Monday, November 16, 2015

CYM's Holiday Concert Season 2015

We kick off our annual holiday concert line-up with a family favorite- the village of Sewickley lights up with a festival of activity- the evening features a fantastic fireworks show, music, free horse drawn carriage rides, live reindeer, an ice carving competition and lots of food vendors.  Parking is free after 1:30pm and on weekends throughout the month of December.

CYM violins and celli join forces to spread holiday spirit with Festive Strings throughout the majestic Carnegie Hall of Architecture on Sunday, December 6th. We are excited to return to this gorgeous venue to perform among their impressive seasonal display. 

The night is not so silent at our second annual Candlelight Concert in the gallery of First Unitarian Church in Shadyside. This Friday evening concert is the perfect prelude to a winter weekend with this cosy, intimate venue. Would you like to perform at this concert? Contact Ms. Elisabeth at to be included!    

An annual must-do on the lists of each of our CYM families! We love the bustling, joyous atmosphere that comes with performing at the Wintergarden stage each December. Pianists and guitarists are featured in this festive showcase on Saturday afternoon, December 12 under the sparkling spires of the PPG building downtown. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

CYM Workshops + Activities program presents MCG Holiday Jazz with Ann Hampton Calloway

Swing into the holiday season with this excellent holiday tradition. Featuring the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra and Ann Hampton Calloway, this mainstay of the concert season at the Manchester Craftsman's Guild is sure to please everyone in the family! 

Reserve your family's seats by sending an email to W+A coordinator, Ms. Rochelle at 

CYM Annual Ensemble Recital is Saturday, November 7, 2015

CYM's Annual Ensemble Recital day is just around the corner! To accommodate our performers that day, two concerts will be held as follows: Violin & Piano at 11:00 am, and Guitar, Cello, & Piano at 1:00 pm. Practice Challenge medals and trophies will be awarded during each recital, and the 11:00 am recital will feature a special presentation from our littlest musicians in Toddlers and Twinklers classes! Invite the whole family to join us in celebrating together through music!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

CYM Workshops + Activities program presents: Pablo Villegas with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

e W+ A program presents: Villegas plays Rodrigo with the Pittsburgh Symphony
Guitarist Pablo Villegas returns to Pittsburgh, alongside the debut of his fellow countryman,       conductor Gustavo Gimeno. Villegas performs Rodrigo’s Fantasía Para un Gentilhombre, a piece rich in haunting melodies and exhilarating Spanish folk dances. Gimeno will lead the orchestra in music from two ballets — Stravinsky’s Jeu de cartes and a suite from Ravel’s great love story, Daphnis et Chloé. The program opens with Academy Award-nominated music from the film There Will Be Blood, written by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.

  • When? Friday, October 9, 8:00 pm 
  • Where? Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 

As a CYM family, you have two options for ticketing at this concert.

  1.  I would like to sit with other CYM families in the reserved section and purchase my tickets through CYM. You may charge my credit card on file with CYM for #__________of tickets at $22 each. 
  2. I would like to sit with other CYM families in the reserved section and use my workshop and     activities fee to cover my child’s ticket. You may charge my credit card on file with CYM for #________ extra tickets at $22 each.

Name of Child(ren) Using Workshop and Activities Fee:_________________________
Number of total tickets for your family:__________________________________________

DUE TO CYM BY Friday, October 2

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Youth Voices- Holiday Chorus 2015

The CYM Youth Voices: Holiday Chorus is at it again! Under the experienced direction of Mr. Ben Filippone, we invite every family at CYM who loves to sing to register for this great seasonal treat! Six rehearsals beginning Thursday October 22- December 3 are held from 7:00-8:00pm at CYM Sewickley and culminate in two holiday performances at CYM's performance at Sewickley's Light Up Night on December 4 and the Candlelight Concert at the First Unitarian Church in Shadyside on December 11.

Register online here! Deadline to sign up is October 15.

Monday, September 21, 2015

CYM Workshops + Activities program presents: Caps for Sale! the Musical by Citizen's Bank Children's Theater Series

e W+ A program presents: Citizen’s Bank Children’s Theater Series and the Pittsburgh        Cultural Trust presents-  Caps for Sale: the Musical!

Monkey Business! “Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!” The peddler has huge stack of caps, balanced carefully on top of his head. Brown caps, blue caps, gray caps, and red caps. But no one wants to buy a cap. So he goes for a walk in the country, and takes a nap under a shady tree. When he wakes up, the caps are gone — all except his own checked one. Where could his caps have disappeared to? And how will he ever get them back? Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of this favorite book, this new musical will enchant the whole family.

Tickets are $10 each. 

e When? Sunday November 15, 2:00pm

e Where? Byham Theater, 101 6th St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

DUE TO CYM BY Friday, October 2

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Who's Who at the Center for Young Musicians- Erich Riebe

We are excited to welcome a new instructor at CYM this year- Erich Riebe. Erich hails from Long Island, New York and will be joining our guitar faculty. Welcome, Erich!

