School: Falls Church High School
What AYPO ensembles have you played in and for how long?
I played in AYSE for 1 year and AYCO for 2 years. This is my second year in AYSO.
Your favorite musical memory:
My favorite memory was when my middle school orchestra went to VMEA. It was a great honor to all of us at Luther Jackson Middle School, and our amazing teacher made the hours and hours of practicing enjoyable.
What musician inspires you?
The musician that inspires me the most is my middle school teacher, Ms. Phaedra Long. She taught me that playing music comes from the heart, and to always strive to play your best.
Advice for young musicians:
Practice hard and never give up. Hard work will definitely pay off!
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I plan to major in Engineering with minors in Music and Japanese at George Mason University.
CONTACT: Dr Graham Elliott
Annandale, VA—National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $20,000 to The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras for support of the Chamber Music Program. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.
“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of organizations such as The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras in the National Capital Region, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”
Dr Graham Elliott, Executive Director of AYPO, said “I am delighted that the NEA is going to support us in the 2018/19 season. This grant is the largest they have given to us, and it reflects our policy of giving greater access to gifted young musicians to the AYPO program of five orchestras and six instrumental ensembles. Alumni of AYPO are found in major orchestras all over the country; we are proud of the 54 year history of achievement and we aim to continue the standard of excellence for which AYPO is renowned, and to extend life-changing opportunity to more children whose innate abilities might not otherwise be discovered and nurtured."
For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
“If you have any desire to play music, take it and run. The experiences you have as a musician change you as a person for the better.”Read More
Contact: Dr. Graham Elliott
The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras Awarded
'Arts Education Award' from ARTSFAIRFAX
FAIRFAX, VA – The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras are proud to be the recipients of the 2018 ARTSFAIRFAX Arts Education Award, announced last week. The Arts Education Award recognizes an arts organization, or individual arts educator, that has provided superlative arts education opportunities, experiences, or training for youth, students of all ages, or emerging artists.
- Jinx Hazel Arts Award: Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
- Arts Education Award: American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras
- Arts Impact Award: Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
- Arts Philanthropy Award: Virginia McGehee Friend
Awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, October 26th, 2018 from 12noon - 2pm at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, VA. The awardees were selected by ARTSFAIRFAX and community representatives. Nominations were received from the public.
AYPO is now in its 53rd season, with a long record of training some of the most gifted young musicians of the region. Countless alumni have gone on to advanced college and conservatory study, and into careers as solo performers, teachers and members of some of the country's leading professional orchestras.
AYPO supports five orchestras, six instrumental ensembles and its unique "Music Buddies" mentorship program, which offers free lessons and musical instruction to students in Alexandria City Public Schools. Recently granted with a $30,000 Futures Fund award from the League of American Orchestras, AYPO plans to expand its mentorship program into other areas of the Naitonal Capital Region.
Dr. Graham Elliott, Executive Director of AYPO, said “We are proud and honored to receive this recognition from ARTSFAIRFAX. AYPO has a long history of serving the community through its programs, working alongside the great work done in our schools by our music teacher colleagues. This award is a tribute to very many people who share our vision that all meet within the Arts as equals, and we aim to nurture the innate talents of all young people who come into our orbit. Access to the Arts is quite literally life-changing."
"...always play confidently and passionately, even if you might make a mistake. A strong, confident melody with one wrong note sounds much better than all the right notes played timidly. Just don't play during a grand pause."Read More
"I'm inspired by the music itself. What the composer intended to say and do. The kind of color, emotion, nuance, character he or she wants to evoke. That itself is pure inspiration for me."Read More
"My advice for young musicians is: Always persevere. You will never look back and think to yourself, 'Oops, I practiced too much!' "Read More
"My best advice would be to love what you do and enjoy every second of it. Life’s too short to not being doing what you love. When you love making music, it will show through and your audience will feel it too. If you plan to pursue a career in music and you have that passion for creating or performing music, then you truly will never work a day in your life."Read More
The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras One of Seventeen Orchestras
to Receive League of American Orchestras
American Orchestras’ Futures Fund Grant
$30,000 Grants, Made Possible by the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, Highlight Array of Inventive Programs Taking Place at Smaller-Budget Orchestras and Youth Orchestras
New York, NY – Highlighting the groundswell of innovation occurring at smaller-budget orchestras and youth orchestras across the country, The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (AYPO) is one of seventeen orchestras that have received $30,000 American Orchestras’ Futures Fund grants from the League of American Orchestras, made possible with the generous support of the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.Read More
"When you perform, compete, or audition, always remember to prioritize making the most beautiful music and having a gorgeous sound over technical prowess. Your great musical soul is what will reach the audience, not your technical ability."Read More
"In music, there is no limit on art, on passion, on the possible."Read More
AYPO announces the appointment of three guest conductors - Nell Flanders, John Devlin, and Glenn Quader - to lead the American Youth Symphonic Orchestra during the 2017-2018 season.
