Watch an evening of classical music performances and student testimonials from the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras.
Read below for a full transcript of the conversation.
Andy Weil - Good afternoon. I am Andy Weil, Senior Relationship Manager at First Republic Bank. We're delighted that so many of you have joined us here today for this very special presentation from the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Supporting our community and nonprofit organizations is really core to our mission at First Republic, our mission of exceptional service. We believe in the power of art to inspire others, to bring together communities, to foster empathy in all of us, and really be a driver of innovation and creativity. We also look for any way that we can to connect with you, our clients, or future clients to provide interesting content and programs like the one we had for you here today. Every year for more than 60 years, hundreds of musicians ages four through 18 from throughout greater Boston and New England participate in ensemble and training programs coached by Boston's finest musicians and educators at the BYSO. Joining us today is Martha Robinson, Director of Development at BYSO and we will feature three student performers from the Intensive Community Program. These students perform repertoire that is above the level of any other youth orchestra in our country. Both in difficulty, maturity and scope. We hope you enjoy the music and the presentation.
Musician - We've had the opportunity to perform at the White house, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston. We've worked with Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma. We have done more than 20 international tours.
Catherine Weiskel - In 2012 the Boston Symphony Orchestra approached us about doing a partnership. We call it BYSO/BSO: Partnering for the Future.
Nicole Cariglia - When you see what BYSO can do, how it can transform lives of students from the time they're really young until they graduate from high school, and then you think everyone should have access to that.
Catherine - The Intensive Community Program is quite unique.
Nicole - ICP is a rigorous musical training program for children from underrepresented communities in classical music.
Catherine - We take children who've never played an instrument before, we give them an instrument, weekly lessons, and we help them in the early years be ready to audition to get into the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras.
Chad Polk - Without the Intensive Community Program I really wouldn't have the ability to play classical music and receive the high quality of training that I have. And now I'm going off to Conservatory and I'm really excited to pursue a career in classical music.
Eran Egozy - BYSO and the experience of playing classical music has completely transformed my life. My name is Eran Egozy, I started the company Harmonix Music Systems, but now I'm at MIT teaching Music Technology, and I'm also an alum of BYSO.
Frederico Cortese - BYSO is quite unique in the landscape of American youth orchestras. We set very high standards for them and they go for it. And they are full of life, full of energy from the love for what they do. They create themselves.
Marta Zurad - What I'm very proud is that I see that the student care for each other.
Catherine - In 2008 we started our opera program. Our top level orchestra is the only youth orchestra in the country that has an opera program as extensive.
Federico - We have been working very hard in combining quality, the excellence in performing, at the same time with a set of values, educational values.
Joe Grimaldi - They gain from this experience enormous strength and inner strength affects your schoolwork, it affects how they look at college. It affects all aspects of their lives. And that's just a wonderful thing.
Instructor - And that is how to control, perfect! Somewhere in between one more time.
Catherine - There really isn't anything like BYSO. We are the largest and most comprehensive youth orchestra in the country. Everything we do is geared toward excellence. I'm always grateful to our funders because without them, there would be no BYSO.
Joe - Every dollar we spend is helping to make every child that we touch the absolute best person that they can be. And it makes our community and our culture and our society better. BYSO has achieved extraordinary things over its first 60 years of life. All of us who are involved have one mission, which is to create a greater BYSO for the next 60 years.
