ESYO back with in-person performances, new director of education

ESYO Symphony Classical Orchestra plays for a distanced audience during the Festival of Young Artists at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, Saturday, Jun. 5, 2021. (Jenn March, Special to the Times Union)Jenn March

The Empire State Youth Orchestra announced Friday that they were returning to the stage, starting rehearsals and performances for the upcoming 2021-22 season. Additionally, the orchestra announced the appointment of their first ever director of education, Dr. David Bebe.

Bebe who is a cellist, pedagogue and conductor is not new to ESYO or to the world of teaching. He has been a guest sectional coach with ESYO’s Symphony Orchestra and was an associate professor of Music at the College of Saint Rose. He will be working with ESYO’s artistic staff on building a curriculum for the CHIME program, which provides free daily music instruction and ensemble education to students in Schenectady, Albany, and Troy school districts. He will also create the ESYO enrichment curriculum for both ESYO Ensembles and CHIME.

He worked with ESYO conductors to provide programs over the summer and this fall, he launched a year-round chamber music program and the ESYO Chamber Orchestra that provides small-ensemble experiences for ESYO ensemble musicians. The program will end with a chamber music performance in December.

The upcoming season marks the return of in-person performances for ESYO with concerts across the region. The season, led by guest conductor Andrés Rivas from the Orchestra Now, will open on Nov. 5 at at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

The rest of the season will feature pieces like Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, Bizet’s L’Artesienne Suites No. 1 & No. 2, Jennifer Higdon’s Light, Danzon No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez and jazz standards by Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.

Concertino Strings, ESYO’s introductory orchestra, will perform a Pachelbel’s Canon arrangement, led by their conductor, Leo Milman, and on November 20, the Youth Jazz Orchestra will be joined in concert by Grammy-nominated Trumpet player Michael Rodriguez.

Tickets for ESYO’s upcoming season are available online at They have no fixed price and can be purchased for as little as $1 with ACCESS ESYO’s “pay what you can” ticket program.



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