Erich Riebe is a classical guitarist from Long Island, New York. His status as an up-and-coming artist has been marked in rousing performances at area universities and festivals including Spoleto Festival USA, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society, Bethlehem Guitar Festival, and East Carolina Guitar Festival. Erich attended Rowan University for classical guitar performance as well as music education. During his time there he studied guitar with Joseph and Kathleen Mayes and played in many concerts including solo recitals, duo recitals with the tenacious guitar duo “Howduo”, and guitar quartet recitals. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, Mr. Riebe pursued his master’s degree in guitar performance with Grammy award winning artist Jason Vieaux. His CIM based flute and guitar duo, “La Vie Duo,” has given performances including everything from Bach to The Beatles, and most recently, Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango.

Currently Erich is residing in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, teaching guitar at the Center for Young Musicians. When not strumming on his guitar, he enjoys watching hockey and going camping and hiking.

We enjoy a little Q+A session to get to know Mr. Erich...

CYM: What is your favorite piece of music to play?
Mr. Erich: Usher Waltz by Nikita Koshkin

CYM: What was your most memorable music performance to have experienced as an audience member?
Mr. Erich: Johannes Möller at the Guitar Foundation of America convention in 2011. Columbus, Georgia, front row seats!

CYM: What was your favorite childhood book? 
Mr. Erich: Harry Potter series

CYM: What is your favorite treat to eat?
Mr. Erich: Spicy hummus and pita chips

CYM: When and where do you listen to music for fun?
Mr. Erich:  Classical, Blues, Rock, Pop, Dance, Indian Classical, Oldies, Alternative, usually in the car.

Who's Who at the Center for Young Musicians- Ben Filippone

Benjamin Filippone, looking sharp.

We are excited to welcome Mr. Ben Filippone to the CYM faculty this fall! Ben hails from Monroeville and joins us to direct our vocal department. Welcome, Ben!

Benjamin Filippone is active throughout the Pittsburgh area as a choir conductor and voice teacher. He directs the Mon Yough Chorale, and the University Choir at Carlow University. In addition to CYM, he also teaches voice at the Larry Cervi School of Performing Arts, and sings with the Pittsburgh Camerata. Mr. Filippone has has taught high school choir and piano, served as vocal director for musical productions, and is a former music instructor at the Chatham Music and Arts Camp. He performed the role of Ben in Menotti's "The Telephone" and recitals at the Maiski Opera Festival in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, and performed world premiers as a soloist and ensemble singer with OvreArts. He holds a BA in music education from Grove City College, a MM in vocal performance from Duquesne University, and has started doctoral work in choral conducting with a minor in music theory at the University of Arizona. He has appeared as the guest conductor for the Westmoreland County Music Educators Association Jr. High Chorus Festival, and participated for three summers as a conductor with the Sarteano Choral Conducting Workshop with Simon Carrington in Sarteano, Italy.

We wanted to know more, so we asked Mr. Ben a few questions...

CYM: Who is your favorite composer?
Mr. Ben: I couldn't possibly pick just one favorite composer! Some of my favorites include Monteverdi, Josquin, Purcell, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Vaughan Williams, Messiaen, Ginastera, and a host of contemporary composers.

CYM: What was the most memorable music performance that you experienced?
Mr. Ben: I will never forget a very unique concert I saw at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC called "A World of Voices". It was an entirely a cappella concert of various world-class vocal groups from around the world, including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Chanticleer, Sweet Honey In The Rock, and a variety of amazing groups ranging from from Bulgaria to Mexico, and the whole thing was wittily hosted by none other than Bobby McFerrin entirely by improvised singing, without saying a single word! He brought all the groups together at the end and had them all improvising together, playing off their unique styles and vocal characteristics. I'll certainly never forget that experience!

CYM: What was your favorite childhood book?
Mr. Ben: In my early childhood, Sam and The Firefly. Later in childhood, the Encyclopedia Britannica. I wanted to learn about absolutely everything.

CYM: What us your favorite treat to eat?
Mr. Ben: Good old fashioned apple pie and anything gingerbread! 

CYM: What has music given you?
Mr. Ben: Music has given me purpose, a way to connect with others and befriend many amazing people, a way to give to others, travel opportunities, and much more. Nearly all of the most profound, unusual, character building, unexpected, and joyful experiences in life have come from music making and the pursuit of music making. More friendships and deep connections have come from musical experiences than anything else in my life as well. Language is sometimes able to describe a person's most personal and complex emotions well enough to be understood by others, but only music can make it possible to actually feel them. The wonder of this never gets old for me, and I feel the most alive when I'm experiencing it or helping others to experience it.