Nell Flanders’ conducting credits include performances with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, Secret Opera Company, Peabody Symphony, the Riverside Orchestra, and the Chelsea Symphony, with whom she starts as a staff conductor in September 2017. She has served as cover conductor for the Buffalo Philharmonic and assistant conductor of the Peabody Opera program and the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic. Ms. Flanders will lead AYSO on their opening concert (November 19, 2017) with Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain and Borodin's Symphony No. 2.
John Devlin is the Cover Conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his work with the NSO, he is the Assistant Conductor of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Artistic Director and Conductor of Gourmet Symphony. An active conductor of high school and collegiate ensembles, Devlin previously served as the Music Director of the McLean Youth Orchestra and the Youth Orchestras of Prince William. Mr. Devlin will conduct AYSO on their February 25, 2018 concert with works by Brahms, Smetana and Tchaikovsky.
A native of Washington, DC, Glenn Quader returns to AYPO having previously served as conductor of the Concert Orchestra from 2014-2016. Mr. Quader’s most recent professional appointments include Conductor of the Piedmont Symphony, Music Director of the Frederick Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor for the Maryland Lyric Opera. Mr. Quader will lead AYSO on their final concert of the year on May 20, 2018.
To read more about the AYSO guest conductors, please visit http://www.aypo.org/1718-conductors/
Students from the AYPO Chamber Ensemble Program performed on the Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on May 22. More than 200 people attended the free concert that featured works by Brahms, Mozart, Schumann, Fernandez and Beethoven.
Congratulations to the following students on their performance: Xander Day (flute), Jasper de Boor (violin), Christina French (bassoon), Catie George (clarinet), Betelihem Hadgu (violin), Cameron Harper (clarinet), Annika Hsu (violin), Caley Koch (cello), Juliana Layendecker (violin), Ryan Lee (viola), Calvin Liu (violin), Clara Na (piano), Sam Panner (violin), Daniel Park (piano), Sharon Park (cello), Segada Panano (bassoon), Shannon Prescott (oboe/english horn), Won Seok Song (cello), Courtney Tern (clarinet), and Ella Wood (viola).
The AYPO Chamber Ensembles are coached by the Ensemble da Camera of Washington (Claire Eichhorn, clarinet; Ricardo Cyncynates, violin; Anna Balakerskaia, piano).
The American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (AYPO) is grateful to the Bannon Foundation for its generous gift to the AYPO Endowment of $150,000 to increase the amount of financial and and scholarships we are able to offer each year. The money will be received in five annual installments of $30,000 and $5,000 of that money is earmarked for the immediate benefit of students, while the remainder is added to the current endowment funds. Each year AYPO provides financial support and merit scholarships funded by interest from the endowment. The goal is to increase these funds to an invested sum of $1 million to allow many more students to take part in the program of five orchestras and five instrumental ensembles.
As part of AYPO's continued commitment to community outreach, students from AYP, AYSO and AYCO performed for residents of Vinson Hall Retirement Community on Saturday, May 20. Students performed works by Bach, Vaughan-Williams, Debussy, Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, and Rachmaninoff. Students that performed were Daniel Han (cello), Miya West (violin), Noah Portner (clarinet), Daniel Zhang (violin), Ryan Chon (cello/piano), and Ramya Griddaluri (violin).
The AYPO Auditions Deadline for the 2017 - 2018 Season has been extended to Monday, May 15th. Visit the Auditions tab on our website for access to the application form, audition requirements, and school music form.
Contact the office at 703-642-8051 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
AYPO is pleased to announce the interim appointments of Sylvia Alimena as Music Director of AYPO and as Principal Conductor of the American Youth Philharmonic (AYP) for the 2017-2018 season. Ms. Alimena is currently the Associate Conductor of AYP and the Director of the AYPO Brass Fellowship for Orchestral Arts, a role in which she will continue to serve.
