Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra to kick off 27th season with classical concert

The Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra is proud to announce the kickoff of its 27th season with a classical concert led by Conductor William Ciabattari. The event will be in Williamsport at Clarke Chapel, Lycoming College at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4. The concert is free. The repertoire includes Rossini’s “Barber of Seville,” Steve Bryant’s “Dusk,” Vaughn Williams’ “English Folk Song Suite” and selections from “The Nutcracker” and “World of Warcraft” arranged by Jerry Brubaker.

The Williamsport Symphony Youth Orchestra (WSYO) embraces students from throughout central Pennsylvania. WSYO was founded by Walter Straiton, who was at the time a faculty member in the Williamsport Area School District.

He served as the WSYO director until 1993, at which point Richard Coulter, a WASD music supervisor took over through 2006. Then, the baton shifted to several directors including Christopher Para, Jeff Tedford, Jennifer Sacher Wiley and Eric Hinton.

This year marks Ciabattari’s second year leading the orchestra. Ciabattari is assistant professor of music at Lycoming College.

The student musicians audition for the WSYO. Over the years, the number of musicians on stage has ranged from 45 to 85.

In the beginning, the students came from the “valley” – primarily local schools. Now, they hail from Mansfield, Wayalusing, Danville, State College, Selinsgrove and Lewisburg, in addition to the local schools.

Most are senior high students and most participate in their school bands and-or orchestras.

Music education provides lifelong benefits that go beyond the discipline required. The career, knowledge, social and humanizing opportunities provided by the WSYO are key as is the impact on the community.

For more information about the WSYO, contact the WSO office at 570-322-0227 or email Ciabattari at