Workshops and Activities presents: Elevations Jazz at MCG

Join us on Friday, September 18 for this excellent concert, a CD release for Elevations group. Last year we enjoyed a wonderful piano improvisation masterclass with group member Brett Williams, pianist. This year, a masterclass with the entire Elevations group is in the works for early December. *Please note the masterclass date change, made due to musician travel schedules.  Tickets to this concert are $25 and include a CD with each ticket purchase!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Who's Who at the Center for Young Musicians- Chris Sforza

  We are delighted to announce a new member of our teaching faculty for the 2015-2016 school year, Mr. Christopher Sforza. Welcome, Chris!

Christopher A. Sforza is a musician and educator originally from Watertown, Connecticut.  Before he joined CYM, he spent the last seven years living in Ithaca NY, where he received his B.M. in Music Education and M.M. in Suzuki Pedagogy from Ithaca College.  Christopher’s educational philosophy focuses on bringing people together through music and the arts.  He is passionate about empowering students of all ages through his teaching and exposing students to a variety of music from a diverse cultural and stylistic background.

In addition to being a dedicated teacher, Christopher is also an active performer.  During his time at Ithaca College he regularly performed with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and numerous chamber music ensembles. His primary violin teachers at Ithaca included Nicholas DiEugenio and Susan Waterbury.  Christopher studied Suzuki Pedagogy with Carrie Reuning-Hummel and received training from Edward Kreitman and Kimberly Meier-Sims.

In his spare time, Christopher enjoys composing and arranging music.  He feels strongly about working with living composers and the importance of performing new music in addition to the standard classical repertoire.  He has had the opportunity to work with contemporary composers such as Michael Gandolfi, Melinda Wagner, Steven Stucky, and Steven Mackey.

When Christopher is not with violin in hand, he loves going to the farmer’s market and buying vegetables for a new recipe.

We enjoy a Q+A session with Mr. Chris...

CYM: What is your favorite composer or piece to play, and why?

Mr. Chris: How can anyone pick his or her favourite composer/piece?  It's impossible.  I will say that J.S. Bach will always remain my musical foundation.  As a lover of all things Baroque, I find the beauty, energy, and invention in Bach to deeply resonate within me.  Bach can one minute make me smile and laugh; the next moment I am brought to tears.  Mozart has a similar affect on me.  Try listening to the "Great c minor mass" without a box of tissues on hand.

CYM: If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be (and what would you eat?)

Mr. Chris: I think that I would have lunch with Meryl Streep at a Thai restaurant.  That seems like a great combination of flavour and fame.

CYM: What has music given you?

Mr. Chris: Music has given me the tools to communicate to people across cultures and backgrounds.  It has given me a way to express myself intellectually, emotionally, and artistically.  It has also given me an opportunity to give back to the community and the ability to inspire others.

CYM: What was your favorite childhood book?

Mr. Chris: There was this short little picture book called "The Ghost's Dinner" that I was obsessed with as a kid.  It was about a dinner party that a group of ghosts were throwing in which they changed colour according to each of the courses that they ate.  I even made a diorama for a book report on it in either 1st or 2nd grade.

CYM: What is your favorite treat to eat?

Mr. Chris: Does hummus or falafel count as a treat?

CYM: Haha, of course!

We hope that you'll be sure to say hello to Mr. Chris if you see him!

Woohoo! Year in Review 2014-2015...

What an exciting year it's been here at CYM. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, let's let our photo archive do the talking...

Ms. Ashley holds the fall Fiddling Workshop

Brett Williams visits for a brilliant workshop and masterclass

Marcus Miller with his band live in concert, part two of Brett Williams' masterclass- at the Manchester Craftsman's Guild
Dr. Sonia's student prepare to perform pre-concert at St. James Church

Dr. Sonia performs at her Mozart Apassionatta Community Concert
Students are recognized for their diligent practice!

Pianists gather to perform pre-concert at Heinz Hall for Gabrielle Montero and Symphony

Ava Heinricher performs in the Sewickley Studio
Sarah Pittel and Isaac McKinley are recognized as they graduate from CYM
Mr. Danny, Ms. Elisabeth, and Mr. Ryan dazzle a great crowd at Soergel Orchards

Our guitarists spice up the Saturday Light Brigade radio program

Violinists love the SLB too!

A very first performance.

Ms. Ashley accompanies Julia

All smiles at the Violins A Deux concert
Mr. Ryan is so proud of his student, Miss Annie

Claire performs vocals (and violin!) at the Solo Recital

Way to go, practice challenge winners!

Concerts at the Winchester Thurston school are a lovely time

Elliott Drake was an excited winner of the Chamber Music Pittsburgh practice challenge
We love music!
Thank you, all for a year of great memories!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Violins a Deux Community Concert with Ms. Rochelle and Ms. Ashley

Join Ms. Rochelle Agnew and Ms. Ashley Freeburn as they present selections for two violins, as well as CYM student performers at this year-end Community Concert. We'll see you there!