April 16, 2024
Annapolis, US 65 F

Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra moves forward despite COVID

On Thursday, September 17 th the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra began its 32 nd season. Even in these unparalleled times the CYSO has remained dedicated to its mission, to provide young musicians of the Annapolis-Baltimore-Washington region with the opportunity to enjoy and refine their musical skills in ensemble performance. When most youth and professional orchestras have made the decision to either go completely virtual or forego a season altogether, the CYSO has successfully implemented a hybrid model of virtual and in-person rehearsals, allowing students the opportunity to play together live for the first time since March 2020.

If you are interested in joining CYSO as a student, contact Dane Krich, 443-758-3157 or email: [email protected]

The CYSO after careful consideration decided to offer one ensemble each week the opportunity to rehearse in-person at Annapolis Evangelical Lutheran Church in Edgewater, Maryland. The in-person rehearsals follow all CDC guidelines and adhere to social distancing procedures. Each student, before entering the rehearsal space is asked a series of questions related to Covid-19 and has their temperature taken. Currently, woodwinds and brass instruments for safety reasons remain completely virtual for the time being, however, research is being conducted in order to allow for a safe return to in-person rehearsals for these instruments as well.

Virtual rehearsals start by meeting on zoom where students are given the overview of the rehearsal plan and expectations, work on fundamentals, technique, scales, and other various building blocks of music. From there the students go into breakout sessions using a software program called Jamkazam. This platform allows the students to play together in real-time across the internet as if they were sitting in the same room. To use Jamkazam each student must have a computer, internet, a wired ethernet connection to the router, headphones, a microphone, and an audio interface. Each student as part of their tuition this year was provided with an audio interface and given the option to purchase a bundle that consisted of a high-quality microphone and headphones.

“We believe now more than ever, that music education isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. With today’s students and all the challenges facing them due to the pandemic, we feel it is of the utmost importance to provide our youth with the outlet of learning and making music, and that’s just what we are doing” says Executive Director Dane Krich.

Other virtual and in-person experiences planned for the students of CYSO this season are master classes with world-class musicians from all over the United States, discussions and conversations with composers, coaching and sectionals with professionals along with music students from Towson University, virtual recitals, and live streamed concerts.

To learn more about the Chesapeake Youth Symphony, please visit www.cysomusic.org or call 443-758-3157.

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