive the tuition Sibling Discount (see below).

PLEASE NOTE: During check out you will be offered: "PROTECT YOUR REGISTRATION FEES" – please skip, as any refunds will be offered directly through the GWYOA (see Refund Policy below). Upon completion of check out, click "No Thanks" button for "ActiveAdvantage" offer.

Tuition

Full tuition for the 2019-2020 Junior Strings season is $555. A tuition installment option is now available: $250 deposit with the balance split equally between (2) installments due September 1st and October 1st. Families with multiple children in the GWYOA are entitled to a 10% tuition reduction off of each child's tuition (Sibling Discount), please make sure this is applied before checking out.

[PLEASE NOTE: the new system is not discounting the first child registered, please complete registration for all musicians, (youngest child first), then email our treasurer for a refund check. Please include information on musician's name and orchestra that DID NOT RECEIVE THE DISCOUNT.]

Refund policy: 100% refund before the 1st rehearsal (minus $50 processing fee); 75% refund after 1st rehearsal (minus $50 processing fee); 50% after 2nd rehearsal (minus $50 processing fee); 25% after 3rd rehearsal (minus $50 processing fee); no refund after 4th rehearsal.

If you experience any difficulties registering or have a question, please contact us at: info@gwyoa.org

JS Announcements:

Dear Junior Strings members and families,

As you know, we have two upcoming concerts to end the first half of our orchestra season; Thursday, December 12 and Sunday, December 15. Here are some important details to be aware of regarding those two performances:

12/12 at The Westchester (125 Westchester Ave., White Plains): arrival time is 5:50, concert at 6:30 (we will be done by 7:15). We will perform in the Savor Food Hall on the 4th floor.

12/15 at WCC, Hankin Concert Hall. Arrival time is 1:15, concert begins at 1:30 (Junior Strings will perform at 2:15).

Concert dress, below, is required at all performances:

Black suit (or black jacket/trousers), white button-down shirt, long tie (doesn't need to be black), black socks and shoes. No athletic shoes/sneakers.

OR

Black dress, ankle or floor-length, or black blouse (3/4 sleeved or longer) and ankle- or floor-length skirt or concert trousers, black tights, black closed-toe shoes. Please note that leggings are not a substitute for black trousers. No short sleeves, please.

Thank you. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend, and see you on Monday!

​Jackie Stern jacqueline.stern@gwyoa.org