BYSO Summer Camps 2019

July and August were busy months for young BYSO musicians. In late August, BYSO held its annual two-week
summer camp at New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine, for members of BYS, REP and JRO. Students took
part in intensive rehearsals with BYSO conductors and artistic staff, while creating friendships with fellow
orchestra members. During their time in Maine, students also had the opportunity to participate in swimming,
kayaking, soccer, talent shows, karaoke, and more. It’s a great way to start the season. In July, students in BYSO’s
Intensive Community Program (ICP) participated in summer music camps at Noble and Greenough School.

Current and past BYSO graduating seniors have shared their favorite memories from their time at BYSO, and many of them have said that camp is one of their favorite memories. We asked, “Tell us about some of your favorite BYSO experiences”:

“BYSO camp is always one of the highlights of the year. As a place to focus solely on music-making and spending time with friends, it’s a great way to start the year. From sectionals in the morning to activities at night, those memories will always be a highlight of my experience at BYSO.” -Jeffrey Zhu, ’18

“BYSO camp and playing Symphonic Metamorphosis.” -Maria Tu, ’18

“Camp every summer with friends.” -Lailoo Perriello, ’18

“My first time going to camp…actually every time going to camp!” -Anna Kerber, ’18

“BYSO camp was always a highlight of my summer, since I got the chance to hang out with my friends and enjoy playing music.” -David Kennan, ’18

“I really cherish the friends and memories I’ve made at BYSO camp for the past 4 years that I’ve attended; I can’t think of a specific moment, but I just really enjoyed all of camp and no matter what memory I recall it is always a happy one.” -Amanda Xu, ’18

“I will always remember one rehearsal we had with John at camp during my very first year in BYSO. We were rehearsing Smetana’s Moldau in the bowl at sunset and the music was lacking something. John knew this, so he put his baton down and asked us if we’d ever just sat, alone, with no distractions, and watched the sun rise. I hadn’t. He told us that he’d actually just done this the day before and described the way it made him feel, how it looked and felt too perfect to be real. He described the emotions he had, how it was both a sad and happy moment for him, and told us that we had to channel that kind of energy into our music, the kind of energy you’d get from watching the sun rise, alone. He reminded us of the important job we had, to paint a complete picture for our audience. I don’t know why, but this gave me goosebumps. For all of us, the music suddenly meant more than just notes on a page; it had a purpose. Another moment I’ll always remember happened this summer at camp. During the Q&A with Fed, Fed had spoken about how we shouldn’t blame the great composers of the past, whether it’s Mozart, Bach, Stravinsky, Debussy etc., for the problems of today and we shouldn’t devalue the art of classical music by simply labeling it as “elitist.” In our final rehearsal at camp, Fed resumed this discussion and told us that he hoped we’d graduate from BYSO not only as good musicians, but also as good, decent people who use music as a tool to connect and better the world around them. This lesson is something I’ll carry with me wherever I go.” -Kimia Tabatabaei, ’18

“My favorite BYSO experience was getting to know and make friends at BYSO camp. My friends at BYSO are the kindest and most supportive friends I could have ever asked for and I am so grateful I had this year to create music with them.” -Rachael Chen, ’18

“Meeting lifelong friends at summer camp.” -Alexander Feltner Harrison, ’18

“I debated whether or not to audition for BYSO for an incredibly long time for the sole reason that I might feel inadequate or alone. Beginning the season with a mandatory camp with strangers just seemed to make it worse. But, immediately, I felt so welcome and so appreciated. For three summers, BYSO and its community somehow made endlessly long hours of rehearsal so enjoyable.” -Sun-Jung Yum, ’19

“I’ve made some of my best friends during BYSO camp.” -Chen Chen Huang, ’19

“I really enjoyed experiencing camp and making new friends there. I met a few folks I never would have imagined meeting anywhere else, and I want to keep those friendships alive for as long as possible.” -Olivia Ceterski, ’19

“Summer in Maine has been one of my favorite things about BYSO! Making new friends and learning awesome music is always a highlight.” -Cyan Jean, ’19

“BYSO camp for sure!! I remember my first ever BYSO camp so vividly. I was so excited by how everyone there loved classical music and loved the pieces we were playing—it was my first time being in that kind of environment. It was one of those experiences that solidified why I wanted to go into music.” -Grace Helmke, ’19

“Camp! Got to really work with and connect with byso campers (not just from BYS), and I also got to talk/interact with the conductors outside of rehearsal.” -Christopher Lee, ’19

“One of my favorite experiences has to be the annual summer camp; it’s so beyond inspiring to be surrounded by so many people who care so deeply about music and performance, and it has always pushed me to be better myself.” -Yingzi (Cherry) Xiang, ’19

Photos by Michael J. Lutch 

For more camp photos click here!