The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

February 26, 2014

Symphony, chorus spring season begins March 3

— The spring season of the New River Youth Symphony & Chorus opens on Monday, March 3 at Oak Hill High School and musicians and singers are welcome to join.

“Many serious young musicians in Southern West Virginia devote their time and passion to practicing and performing music,” a representative of NRYSC said in a press release this week. “Young instrumentalists and vocalists enjoy the opportunity to make music together and perform in the New River Youth Symphony & Chorus.”

A number of different groups are available for those from ages 5 through 24.

The Beginner Chorus, under the direction of Kathie Kiser, serves 5 to 9-year olds. The group helps children to focus, understand rhythms, and match pitch. Kiser and her team use sign language, puppets, and games to develop the children’s ability to enjoy music. “The Beginner Chorus is a great place for young singers to learn how to sing together and be prepared to perform in front of an audience.”

The Youth Chorus, conducted by Pam Schrader, enjoys a wide variety of music that is fun to sing, organizers say. Among the repertoire are folk songs, classical songs, holiday songs and artsy songs. “Chorus is an excellent place for students ages 10 to 24 to develop their vocal technique and to experience the camaraderie of a group who enjoy performing together.”

Last fall a new group called Emerging Strings made its debut. Students play a variety of string instruments — violin, viola, cello, bass — and learn to play together in a group setting. Christina Bailey and Perri Kiser gently lead their beginner-level students in how to perform easy, yet lively and fun, arrangements for string orchestra.

The New River Youth Symphony is home to many young musicians, ages 8 to 24, who delight in beautiful music and relish playing together. Conducted by William Bailey, the symphony performs concert literature from the great composers, as well as the occasional jazz piece and popular favorites.

Since this is a full orchestra, woodwinds, brass, and concert percussion students are welcome, as well as those who play viola, violin, cello or bass.

NRYSC has served young musicians in Southern West Virginia since 2006. It began as a grassroots, parent-student effort to provide a unique instrumental and vocal ensemble opportunity to youngsters with a desire to grow as musicians. The students are a mixture of public schooled, private schooled and homeschooled students from various counties in Southern West Virginia who share a love of music and performing together.

Financial support from the Beckley Area Foundation, the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, the Governor’s Community Participation Project, the Fayette County Commission, the Town of Fayetteville, and Southern West Virginia businesses and individuals has been used to purchase instruments and equipment, as well as to provide scholarships for the student musicians.

Anyone interested in joining NRYSC for the spring season should go to the website at for details on auditions and rehearsals, or for more information, call Kathie Kiser, president, at 304-619-5971.