Martha Robinson - Thank you so much Andy, for that great introduction and to First Republic for having us. It's a great honor to be here on this summer evening, to share with you a little bit about Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and our incredible kids who we'll try to spend as much time tonight with, because they are the best storytellers and the best advocates for this program. And we will get to hear a little bit of their music, we'll get to hear a little bit of their voices as well. I do want to thank Andy again and particularly First Republic for your support of BYSO. First Republic has been supporting the organization for a few years now, and we're excited about this partnership. It's so wonderful when I hear folks like Andy talk about your commitment to the arts and the power that they have, because we certainly believe in their ability to change the lives of the young people in our program. And we're excited that, you know, as an organization, there's hundreds of kids in our program, as you saw in the video and some earlier comments, we have over 500 kids in the organization that come from greater Boston, but really all over New England. And what's exciting is that, you know, the majority of these kids are in this program for 10 years or more. It's not an afterschool program. It's not a year or two, for some kids it is, but for the majority of our students and from all three of the students that you'll hear from this evening, they came to BYSO as non-musicians, and they're leaving BYSO as extraordinarily accomplished musicians. But what's really special to us is that less than half of our kids actually go on to study music. The other half are going into science and technology and finance actually is one of our largest areas where we see our kids go and the foundation and the incredible skills they've learned here at BYSO, as well as their ability to see things in a really, really special way is what sets them up for their life success. And so I'm excited to share some stories from Emma and Ashley and Elie tonight, and I'm also excited to share their music. And I think that first up, we're going to be hearing from Ashley and I believe we will hear her solo video just for reference. We are in COVID times like everyone else, we are not together as an orchestra right now. We're learning virtually and it's going quite well, and we'll talk a little bit more about that in our Q&A, but the students have had the opportunity to create solo videos. And so we'll kick us off with Ashley McCoy's video. Bravo! Well done Ashley. Ashley, if you want to join us, I am sure that if we could see everyone's videos they would be giving you a standing ovation on that beautiful performance. Thank you for sharing it with us. Ashley, can you tell us what you played?
Ashley McCoy - Yeah, I played the Grand Tango by Piazzolla.
Martha - Awesome. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to BYSO and your experience?
Ashley - Yeah, so I started when I was really young, cause my brother plays the bass in ICP. So I've been in ICP for 11 years now. And so I've learned how to play the cello in the program. So I was sitting right next to Elie and Emma when I learned. I have been in the program ever since, and I just graduated from high school. So I'm looking forward to playing more cello at college.
Martha - And where will that be?
Ashley - I'm going to Brown in January.
Martha - Congratulations. That's awesome. And what will you be studying at Brown? Do you know?
Ashley - I'm not 100% sure yet, but I'm thinking about biology, but I still have to see.
Martha - Fair enough, fair enough. So, you know, one of the things that we've talked a little bit about earlier in the program, and then also shared in the videos that, you know, students like you, who came to BYSO and learned to play at the BYSO. You came at a really, really young age and now as a teenager and young woman, you get the opportunity to work with some of those younger students. And so I wondered if you could tell us a little bit about that journey, if you remember it, when you were younger, having those older students as your mentors and what that's like for you now.
Ashley - Yeah, it's definitely a really funny experience because I'm noticing things about myself kind of through the students that I'm teaching. And I remember when I was younger, the coolest kids in the world were the kids that were teaching me in the class, Ms. Nicole. And I like still looked up to them, even though they weren't, they probably weren't that much older than me. They just seem like really cool and like what I wanted to be when I got to be their age. So it's been really fun teaching the little kids now and just seeing the way that like they learn things. It's really interesting, especially the girls that I'm teaching now on the cello that you can just see their gears turning. And it's like, it's a really cool, like full circle sort of thing.
Martha - That's awesome. That's great. So what would you say is one of the things that has impacted your life because of BYSO and ICP that isn't necessarily tied to music?
Ashley - Yeah, I think patience is one of the big things. Cause like I talked to my friends about how like, there are a lot of really cool moments in classical music where you're on stage and it's really exciting and like thrilling, but they're also kind of like just sitting at home, just you and your cello moments where they're not as exciting as, you know, being on stage, but having those moments by myself where I'm like sounding very badly and I'm working to get better, those are like really important for me because it taught me how to be bad at something before I get good at something. So I feel like that's a valuable thing to have in no matter what I'm working on, whether it's like schoolwork or a sport.
Martha - That's great, that's great to hear. So you are now, you know, headed off to school and we're super sad to see you go. One of the things as working at BYSO is that you get to know the Ashley’s and the Elie’s and the Emma’s because they came when they were six years old. And it's hard to believe that they're off to school. What do you think is, you know, we've talked a little bit about sort of the, not like ways that BYSO has impacted your life outside of music? You know, one of the things that we talk a lot about is how many of our students, you know, don't go on to study music or go into other fields, but have become incredible, you know, artistic appreciators I guess we would say, and sort of, you know, cultural citizens. What are some of the ways that you think that you can, you know, contribute and you know, be a member of the cultural society because of the experiences that you've had here?
