We sent our two daughters to COS 7 years ago. They have learned to express themselves, respect others and work with their peers to discover their collective voice. Kids learn the language of music in a very family friendly setting. The experience benefits us as the parents as much as it does to our daughters. I strongly recommend it!
Children’s Orchestra Society (COS) is a significant part of my family’s life. My child played in one of its ensembles when she was young, and recently returned as an alumna. Playing classical music and taking instrument lessons at COS have enriched her life, as well as my family’s, with tremendous, unique, and long lasting effect.
Children with varied capabilities are being nurtured and challenged at COS. Opportunities to move to higher levels of ensembles are open to all who would rise to the “calling”. Many of the children take such strides from term to term, and year to year, that they blossom into budding musicians, who are realizing their own potential and talent with joy and pride.
COS’ music faculty members are mostly its alumni, and distinguished musicians. Through their teaching and conducting the ensembles and orchestras, they create such encouraging atmosphere that the young musicians clearly enjoy playing classical music together, and grow together.
Under the unflappable managership of Ms. Park, COS’s administrative staff members run such an orderly operation, that children and parents are certain when, where, and what they are going and playing. Taking into consideration of various ensembles and classes, each of them has its own assigned schedule, room, and music, chairs, music stands, etc. etc., Ms. Park and her associates steadily accomplish a truly remarkable feat.
COS is led by Dr. Ma, the Executive Director, and her husband Mr. Dadap, the Artistic & Music Director, both eminent musicians themselves.
Mr. Dadap is a classical guitarist, composer, and a tireless music educator,
in addition to his regular conductorship. Listening to Mr. Dadap playing
Romance d’Amour on a rare occasion, it was quite a moving experience indeed.
Dr. Ma herself was a musical prodigy, who plays the violin, viola, and the
piano. She has a command of many languages such as French, English, German,
Italian, and Chinese. And, she is a Harvard educated pediatrician who specializes
in child development. How fitting that Dr. Ma, with such an extraordinary
combination of accomplishments and talents, is leading Children’s
Orchestra Society. She has steadfastly carried on the mission, which was
founded by her father, for more than three decades, and continues to make
COS thrive and grow.
Between Dr. Ma and Mr. Dadap, there is a bright, dry wit, whose presence is
felt throughout the society all the time – while Mr. Dadap often gives oratories
filled with sparkling sense of humor, Dr. Ma, quietly amusing.
One can’t help but marveling at COS’ logo. It is a truly clever design with
simple lines, of a children’s ensemble. It conveys an unequivocal sentiment
of delight, confidence, and serenity. The logo was created by the Dadaps’ son,
Daniel, another talented musician, when he was only seven years old.
The Dadaps’ daughter Laura, is yet another talented Musician -- an actively
performing singer and actress. In addition, she is an accomplished chef, who
creates her own cuisine with her Filipino heritage.
Readers of this review: if you like what you have just read about Children’s Orchestra Society, bring your child(ren) and join the COS family.
Children’s Orchestra Society (COS) in Syosset, New York, is an excellent music organization for kids to join. Under the leadership of Director Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma and maestro Michael Dadap, COS has grown to seven orchestras and ensembles over the years. In addition to performing programs, COS offers music theory and other musicianship classes making it like a conservatory of music. My daughter plays in the Junior Symphonic Ensemble for the second year and she enjoys it so much that Saturday (regular rehearsal) has become her favorite day in a week!
COS has a professional and knowledgeable faculty from whom students have learned a lot in music interpretation and performing skills; a hard-working staff who manage schedules and facilities for so many groups in an efficient way; and a supporting PTA which creates and maintains a friendly environment for children to learn and enjoy making music. I highly recommend COS.
My both children attended COS for four years. It was a great experience for them. They had fun and learned how to become musicians. Thank you COS.
COS has truly been my family since my arrival in America! Being a 15 year old boy from Taiwan, Michael and Yeou-Cheng has treated me as a part of their family! I wouldn't be the person and the musician I am today without them! As a student, COS has given me and generations of musicians the opportunity to be showcased on major stages throughout the U.S and abroad including venues such as Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, U.S Open, to name a few. To work with world renowned artists such is just another treasured experience that one will rarely get as a high school aged students.
As a faculty member, COS have placed their trust in me at the beginning of my career as an educator helping me build a studio and now being the Conductor of one of the divisional orchestra. Many concert opportunities that I have today would not have happened if it weren't for COS in the first place. I made my U.S/NY debut as a violinist in Lincoln Center because of COS; I made my debut as a conductor in the great Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium because of COS! Words cannot describe the influence that this organization has in my development as a professional musician/educator, but more importantly- as a person!
