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About the College-Youth Symphony

Information about the College-Youth Symphony and its special relationship with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.

Our History

The College-Youth Symphony began in 1988 through the combined efforts of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the State University of New York at New Paltz and continues as a college-credit course under the auspices of the Music Department of SUNY-New Paltz.  The CYS draws its members from colleges and high schools in a three-county region.  This semester, twenty-two schools are represented in the 80-piece ensemble.  Many of these students are from schools without a symphonic program, and the CYS provides an orchestral experience that music students would otherwise miss.

Cys and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic

The connection between the Hudson Valley Philharmonic ("HVP") and CYS remains strong. Christiana Fortune-Reader, new director of the Youth Symphony, uses the professional musicians of the orchestra whenever possible. HVP musicians are also involved in coaching chamber ensembles, which rehearse prior to each week's orchestral rehearsal.

In 2004, following an afternoon HVP concert which members of the CYS attended, Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer led the CYS in its Sunday evening rehearsal at the Bardavon Theater in Poughkeepsie, New York.  This past November about 40 CYS members attended the HVP performance at SUNY-New Paltz, and others attended the dress rehearsal.  In the last twenty years, at least four SIDE-BY-SIDE rehearsals have taken place, in which many of the musicians in the HVP joined the students in a working rehearsal with Maestro Fleischer.

The CYS and HVP hold a joint competition each year to promote young talent.  The winner of the "Virtuosi-in-Progress" Competition performs in youth concerts with the HVP and the winner of the CYS Competition performs with the CYS as a soloist.  All of the finalists and winners are presented in a concert which is free and open to the public on the campus of SUNY-New Paltz.