Ashley - Yeah, I think because I started with ICP and I learned how to play the cello in an ensemble room instead of just one on one with a teacher. One of the things that I learned from a young age was like, just how to work well with people or I hope, but the way I sort of see things it's like when I'm in an orchestra, it's so important to be listening to everyone around you or else it simply just won't work. And so I feel like that's one of the things that I have taken from my experience in classical music, where even if it's not related to music, I'm able to sort of see things in a musical way, wherever you have to listen to someone in order for things to work out well.
Martha - That's great, awesome. Well, we will probably have more questions for you and I know that we'll have all three of you join us towards the end, but we will move on to hear some more music. Thank you Ashley. I think we will be hearing from Elie next. So without further ado, more music by Elie.
Martha - Bravo, bravo Elie. That was wonderful. Congratulations. I'm sorry we had to cut your video short because it goes on for quite some time and it is exceptional, and you worked really hard on that. Thank you for sharing it. Can you tell us what you were playing?
Elie Chalumeau - Yes I just recently performed David Popper's Hungarian Rhapsody.
Martha - Awesome, it was awesome. How was it rehearsing, is it tricky?
Elie - Very tricky. A lot of slow practice and a lot of working on intonation, but I was glad to get to it and finish it, so.
Martha - Are you proud of it?
Elie - Yes, I'm always proud of my work, cause a lot of times you put a lot of work in it. You spend lots of nights so no matter what, I'm going to be happy with the results.
Martha - I'm glad to hear it because it was exceptional. And it sounds super hard. As a non-musician that sounded really hard. So Elie, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to BYSO and your experience and journey.
Elie - Of course. I've been playing music ever since I was four. However, I started out as a violinist in a different program. But luckily my mom heard of BYSO and its Intensive Community Program and wanted me to be involved in that atmosphere in order to ameliorate my musical abilities. So then I was able to switch to the cello, which was a great choice. And now I'll be studying music at Boston University. So yeah.
Martha - Congratulations. We're all very excited that you will still be close by, right at BU and for those who don't know, we are actually in residence at Boston University. We're not right now, but when we are back in person again with programming, we'll be at BU so we're hoping to see Elie on campus, which is great. Are you going back to campus?
Elie - No, I will be doing things remotely. I want to stay here.
Martha - Good for you. So tell us a little bit about, you know, you have, you know, like Ashley had been in the program for a really long time and you also had that experience of, you know, being a younger student and seeing those older students. And when you and I talked before, you talked a little bit about sort of that feeling of, you know, when you come into the program that you have the opportunity in the way that BYSO was set up that from day one, you see all of those other orchestras and you see all of those other students who are moving through the orchestras. And I'd love to hear you talk a little bit about what that was like for you seeing that and how that's affected you through your long time here at BYSO.
Elie - Yes, definitely being able to see students, especially students in that Intensive Community and ICP, who I was a part of, being able to see them in higher orchestras really allowed you to feel motivated about practicing, motivated about just your future and just like your work ethic in general. And so being able to see musicians such as like Chad Poke that we heard in the video before, he was like a mentor to me and like definitely was always there at ICP camp teaching me the Volby Duets with one of my friends. And it was awesome because it's like, you don't really feel like sometimes not wanting to do, put in the work sometimes, not wanting to practice all the time. But being able to see someone putting in all the work and having successful results makes you just want to push yourself even more. And it's just amazing to see other students in the program that are taking their skills to just flourishing different areas in their lives. So it's really great.
Martha - Hmm, that's great. Why do you think that, you know, graduates from BYSO tend to do such amazing things in their life either in music or not?
Elie - Yeah, I believe it's the fact that BYSO coach their students at a high level. As a student in the program one thing that I picked up on is professionalism and we are trained to perform at a high level and that also translate to areas of my life like interviews or business meetings, et cetera, et cetera. And even when we were young, like coming in as that young ICP student, we could grasp when it was time to have fun and hang out with your friends, versus when it was time to be very serious, to work hard, to practice, to pay attention to the conductor, stuff like that. So we had a lot of fun in the breaks, but like when it came down to performing at concerts, or like when you're at home even getting yourself situated and practicing you knew when it was time to be serious. So I think that does translate to how you present yourself to the outside world.
