“The conductors, coaches, management, and administrative staff are 100% geared towards the students and making this experience meaningful to them. The standards are never compromised.” – Diane Nicholeris ’78
Taking the stage at Sanders Theatre for BYS and REP’s Opening Concert last month, Diane Nicholeris felt excited, sentimental, and nervous all at once. The momentum building was palpable. Upon playing her first notes onstage, the memories flooded in and Diane felt as if she had just been there the day before—like seeing an old friend after many years yet it feels as if no time has passed.
Diane first played at Sanders with BYSO 50 years prior, as a young violin player from the South Shore. During her six years with BYSO, she found a shared love of music with like-minded students along with rigorous instruction that paved the way for a long and rewarding career in music. Diane studied at Boston University School of Fine Arts followed by The Eastman School of Music. Since then, she has played with the San Francisco Symphony and served as a coach for The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. More recently, she began coaching with BYSO. After a number of years in the SFS, and especially after coaching the SFSYO, she realized what an integral part BYSO played in her development, something that is appreciated more keenly after the passage of time.
“Playing in BYSO for the first time was an incredible experience, to be part of an orchestra making that sound. In addition, being in the orchestra and testing your abilities with colleagues was an incentive to practice and (in my case) get up to speed. You quickly learn your responsibilities to the conductor, your section and to yourself.”
Diane describes the experience as something that built her foundation at a high level to start. Further, with a vast repertoire from six years of membership, revisiting pieces originally perfected in BYSO felt like adding another facet of understanding to a base of such good quality.
When asked what makes BYSO special among a vast array of musical opportunities for young people, Diane instantly notes the overall attitude. One constant between her experience 50 years ago and BYSO’s current environment is the positivity. “The conductors, coaches, management, and administrative staff are 100% geared towards the students and making this experience meaningful to them. The standards are never compromised.” Even now, Diane can still visualize former BYSO conductor Walter Eisenberg and hear his instruction.
Diane is beyond grateful to share what she loves most about music with a new generation of musicians–and overjoyed to have taken the stage at Sanders with the BYSO family once again.
Are you, or someone you know, a BYSO alum with an interesting story or life update to share? Contact Jeanne Bedard, Development Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 358-6119!