ESYO “Playathon” Set for February 1st at Crossgates


Over 600 student musicians in the Empire State Youth Orchestra ensembles will share their love of music with the community during an all-day “Playathon” on Saturday, February 1, 2020, from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm at Crossgates Mall. The event, which is a fundraiser for the organization, features 13 musical ensembles that include everything from classical to percussion to jazz. This year there is a fundraising goal set at $65,000 dollars. Even though the event is designed to raise money, it is free to anyone in the community who wants to enjoy music on that day. 

The annual ‘Playathon’ is the organization’s largest and most important fundraiser and is also the only time that all of the performing ensembles come together, on one day, to share their musical talent with the public. The Playathon is sponsored by Albany Medical Center, University at Albany Foundation, and Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP.

Music Director Carlos Ágreda is very excited about this event. ”Playathon represents a valuable opportunity to increase awareness about ESYO and to have a relaxed and direct connection with the community. Some members of the community might not realize how much they love classical music, and if they aren’t able to come to the concert hall then we will come to their space! At Playathon we want to provide exposure and show how fun symphonic music actually is. It’s a chance to see all our ensembles in action and for people to see how much the young musicians love playing music,” said Ágreda.

The marathon musical event helps ESYO ensure no qualified musician is ever turned away because of the inability to pay. “Our Playathon raises critical funds to support scholarships and tuition assistance so that all youth may pursue musical excellence and have serious fun, too,” said Rebecca Calos, who serves as ESYO’s executive director.

The day includes the John Keal Music Company’s “Instrument Petting Zoo” and there are also live auctions so that someone in the audience has the opportunity to conduct one of the ensembles. 

Additional information about ESYO’s program and concerts can be found at  

Performance Schedule

10:30AM – 11:15AM – Percussion Ensembles
11:30AM – 11:45AM – Concertino Strings (Dave Beck conducting)
11:55AM – 12:20PM – String Orchestra – Auction**
12:35PM – 1:15PM – Wind Orchestra + Choirs – Auction**
1:25PM – 2:05PM –  CHIME  (Yates, VC, Proctors)
2:20PM – 2:50PM – Symphony Orchestra – Auction**
2:55PM – 3:25PM – Rep Orchestra – Auction**
3:30PM– 4:05PM – Symphony Orchestra – Auction**
4:20PM – 4:40PM – Rep Jazz Orchestra
4:45PM – 5:05PM – Youth Jazz Orchestra
5:20PM – 5:50PM – Rep Orchestra – Auction**
5:55PM – 6:30PM – Symphony Orchestra – Auction**

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