Martha - Hmm, that's great. I think that that is exceptionally true even with our younger students I am always amazed when I go in to those beginning classes. So, you know, most of our students, all the students in the ICP program come as very young children and then they have their lessons, and then after a few years they're able to audition just like Elie and Ashley and Emma into the orchestras. And what's astounding to me is going into those rehearsals with the four and five-year-olds, which you would expect to just be like daycare because it's like four or five year olds and they are all over the place until that downbeat. And then miraculously they're also focused and it's really impressive to see how that then, you know, continues clearly, you know, to your point throughout your time.
Elie - Yeah.
Martha - That's great. Tell me a little bit about, you know, you talked about, "We have fun during breaks," and you were in the program for a long time so you know quite intimately, you're the people that your fellow cellists, and other members of the ICP program, as well as your own orchestra, as well as probably your teachers and conductors. And I wondered if you could comment just sort of on what that is like to be in a program for this long and to have these people in your life for this long period of time?
Elie - Yeah, I definitely believe being a part of BYSO's tremendously impacted my life. It's definitely allowed me to push myself beyond limits that I've probably never dreamed of and allowed me to be more open to the public, more open to the outside world. And being around, especially being around Intensive Community Program, being around other students who are like-minded in the sense that they are very dedicated, very persistent, and very consistent, but they're practicing and their desire to push themselves. And that's really helpful because you want to hold yourself to a high standard. And we also like just being around students at BYSO, it's like a family connection there. And so like I was there for so long and you would feel like, oh that could've been dreadful but it really wasn't. It was really amazing because you're not only connecting with students and other musicians, you also connecting with conductors who really want to see you aspire to great things as well. So it's really great, so yeah.
Martha - That's awesome. How long are your rehearsals when you're in the top orchestra?
Elie - Oh like between hour and a, oh wait for the full day or like?
Martha - So you're, when you rehearse as an orchestra on Sundays, how long are you at BYSO?
Elie - We would start, you'd start at 12? Like around, yeah 12, 12:15, like start up and then we end by like 6:00 PM. And yes there's like breaks in between, but yeah.
Martha - And because I'm sure this is on everyone's mind, do you practice every day?
Elie - Of course.
Martha - Awesome, great. Well, thank you. We will have some more questions for the whole group at the end, but thank you and again, congratulations on graduating. And again, can't wait to see you on campus hopefully someday soon at BYSO.
Elie - Thank you so much.
Martha - Excellent. And so we will hear our last performance, we will hear from Emma, so we can cue up that video and then we'll have a chance to speak with Emma as well.
Martha - Bravo! Way to go Emma. That sounded gorgeous, thank you. Can you tell us what you were playing?
Emma Managat - Yeah so that was Bach's Sonata No. 1 the Adagio Movement.
Martha - It's beautiful, well done. Awesome. So Emma, tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey at BYSO.
Emma - Of course, well my name's Emma Managat, and I started ICP when I was six years old. So I was just about starting kindergarten, first grade, and I've worked with ICP until I started to get into orchestras. I came into ICP with my two other cousins, and so we all tried it out together, and it just became a family affair. Now I have four cousins in there, so it's a lot of fun just being able to play with family members and all my friends and yeah. BYSO has been a part of my life forever, as long as I can remember.
Martha - That's awesome. And did you always play violin?
Emma - Yes, from day one.
Martha - That's awesome, that's awesome. Do you remember that moment, like getting the instrument and what that was like?
Emma - Oh my gosh. I remember the exact moment when I got an instrument. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I like, I did not let go of it for like weeks. It was crazy.
Martha - And tell, for those like myself who had to learn this at BYSO, about how it works, because when you were little, you had a much smaller instrument and how that grows with you.
Emma - Yeah so in ICP they, when you first get your instrument, they have sort of like, it's kind of like getting like clothes from an older sibling where you start off with like a very small instrument. Cause I was teeny tiny, six years old. So I had a really small violin. And then the kids older than you who have been in the program longer, once they move on to bigger sizes then you get your size and then until you get a full size violin and then that's your baby for as long as you can hold on to it, so.