I want to take another opportunity to publicly thank Dr. Ma & Mr. Dadap for the endless love and support for me AND for my family. Without COS, I wouldn't be doing what I do today and who I am today! THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR ALL THAT YOU DO!
I was a member of COS for 13 years. I started at age 5 with violin lessons and continued up until I graduated from high school. The private lessons, theory classes, chamber music, and orchestral experiences I had there enabled me to get a full-tuition scholarship at one of the finest music conservatories in the country (Peabody Conservatory). The love, care, and dedication the teachers and staff show is unprecedented. Now, as a mother of 2, and a professional violist playing in orchestras for a living, I can only thank COS with all my heart for fueling the "fire in MY belly" so I can do what I love and support my family. A million thanks, Yeou-Cheng and Michael.
COS gave me many gifts in my life over my 11 years there for which I am forever grateful: Kind friends who became an extended family, a deep passion for music, the exposure to many major works in orchestral repertoire, a heart-warming community to come to each weekend, a chance to tour the world, and up-close and personal opportunities to play with world-class soloists, to name a few. As a current professional musician in an orchestra, I am often filled with amazing memories whenever I play a piece I first learned at COS, and in awe of the work Michael and Yeou-Cheng continue to do every year.
COS is an organization that should be generously supported so it can thrive for generations to come!!
COS is an incredible organization that has played a huge role throughout my time in high school. They have great and skilled staff members and mentor students very well. I've had such a wonderful experience in their orchestra ensembles and grew as a musician through my experience there. I highly recommend COS for any youths who are interested in playing music with a group of motivated young musicians!
It is a pleasure for me to write this! As a long-time former faculty member, and also as a parent of a child who participated in COS, I saw first-hand the impact COS has had on scores of children and their families. In addition to - and perhaps more important than - the fine musical education it provides, COS also provides a warm, nurturing sense of community, and of mutual responsibility, which has helped many kids as they navigate growing up. And this communal, family atmosphere is of major importance in today's fractured wold. Any child in COS feels that the adults believe in them, and are rooting for them to succesfully fulfill their musical and personal responsibilities, at whatever level they are. One can find many music programs for children and teens, but COS offers something very special to the child and the whole family.
My daughter joined COS 3 years ago. It has been an amazing experience. Through COS, my daughter had the unique opportunities to tour China, played at the United Nation, played at Carnegie hall and many other venues. Dr. Ma, Michael Dadap, the staffs, the teachers are always kind, warm and friendly. I am so drawn to the music and often find myself sitting in the auditorium watching the rehearsals and submerge in the beautiful music that they create. Through this nurturing environment, my daughter has grown so much as a musician and as a person. The music, the experience and the friendship will stay with her for the rest of her life.
What a fantastic organization and it inspired so many audiences, and young people! It has been so successful that many people remember Children’s Orchestra Society! Wish COS will be around in the next 50 years and will teach more children the language of music !
When I think back on my time as a student at The Children's Orchestra Society (or COS, as we affectionately call it), I am reminded of the excellence and commitment, virtuosity and spirit that goes into this orchestra making it an indispensable cultural institution, not only on Long Island, but in our Nation.
Over half a century of incomparable and, I believe, peerless education in music-making, and maybe more importantly—introducing to countless generations what an art and what a joy making music together can be!
COS does great work in developing new ways of fostering an adoration for music in all its forms and facets, and I think I speak for all COS generations (past, present and future) when I say that we all learned to come to feel a sense of responsibility—of duty—to music, both individually and collectively.
Michael and Yeou-Cheng have been some of my most fantastic acquaintances in my musical life, and I can’t thank them and the whole COS family enough: all of the drive that I have for the work, and any wisdom that I may possess I owe a great debt to COS for, for instilling it in me, for planting the seeds, and making me want to carry the torch.
The COS has provided me with a community that goes beyond their wonderful music instruction. I believe deeply in their mission of teaching children the language of music and the service they provide to Tri-State area families. Through COS children are provided a place to flourish musically and socially. For the child that joins and realizes playing music may not be for them there’s room to explore the many roles that work together to produce top notch concerts and programming.
My own personal experience dates back to the 1980s when I joined as an unmotivated violinist. Dr. Ma and maestro Dadap were incredibly patient and supportive. They allowed me the space and opportunity to try many other instruments eventually landing on something that fit better. I remained in the orchestra until graduating HS and then returned after college to act as production manager; a job i was happy to take though I had a corporate job waiting for me. Years later I returned again to COS with my own child.
I could write a novel with how impactful COS has been on the trajectory of my life. Instead I will leave it at saying COS holds a very special place in my heart and it brings me great joy to support them.
