Announcement regarding HPYS Spring Gala:
Like so many organizations, the Hyde Park Youth Symphony has been working quickly to adjust during these singular times. Our conductors and students have been transitioning to new, creative, virtual rehearsal formats, and our staff and board have been making plans for the weeks to come in order to assure the safety of our community and the continued health of our small organization.
I am writing, then, to confirm the postponement of our Spring Gala, originally scheduled for Thursday, April 30th. As we work to determine a new date for the same exciting event in the fall—including our wide-ranging silent auction and our guest of honor, Rachel Barton Pine—we want to extend our deepest gratitude to those who planned to attend. If you have purchased tickets or sponsorships and we have not already been in touch, let us know.
During these uncertain times, HPYS remains dedicated to sharing the power of music with our students and our wider community. We are deeply grateful to be a part of such a supportive network of friends, and look forward to celebrating with you in the fall!
Announcement regarding HPYS Rehearsals:
In light of the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19, HPYS will suspend in-person meetings beginning Thursday, March 19, in accordance with the best practices recommended by our partners at the University of Chicago.
As students learned in rehearsal, we will instead continue our educational mission via other learning media, some of which are already familiar: regular email communications and practice tips; video playing check-ins; supplemental resources around ensemble performance skills; and peer feedback and support. Look forward to a number of new, creative ways of supporting ensemble teaching and learning in the coming weeks!
You can expect regular communication from Mr. Sheppard and Dr. Wright as plans develop, both in terms of what to expect in our new "HPYS rehearsals" (keep your regular rehearsal times open each Thursday!), and in terms of the University's ongoing response. As our Saturday performance demonstrated in such a wonderful way, our HPYS community has so much to offer beyond the traditional orchestral experience, and we are committed to exploring the possibilities together.
Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions regarding anything HPYS. We may not have all of the answers right now, but we will keep the lines of communication open and our conversations transparent. Students, happy practicing on your new repertoire, and stay tuned for more detailed, ensemble-specific emails from Mr. Sheppard and Dr. Wright!
The Hyde Park Youth Symphony brings together diverse students from the south side of Chicago and beyond to provide a high-quality orchestral performance experience and education as a training ground for the next generation of performers, educators,
and advocates of music and the arts.
Teaching young musicians for over 60 years
The Hyde Park Youth Symphony (HPYS) is a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Chicago’s South Side. For over 60 years, the HPYS has provided a high-quality arts experience for youth musicians, nurturing in them a love of music that will last a lifetime. The HPYS serves a diverse range of young people and families from various educational, racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, bringing them together in the joy of making music together.
The Youth Symphony consists of the most experienced orchestral musicians in the HPYS, including high school and advanced middle school students on instruments including winds, brass, percussion, and strings.
Students with previous orchestral experience can hone their musical, technical, and ensemble skills in the orchestra while performing both standard orchestral repertoire and new works.
Led by Artistic Director Matthew Sheppard, Youth Symphony performs approximately four concerts each year in some of the finest venues on the South Side, including Rockefeller Chapel, Mandel Hall, the South Shore Cultural Center, and Logan Center for the Arts.
For students looking for their first ensemble experience, check out Preparatory Strings! Small class sizes and an emphasis on building strong fundamentals of string technique, ensemble playing, and musicianship are the hallmarks of Preparatory Strings. Dr. Lindsay Wright, a string specialist with years of experience in small-group instruction, leads Preparatory Strings in a curriculum that balances the individual and group aspects of playing.
New in 2018-19, the HPYS Chamber Music Program brings an exciting new facet of playing to the HPYS experience. Small ensembles of three to five students meet weekly with professional performers and educators in the Chicago area to learn the intricacies of performing both as soloists (one person per part) and ensemble players (playing with a group). Currently, only sting players who are members of Youth Symphony or have auditioned to be a part of Chamber Music are eligible for Chamber Music, but stay tuned for expansions to the program in upcoming seasons.
Made up of intermediate string players in middle and high school, String Orchestra gives students a chance to focus on string-specific technique while playing and performing in an ensemble setting. Under the guidance of violinist Dr. Lindsay Wright, students benefit from individual attention and expert pedagogy as they grow as string players and well-rounded musicians.