Martha - That's awesome. That's great. And so you have not yet graduated. Thank goodness we get to hold on to Emma. You're a Junior?
Emma - I'm about to be Senior.
Martha - You're about to be a Senior, and you are fresh from BYSO camp that has started this week. Tell us a little bit about camp.
Emma - Yeah so BYSO camp usually starts from JRO, which is one of the higher level orchestras. And so usually we go to Maine for like a week to two weeks. The highest orchestra, BYS, spends two weeks in Maine and we just start grinding on some opera music. Some, I don’t know, some symphonies with everyone on the same campus at NECM I'm pretty sure. And we just have a lot of fun there. We do a lot of activities, we play all day long until the night from morning to night, but it's really fun because we do a lot of activities in between and yeah, so right now we're doing it online, but it's still a lot of fun. We have activities in the afternoon and we have sectionals in the middle of the day and then we get lectures from Fed, our conductor, and he tells us about the piece we're playing, we go more in depth so it's a lot of fun.
Martha - That's awesome, that's great. So you and I had talked and we were talking about, you know, what an interesting and unique experience BYSO is as a music experience, but then you talked a little bit about how it's really like nothing else in your own life. Like it's not like school, it's not like any other group activity. And I wondered if you could talk a little bit more about that.
Emma - Yeah. So BYSO is like, I think violin, Emma is like a whole, totally different person than like the other Emma from like school. BYSO's definitely been like maybe if not besides school, maybe the biggest part of my life, probably even bigger than school because I'm constantly playing violin. It's like my own little outlet from everything else crazy in my life. So playing the violin has always been like my one sort of way to relax and like focus on something and feel good at something. Cause after all these years of playing, like it's that one thing that I can always go back to.
Martha - That's awesome. And you, we also talked a little bit about how interesting it is, you know, one of the cool things about a youth orchestra is that it changes from year to year because people graduate and more people come in, and that it is a real diverse place in all aspects of the word. And that that has, you know, helps kind of shift people's perspectives, especially like moving up from one orchestra to the next so you're like the big fish in the one orchestra and then you're the little fish in the next, but also your relationship to those who you share a stand with and the people that you play your instrument within or are in sectionals with. And I wondered if you could talk a little bit about sort of those interesting and different perspectives.
Emma - Yeah. So I think the big difference between BYSO and a lot of orchestras I've been in and school is that you're taking a bunch of kids from a lot of different backgrounds and perspectives, so someone who like me, who has learned from being only in ensembles, or mostly ensembles and some solo playing where others have just only focused on some solo playing, you get a lot of individuals coming with different perspectives, different ideas, different ways of interpreting music. And then when you bring it all together you learn so much, like I've learned a lot from people I've sat next to with stand partners I've been with, more than I think any other experience could teach you because you just get taught from people who have done different orchestras, who have done different programs, and you learn different things. You add them, you implement them into your own playing and your own learning. And it's just a really good way to unify all of us because we all share that one aspect of being unique in individual ways. And all together as a whole it just makes us, I think, a lot stronger of an orchestra because of the differences. And also just brings a challenge upon us just to learn differently and challenge the way we think. So always change your perspective.
Martha - That's really cool. That's interesting to hear and I can certainly see it manifest even just, you know, from a tactical perspective that the demographics of, you know, people are coming from all over and you know, it's a truly diverse place in that you know, you're not in the orchestra necessarily with the people that you would be in school with, or even in your community, and neighborhood, and town. And that certainly adds a different perspective just in that. And so do you practice every day too?
Emma - Yes.
Martha - How much do you practice every day would you say?
Emma - Oh gosh. I mean, during the school year, I would say maybe one to two hours a day, in the summer is when I really try to grind it out and do like maybe three to six on a really, really good day.
