Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras
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|The Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra experience provides extraordinary music education in pursuit of musical excellence. The program aims to inspire in our students a strong sense of character, discipline, commitment, and community. The ensembles are inclusive, diverse, and accessible to all students, regardless of financial resources. High-quality ensemble training is led by Charlotte Symphony Resident Conductor Christopher James Lees, Youth Philharmonic Interim Conductor Peter Swanson, and professional Charlotte Symphony musicians, who provide a nurturing environment through which young musicians create lasting bonds in music and friendship. We offer regular performance opportunities throughout the city, including the Belk and Knight theaters, plus access to the Charlotte Symphony's renowned Conductor Laureate, Christopher Warren-Green and international visiting artists, such as Joshua Bell.
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|Meet our Conductors|
Christopher James Lees - CSYO Conductor & Resident Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony
Christopher James Lees serves as the Resident Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony and has 15 years of experience conducting secondary, university, and honors-level orchestras all across the country. In addition to his extensive professional work, he also has served on the college faculties of the University of Michigan, Kent State University, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
The Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra Conductor Chair is made possible by a generous gift from The Symphony Guild of Charlotte.
Katie Ebert - CSYP Co-Conductor
Katie Ebert is the Director of Bands at Cuthbertson Middle School in Waxhaw NC, having served in this capacity since the school's opening in 2009. The Cuthbertson Middle School concert bands have consistently earned superior ratings at local, district and regional music festivals. Under Mrs. Ebert's baton the middle school program has grown to a current enrollment of approximately 220 music students. Mrs. Ebert also serves as the Assistant Director of Bands at Cuthbertson High School.
Mrs. Ebert is in her 19th year teaching public school and each of her ensembles continues to experience success. In 2012 and 2017 the Cuthbertson Middle School 8th grade band was a performing ensemble at the NC Music Educators State Convention, in 2017 the band performed at the University of Georgia MidFest clinic in December, and in 2019 and 2022 the 8th grade band was a performing ensemble at the Music for All Southeastern Concert Band Festival. The 8th grade band travels to perform annually in Orlando and in 2015 and 2017 the band performed at the Festival Disney competition. The Cuthbertson band is also a regular performing group at the Carowinds Music Festival, receiving top ratings annually.
A graduate of Lassiter High School in Marietta GA, Mrs. Ebert holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music Performance from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah GA, and a Master of Music Education from Western Carolina University. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and holds professional associations in the National Band Association, the National Association for Music Educators, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the American School Band Directors Association, the South-Central District Bandmasters Association, and the Union County Bandmasters Association. Mrs. Ebert is a three-time award recipient of the National Band Association's Citation of Excellence and was recognized as Cuthbertson Middle School's Teacher of the Year in 2016/17. She currently serves as a district representative on the state MPA committee and Solo and Ensemble chair.
Mrs. Ebert recently served as a guest clinician for the South Central and Northwestern All District Symphonic Honor Bands, and she continues to conduct both Distinct and County bands in the Southeast. She resides in Waxhaw, NC and team teaches the Cuthbertson band program alongside her husband Todd.
Eric Thompson III - CSYE Conductor & CSYP Co-Conductor
Eric L. Thompson, III serves as the Conductor for the Charlotte Symphony Youth Ensemble and Co-Conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Youth Philharmonic. He received his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2007 where he held the Robert Ehrman Fellowship. There he studied with Grammy Award Winning and MacArthur "Genius" Edgar Meyer and Harold Robinson, principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Upon graduation, Eric played full-time bass with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra prior to joining Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Mr. Thompson is the recipient of many awards-he is the first bassist to become a laureate of the Sphinx Competition, he was awarded second place in the ASTA National Solo Competition, and in 2002 he was awarded a musicians union scholarship from the American Federation of Musicians and the rank of Eagle Scout by the National Eagle Scout Association of Boy Scouts of America. As a soloist, he has played on live television broadcasts and has performed concertos twice with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Since 2013, Mr. Thompson has been teaching orchestra at the Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. His students have participated in CMS All-District Honors Orchestra, Western Regional Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra, Youth Orchestra of Charlotte, All State Orchestra, NC Governor's School, Interlochen Arts Camp, UNCG Summer Music Camp, and attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Mr. Thompson has been recognized many times as an educator, including the Outstanding Music Educator Award in 2019 by the Youth Orchestras of Charlotte and the Crowning Achievement Award in Music Education in 2020 by the Crown Jewels Chapter, The Links, Incorporated. Most recently he was voted as the 2023 CMS Orchestra Director of the Year and conducted CMS All-District Middle School Honors Orchestra.
Christopher Warren-Green - CSO Conductor Laureate & Music Adviser
A product of community music education himself, Conductor Laureate & Music Adviser Christopher Warren-Green plays a key role in the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestras. Warren-Green makes regular visits to work with both orchestras.
Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra (CSYO)
The Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra is our advanced level ensemble and performs professional level symphonic repertoire. CSYO musicians will have the opportunity to perform side-by-side with members of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
CSYO Repertoire 2018-2022 (Selected)
Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1
Borodin: Symphony No. 2 (Movements 1 & 3)
Coleridge-Taylor: Danse Negre from "African Suite"
Coleridge-Taylor: Valse de la Rheine from "Four Characteristic Waltzes"
Dvorak: The Wild Dove
Elgar: Enigma Variations*
Faure: Pellèas et Mélisande
Grieg: Symphonic Dances (Movement 1)
Handel: Harp Concerto Op. 4 No. 6
Haydn: Symphony No. 100 "Military" (movements 1 & 3)
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Rossini: Overture to Italian in Algiers*
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 (Movement 1) "Little Russian"
John Corigliano: Elegy
Steven Bryant: The Machine Awakes
John Williams: Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra (Movement 3)
*Conducted by CSO Conductor Laureate Christopher Warren-Green
Charlotte Symphony Youth Philharmonic (CSYP)
The Charlotte Symphony Youth Philharmonic is our intermediate ensemble and performs advanced high school level repertoire.
Charlotte Symphony Youth Ensemble (CSYE)
The Charlotte Symphony Youth Ensemble is a training ensemble designed to bridge early music education with the Intermediate and Advanced Youth Orchestras. The CSYE will be an introduction to music ensemble learning and provide regular coaching by our Charlotte Symphony musicians and conducting staff.
CSYE Fall Registration 2022-23
|Sectional rehearsals are held frequently throughout the year for both the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Charlotte Symphony Youth Philharmonic. These sectionals offer young musicians the chance to receive coaching by Charlotte Symphony musicians, including the Concert Master and musicians holding principal positions.
Charlotte Symphony Youth Ensemble will have a master educator working as their conductor at every rehearsal as well as 2-3 Charlotte Symphony musicians coaching at each rehearsal. This kind of on hand instruction will allow them to progress in their individual and ensemble playing rapidly.
For more information about this program, please contact: email@example.com 704.714.5131