The Children's Orchestra Society (COS) offers its members the opportunity to learn orchestral instruments through private instruction. What makes this group different from other similar organizations is the offers children the opportunity to truly make music. Their orchestra's at all levels and chamber music perfrom with heart and soul. The children at all levels are excited and enthusiastic about communicating in the language of music. Each year they hope to progress to better group that will bring them more challenges, more performances and more experiences making music with each other. The COS was my first employer after I completed university, but long before this I was a member for 10 years. Leaving the group after years of working with Michael Dadap, Yeou Cheng Ma, their wonderful coaches, teachers and staff was definately not an easy thing. It seems that like myself many alumni return offering their services at concerts and often filling positions on staff.
Dear Jeannie, Thanks so much for taking the time, in the midst of your whirlwind life, to write a review. We valued your participation as a student, alumna, production manager and librarian, and hope to welcome you as a future parent!
Yeou-Cheng M. 10/25/2019
Dear Jeannie, Thanks so much for your kind words! It warms our heart to know that we have made a difference in your life! We are collecting 7 more reviews in the next 6 days. Would you mind helping us by recruiting someone to write a review before 10/31/19? Thank you so much!
My son often says his Saturdays are the best days of the week because he gets to go to the Children's Orchestra Society (COS). He likes good music, and he likes to be challenged in a very friendly environment. COS provides the perfect combination of beautiful classic music and very supportive environment. My son started at COS when he was a first-grader, and now he is a 7th grader. He has played with COS at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the United Nations, and many other concert halls and venues in New York city, and he has also toured three cities in China with COS. The Elite String Ensemble (ESE) at COS has just returned from a performance at Wilson College in PA to celebrate their 150th anniversary.
Children and parents always get a good laugh from Maestro Michael Dadap's jokes and riddles.
Both Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma and Maestro Michael have large networks and they work tirelessly to give the young musicians opportunities to grow and shine in music.
We are really happy to be part of the COS.
COS cares about each and every student, and really practices what it preaches in terms of teaching children the language of music. I was a part of the orchestra and also attended individual music lessons, music theory class, and chamber ensemble lessons until heading off to college in 2006. The staff were dedicated, talented, and compassionate. Through the many programs at COS, I learned musicianship but also gained friendships, confidence and had role models to look up to. I was proud of what I learned there as a student.
Great people with lots of love for music and the world.
The Children's Orchestra Society is an educational and cultural treasure that has served families of the tri-state region for decades. Its programs offer instrumental music lessons, orchestra training and chamber music to youth, who not only learn musical skills but also those of effective leadership, independence, responsibility and collaboration, which are life-enhancing tools that will benefit them throughout their lives in every capacity. The faculty are dedicated educators who provide a nurturing and encouraging environment for the students, who are also offered numerous performance opportunities that include major venues in New York City. Because of these far-reaching benefits, COS deserves the highest respect and financial support from the public that it so admirably serves.
The Children's Orchestra Society serves the public by bringing music to all children, regardless of their financial situation, and is inclusive of children with special needs. The organization focuses on teaching the basic building blocks of music while instilling the students with a sense of joy when performing together. Faculty and Staff are friendly, supportive and nurturing
when I was growing up on Long Island, I wanted to get more experience playing in orchestras and I found COS. It was invaluable to my growth as a musician and as an artist. I made great music, great friends, and played great concerts in great concert halls. It was a beautiful place for me to explore my love of music.
Yeou-Cheng M. 10/25/2019
Thanks, Alex for your comments and congrats on your great success as an actor/musician!
Both my daughters have been COS orchestra members for years. Participating in COS has been a wonderful experience that we would recommend to anyone who values musical education and enrichment.
Yeou-Cheng M. 10/25/2019
Thanks Daniel for your comments, and so happy to have your two daughters thrive in our organization!
When I reflect on some of my happiest memories during late adolescence / early adulthood, many of them were performing music. And in performing music, COS holds a very special place in my heart.
It's been about ten years since I've performed with COS, but I will never forget that night we performed at Carnegie Hall. The feeling of self-actualization attained through performing the beautiful music we refined and practiced after months of rehearsal and years of practice. It was truly a magical experience and I remember distinctly feeling like if life had ended that same night, it would have been a fulfilling life well-lived.
Children's Orchestra Society provides a safe and welcoming home to young musicians, free of judgment and pressure and committed purely to nurture talent and provide these musicians with the same platform and magical opportunities that I had experienced. For many of us, these are cherished moments that will provide warmth and perspective for the rest of our lives.
Yeou-Cheng M. 10/25/2019
Thanks so much for your kind words! It warms our heart to know that we have made a difference in your life! We are collecting 7 more reviews in the next 6 days. Would you mind helping us by recruiting someone to write a review before 10/31/19? Thank you so much!
