GTCYS Kicks Off the 2019-20 Season!

We kicked off our 48th season this past weekend! Hundreds of families attended our kick-off event to begin their season with GTCYS. Watch the video below for a glimpse at the event and a peek into the first rehearsals of the year:

Artistic Director Mark Russell Smith provided his first word of the week: “soul”. A place in your body and your mind, “soul” embodies the GTCYS experience. Music creates soul and the soul creates music. In rehearsals, retreats, concerts, and special projects, our 750 students will share their music and souls with others. The communities built will stick with students forever, and they will make some incredible friends along the way!

Izaiah Cheeran, an oboist in Symphony, shared his GTCYS experience, and offered his top five words of advice to all GTCYS students:

  1. Always be prepared. Make sure you know your music well, do your “GTCYS 10” every day. And maybe even try for a “GTCYS 20 or 30.”
  2. Ask. Never be afraid to ask questions. If you do not know a fingering, a note, rhythm, or where you come in during the music. Don’t be afraid to ask your stand partner, someone in your section, or even the conductor. You might learn something new you didn’t know before.
  3. Take advantage of every opportunity you get! Don’t be afraid to audition for a solo in a piece of music, join chamber ensembles, showcase your poetry or art at a concert, or even enter into a competition. Every opportunity will help you grow as a person, and maybe even push you out of your comfort zone.
  4. Get to know new people. If you are the kid like me, who didn’t know anyone in the orchestra, try and at least say “hi” to someone new at every rehearsal. If you already know people from school or past years, try and meet someone new you haven’t met before.
  5. Have fun! No matter what orchestra you are in, what instrument you play, or where you’re seated. If you play your part and make the best out of this experience, I promise you it’ll be both fun, and rewarding.

Watch Izaiah’s full speech below:

The season is just getting started. We can’t wait for an incredible year at GTCYS!


(Below: GTCYS Kick-Off, September 8, 2019)

Serving Community.
Supported by Community.

Explore stories from students, staff, families, donors, and alumni. Learn about our programs and community impact.

Learn More
Skip to content