Martha - Wow, that is extremely impressive. Awesome. Well, I'm hoping we can get Elie and Ashley's video back on and we can have a few more questions. I saw some questions that came in. I know one of the questions was what the ages of the students in BYSO are. And our youngest students, if you can believe it, are four and our oldest students are 18. Our program goes up to high school and it can get confusing cause there's lots of different orchestras. But the idea is that every year all of our students audition every single year. So even if you're in that top orchestra, you might be even sitting first chair, you still have to audition like everybody else. And the ICP students that aren't yet in an orchestra, those really, really young kids that are taking their lessons. Usually it's two, three, four-ish years of playing before they're able to audition into our, one of our first orchestras, which we have the petite ensemble, which is a string ensemble and is ever so adorable. And our preparatory winds is the winds and brass beginner ensemble. And then kids move up, and in fact I bet all three of you were in multiple orchestras during your time. Where any of you in the petite ensemble? I think it started maybe, the petite ensemble is our newest orchestra and so it sounds like you all just missed it. Excellent. So one of the things that you know is an obvious thing to touch on here is that, you know, we are an orchestra and we're usually several groups of about a hundred in a room together, rehearsing for concerts and a hundred people in a room isn't happening and concerts aren't happening. So we did switch to an online learning model in the spring, and as Emma mentioned we are online for camp right now. What was exciting for us organizationally was that we had the highest number of auditionees ever in our history this year. So I think that that really speaks to how much folks want to be involved in a music program right now. I know obviously, Emma, you auditioned this year just like everyone else, sounds like you got in. But I wondered if, and I know this is unique to you Emma because you are the only one who's still returning. But if that crossed your mind that, you know, it was going to be online and maybe I don't want to do it, or, you know, what your, how, what your thinking is around that?
Emma - Well, I remember back in the spring, when we suddenly got cut off from being in person, it was still--
Martha - Right before one of our biggest concerts of the year, like two weeks before.
Emma - Oh my gosh yes. It was still like, we were still all working super hard trying to put together this Britain project. I think it was yeah young people's guide to orchestra and it was so cool trying to put together. So we still got the work done, but it was a little bit different, but we still a lot of fun.
Martha - Yeah, Elie and Ashley you were involved in that project, which hasn't yet been released. And we are excited that the video project will get released soon but Elie or Ashley, did you want to comment at all on that sort of switch to online learning?
Ashley - I thought it was really funny because it made you focus on like different aspects of your playing. Cause before obviously I relied just like on my ears while playing it, but because I just start filming myself so often it was like almost a little bit more objective than what I was used to cause I would play and I'd say, "Oh, it sounds pretty good." And then I would listen back and be like, "Oh, that's how it actually sounded." So it was, it kind of opened my ears in a way that I wasn't used to, because I could actually hear what it sounded like a few feet away.
Elie - I also feel like I've never used a metronome as much as before. Because usually like at least like in an orchestra scenery, like I just pay attention to the conductor and I kind of like use my ears, but I felt like when we moved remotely like when you have to do the videos, you have to stay on the beat because if it's like if you're even like half a second off, you have to redo the video because it won't line up with the other musicians. So I've never used the metronome as much as I have, during this quarantine but like I think it was really helpful because now I'm like, it's always like, kind of like on beat now and like always focusing on that. So it's definitely improved my practicing. So yeah.
Martha - That's great, yeah. I think that there's definitely like new skills that we're all going to be focusing on. I wondered if, so one of the things that we've done for the New Year is that we have invested as an organization in new technology for this sort of online curriculum. We're using this really cool, interesting technology called Music First and all of our students, Emma, you probably got your bumblebee microphone, which looks super cool. And so we're excited to hopefully, you know, keep everyone not just engaged but also learning. What's really wonderful about the ICP program is that all of those individual lessons will continue. They continue via Zoom. In fact, all three of you are teaching other kids this summer is that right? Which is really very cool. I know Ashley commented on what that's like, and I know that that's a really special thing for those younger students who totally look up to you, you all to do that. We only have a few minutes left, but I wanted to ask each of you to just, you know, I think most of the people who are with us this afternoon are new to BYSO. And this is the first that they're learning of us. And I wondered if each of you could just kind of share how you would describe this organization in a couple of sentences. Why don't we start with you, Ashley?
Ashley - I think Elie touched on this a little bit before, but to me it feels like the most central part of the whole organization is just like the family aspect. Like whether it's the teachers, the conductors or Emma and Elie, like I've known them so long. It just feels like they're like my brother and sister. So I feel like that's the most central part for me. Like I've got to learn and cultivate this really cool talent, like scale. And I also got from it like a whole community of people that I like really value in my life.
