JAMESTOWN - It was Jim Abdella's love for and support of the arts that inspired his family to establish the H. James Abdella Fund for the Arts at the Chautauqua Regional Community Foundation.
The musicians of the Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony (CRYS) are honored to be the recipients of the first grant from this fund.
"Jim Abdella was such a well-liked and respected member of the Jamestown community," noted CRYS board president Tanya Anderson. "We hope he would be pleased that his legacy is enabling our most accomplished musicians to hone their skills even further."
Photo by Lisa Lynde
The Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony has received the first H. James Abdella Fund for the Arts Award, presented by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Members of the Youth Symphony are pictured at a recent rehearsal with Susan Abdella (center) and, to her left, their conductor and music director, Bryan Eckenrode.
Under the direction of Maestro Bryan Eckenrode, CRYS offers classical music education and performance opportunities to serious music students from elementary school through college. CRYS students are enrolled in three orchestras: Prelude Strings for beginning string players, Young Artists Orchestra for intermediate musicians, and the Youth Symphony for highly talented and motivated musicians ages 13 through 20.
One aspect of the training for the Youth Symphony is an intense weekend at Chautauqua Institution, filled with full ensemble rehearsals, sectionals with coaches, and a concluding performance for parents. While the students pay tuition to be part of the orchestra, there is no additional fee for this exceptional experience.
The grant from the H. James Abdella Fund for the Arts will cover a major portion of the costs for the Chautauqua Weekend, to be held Feb. 24-25.
Rehearsals are now beginning for the Spring Gala Concert on May 6 at the beautiful Reg Lenna Civic Center in downtown Jamestown. Some scholarship money from a Chautauqua Region Community Foundation grant is still available for students who would like to join Prelude Strings, the Young Artists Orchestra, or the Youth Symphony at this time.
CRYS students are selected by teacher recommendation. Teachers and students who would like more information about CRYS and its scholarships are invited to call 664-2465, ext. 202, or visit the website at www.CRYouthSymphony.com.