Christopher Zimmerman, Artistic Director of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and Principal Conductor of the American Youth Philharmonic (AYP), will step down at the end of this season after four successful years with the organization. During his tenure, Maestro Zimmerman prepared and directed the group for numerous major concerts and has introduced an exciting array of guest soloists. Board President Robert Sollinger commented, “Our musicians and audiences have benefited richly from Maestro Zimmerman’s talents as an educator and musician. We wish him continued success, and we look forward to future engagements with Chris as a guest conductor.”
“We are delighted that Sylvia Alimena has agreed to serve as interim Music Director and Conductor of AYP for the coming season. We have gained enormously from Sylvia’s work with AYPO in a number of ways, and notably her charismatic influence on the talented young brass players who have learned so much from her varied experience and her superb musicianship,” said Executive Director Graham Elliott. “Sylvia is a gifted teacher and motivator of young musicians and we can be confident that the top orchestra will flourish under her leadership, and the whole organization will gain from her oversight as interim Music Director.”
Ms. Alimena, a passionate and dedicated educator, served as the NSO Summer Music Institute Assistant Conductor, NSO Youth Fellowship Program coach, and NSO Youth Fellowship Program private horn instructor and lecturer. As Music Director of Brass of Peace, she has been an educator and mentor to some of the most renowned brass musicians in the country.
During the past 31 years, Sylvia Alimena has worn many musical hats in the Washington musical arena. She came to the Washington area as second hornist of the National Symphony Orchestra (1985-2014) under Mstislav Rostropovich. She later founded and conducted Eclipse Chamber Orchestra (1992-2012) and was music director of the Avanti Orchestra (1995-2003) and the McLean Orchestra (2003-2010).
A native of Long Island, Ms. Alimena considers herself the product of an excellent public school system and youth orchestra programs. She is the recipient of a Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award and was voted into Washingtonian Magazine’s Musical Hall of Fame in 2003.
AYPO closes its 52nd season on June 4th as Maestro Zimmerman leads Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique in his final performance as AYP’s Principal Conductor. He will return as a guest next season to conduct Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony.
Highlights and repertoire for all ensembles will be announced soon for the 2017-18 AYPO season. Be sure to register to be a part of another year of AYPO!
AYPO Chamber Ensembles were well-represented at the fourth-annual Misbin Chamber Music Competition on April 23. Congratulations to the following students:
FIRST PLACE: Querencia Quartet (Calvin Liu, Annika Hsu, Ella Wood, Caley Koch)
SECOND PLACE: Trio Giusto (Jasper de Boor, Romain-Olivier Gray, Kevin Wang)
HONORABLE MENTION: Cantabile Quartet (Juliana Layendecker, Betelihem Hadgu, Wonseok Song, Daniel Park)
MISBIN PRIZE: Cantabile Quartet (Juliana Layendecker, Betelihem Hadgu, Wonseok Song, Daniel Park)
The AYPO Chamber Ensembles are coached by the Ensemble da Camera of Washington (Claire Eichhorn, clarinet; Ricardo Cyncynates, violin; Anna Balakerskaia, piano).
Prize winners may be invited to perform at events that may include: Happenings at the Harman, Levine Introduces, pre-concert performances at Washington Performing Arts events, the annual Waterford “Best of Levine” Concert Series and may also include performances at the National Gallery, Millennium Stage, and appropriate master classes.
Jump-start your AYPO experience this summer with the AYPO Summer String Academy! Rising 3-6 grade musicians are invited to participate in a week dedicated to building a great foundation for orchestral playing. The AYPO Summer String Academy will prepare musicians for the upcoming season in the Debut Orchestra with a specific focus on music literacy, sight-reading and ensemble skills. During the Academy students will have the opportunity to play side-by-side with experienced student mentors from AYPO and work with Debut Orchestra Conductor, Laura Cahn.
There is an opportunity for older musicians in AYPO to assist as mentors for Summer String Academy. Visit the Mentors tab under Summer String Academy for more information.
July 31 - August 4
Concert on Friday, August 4th at 3:00 PM
Providence Presbyterian Church
9019 Little River Turnpike
Fairfax, VA 22031
Visit the Summer String Academy tab to find the registration form and for more details about this exciting music program!