Martha - That's awesome, that's great to hear. Emma, how about you?
Emma - Yeah well for me I think, as I said before BYSO just brings out a whole other side of me. I just think playing the violin does too. It just like helped me feel really determined. It really just gets my mindset in the right place, which I really like. So I think in a lot of ways BYSO has helped me as a person learn like that aspects of hard work and dedication because this is not something that's like a one and done sort of thing. You're in this for until the end. And if you actually really care about it and you can really tell with everyone involved, like Ashley said, it's like a family, so everyone has the same goals. Everyone's enjoying the same thing. So it's really nice to see everyone like have this sort of side of them and that's something we can all share it together.
Marta - That's awesome. Elie, how about you?
Elie - Yeah. I mean, for me, I think like, BYSO's just provided me with so much opportunities. Like there are things that I have accomplished that I never would have thought that I would be able to accomplish. Like given the fact that like, I could've just done something else or I could just like stepped to sports or something like that. But like BYSO's definitely helped me to do that, it has definitely shaped my character, and has allowed me to strive for better. And it definitely gives me hope that I can accomplish things whenever like things can get tough or really hard. Like I can always overcome that. Overcome the fear of like things being too hard for me, so.
Martha - That's great, that's wonderful to hear. Well, all of those answers are wonderful and you know, those of us who are working at BYSO, continue to be so proud of each one of you because we know how hard you work and we do everything that we can to support you to do that work. And just another huge shout out to First Republic because it's partnerships like this organizational partnership that allows us to do that, to continue that support throughout every one of our students in entire pathways, because I hope that you've kind of been able to grasp it. It is, it's a long road for these students. When we were talking earlier about practicing, one of the things that I love that you said Elie was that it never really felt like a chore, even though there were days where everyone can admit that they were like, "No thank you. "I really don't want to do this today." That the sense of knowing you were going to get somewhere and knowing that you were going to achieve this great height because you saw the people before you do it. And because you did it even when you were four, you know, plucking on those strings, you know, with your conductors, that you felt that sense of accomplishment. And so, you know, we hope to invite everyone on this call to an upcoming concert. Hopefully we'll be presenting concerts in the near future. I do encourage everyone to go to BYSO's website, which is BYSOweb.org, I can actually write it in the chat where you can see more videos of these incredible kids and hundreds of others. You can also join a mailing list and be the first to hear these great videos that we'll be sharing this year while we aren't presenting concerts. We're putting together several video projects, which are exceptional I'm so excited about them. And, you know, as mentioned they're sort of a new angle to learning for all of our students, both our most advanced students here, but also even our beginners and to get updates and to stay involved and stay engaged because you know, we've been, as you heard in our opening video, we've been around for 60 years and we have great hopes for a lot of growth in the future because when you hear the stories of what an impact this has on just these incredible young adults in the communities that you will all go into and affect, there's certainly a desire for us to do more. So I know that we're ending a few minutes early. I don't know if there's any questions in the Q&A that I don't see, but I hope that you will all continue to join us. And like I said, I'm going to actually put our website in the chat right now. And I want to thank everyone for attending. And I want to thank Emma and Elie and Ashley for sharing their music and their stories with us. And then certainly, you know, want to thank Andy and everyone at First Republic for allowing us to do this. This was a really fun project. One thing I didn't mention is that Emma, Ashley, and Elie are all MLK Summer Scholars. So they are all have been awarded a summer work project. So they are getting paid to do some incredible projects with us at BYSO. And one of them has been really thinking through how we can engage our communities and share these stories. And they also are, as we mentioned, teaching some of our younger students and doing lots of other cool projects. And so this was a really great way in the summertime, especially, for us to be able to share with you. So thank you all again for joining us and we hope to see you soon and enjoy the rest of your evening. Oh yes.
Andy - Thank you, Martha, Ashley, Elie and Emma for joining us this evening. That was excellent. The work that BYSO does year after year is truly inspiring and so important to the next generation of musicians. On behalf of First Republic, we want to thank everyone for attending today. Thank you and be well.