Editor's Note: the following is an excerpt of a press release provided by Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra and Metrowest Youth Symphony Orchestra.
In a recent membership vote, the members and Board of Directors of the Metrowest Youth Symphony Orchestra — based in Framingham — voted to formally dissolve their organization and merge with the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, which is based in Milford.
MetYSO, which has been in existence since 2000, is a growing and energetic youth orchestra organization that is in residence at MassBay Community College in Framingham, where it holds weekly rehearsals every Sunday afternoon from September through May. The MetYSO organization is comprised of three different ensembles — The Youth Orchestra, which is made up of students from junior thru senior high school ages; a Repertory Ensemble, which is an “introductory” string ensemble for younger string students; and a Youth Wind Ensemble, which is a concert band ensemble for junior and senior high school students.
The MetYSO organization serves more than 60 students from almost 35 communities throughout Eastern and Central Massachusetts. For most of its history, MetYSO has been an independent, parent-run, non-profit organization, with parents of the student musicians serving on the board and in many capacities, organizing and facilitating the week-to-week rehearsal and concert schedules and auditions.
In 2005, Paul Surapine — the founder and executive and artistic director of Claflin Hill Symphony - became the Music Director of MetYSO, at which time MetYSO and Claflin Hill also entered into an official mentor orchestra relationship, which brought Claflin Hill musicians into MetYSO rehearsals and concerts as coaches and advisors throughout the season.
During Surapine’s tenure, MetYSO has grown from a single youth orchestra ensemble to its present comprehensive structure of three ensembles, and has doubled the size of the student membership in that time. “We’re VERY excited at Claflin Hill to welcome MetYSO into our family,” stated Surapine. “Since the establishment of our mentor relationship in 2005, we have enjoyed working with the students and families of MetYSO, and the partnership has been very fruitful and beneficial to both organizations. Aside from administration and business aspects of running MetYSO, which will now be taken on by CHSO, we are planning no major changes in the mission or operation of the youth orchestra and it will hopefully continue to enjoy its “resident” status at MassBay Community College in Framingham into the future. We look forward to continuing the growth of the youth orchestra program, which has become one of the largest and most ambitious youth orchestra programs in Central Massachusetts, and will continue to rely on and cultivate the participation of the families of the youth orchestra students, who provide so much support to both the organization and their children’s’ musical aspirations.”
Brian Pryhoda, the current president of the board of MetYSO said,” following the recommendation of the MetYSO Board of Directors, the member families recently voted overwhelmingly to merge with CHSO. The MetYSO families see this move as insuring the continuation of this outstanding music program for youth in the years to come. Paul Surapine and The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra have provided MetYSO’s dedicated young musicians with over eight years of advanced orchestral training in an atmosphere that is demanding, supportive, and fun. This merger will promote a more effective administration of the program while maintaining the mission envisioned by the original parents group who founded MetYSO in 2000.”
MetYSO’s next concert performance will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 27 at the MassBay Community College Wellesley campus, when all three ensembles will perform a wide range of musical offerings from Leroy Anderson, to Wagner, Gounod, The Lord of the Rings and much more.
Auditions for openings in the orchestras for second semester will take place on Feb. 3 at the MassBay Framingham campus.