The COS is a great organization and deserves recognition as one of the most outstanding nonprofit music programs for the youth in the Metropolitan area. I had the privilege of performing as a soloist in their annual Discovery Gala Concert at Alice Tully Hall, and the students are nothing short of a joy and inspiration to work with. Maestro Dadap and Dr. Ma are immensely positive influences, and they instill a real sense of musicianship and responsibility in the students. Not only does COS strive for musical excellence in all of their classes and performances, but they also teach the students about leadership and what it means for an individual to be an integral part of their community. Making beautiful music and empowering students to be better citizens - what more could you ask for? They are awesome, and will continue to do great things!
Yeou-Cheng M. 10/25/2019
Thanks, Christine, for your kind words. We are collecting 7 more reviews in the next 6 days. Would you mind helping us by recruiting someone to write a review before 10/31/19? Thank you so much!
Performance is what COS is all about, because the faculty at COS truly believe in the power of music to communicate. There is a lot of pleasure in learning an instrument, but for a student to become a musician she needs to learn performance as well. COS provides that venue, along with discipline, support and camaraderie that foster a rich experience. COS is a great tradition!
Yeou-Cheng M. 10/25/2019
Thanks, Janet, for your input, and for your kind words! It warms our heart to know that we have made a difference in your life! We are collecting 7 more reviews in the next 6 days. Would you mind helping us by recruiting someone to write a review before 10/31/19? Thank you so much!
COS has been the ultimate experience thus far! Everyone associated with the COS community is extremely supportive, friendly, and great. This is where students, family, and friends come together and enjoy working together. Not only does COS provide an extraordinary musical experience (working with amazing faculty and performances at Lincoln Center), but it also provides a second home. I love spending my time at COS and wish I could go back in time to relive it again!!!
My daughter is a student at COS and I can say that our experience has been wonderful. It is not only the excellence in teaching that have have impressed us, but rather the family atmosphere in this organization and the dedication of the teaching staff and executives to make a profound impact in our children developing on them a love for music. In addition, COS is dedicated to help children at all levels, especially those with financial needs, learn the language of music. This is really a wonderful place for young children to learn how to play the instrument of their choice, for those already playing to develop their skills and those advance players to sharpen their skills.
I absolutely loved my time playing with COS! I made lots of wonderful friends and have the bragging rights to say that I've played at Lincoln Center! The Children's Orchestra Society is run by organized, dedicated, caring people, and I was extremely fortunate to have been served by Yeou-Cheng, Michael, and their music teachers :)
COS is the home of music. Kids, parents and teachers work together with a goal for the best for our kids. There is a healthy environment,it is so heartfelt that it touches friendships. For our second year sending our kids to COS, we deeply feel that we are sending them to a caring family and long time friends every Saturday. Teachers care for their improvement and share their accomplishments in the classroom, they are very supportive as a group. They all surround a community that teaches the kids the value of caring for others. COS has a buddy club,teams of older and experienced musicians celebrate the younger kids birthdays,show them around each level of the orchestra,gather to celebrate holiday or parties. Their caring taught my kids of their friendships and gave them a path to follow. The Parent’s Association is incredible, their involvement touched my heart. Organized by moms & dads, everyone has so much energy and enthusiasm for this music school. Everyone supports the school and helps out with running fundraisers and getting together to support this music school. It's like we all share together and build this school together. Everyone there is doing it because their hearts are in it. Deep in our hearts, we know we have come to the right place.
The Childrens Orchestra Society (COS) is a wonderful organization that truly teaches children the language of Music. It is selflessly directed by Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma and Michael Dadap along with a dedicated faculty and staff. COS provided my children with unparalleled opportunities to devlop as musicians and as people. The COS approach is multi-faceted with learning provided both in an orchestra setting and private instrumental instruction as well as musicianship classes. Both of my children were inspired to continue serious study of music in college after COS. Another important aspect of COS is camarderie both among students and among the parents and with faculty and staff. It's really like a family where many lasting friendships occur. My children were also provided with amazing opportunities of performing with top professionals at Carnegie Hall and other notable venues even in other US cities and abroad. Despite difficult economic times and a tight budger COS is always ready to help with scholarship assistance for those who could not otherwise participate. COS is a top-notch organization that should be gerously supported for the outstanding services that it so skillfully provides. My family will always cherish the relationship we've had with COS for more than a decade.
My daughter started learning to play the violin at age 2 with Yeou-cheng Ma at COS. At the beginning of time, I didn't expect she could learn the violin play. However, Yeou-cheng Ma managed my daugher to read music notes and play the violin after a month! Now she is so proud of herself with the violin and her age is 3. Dr. Ma is specially good to teach the violin and music language to very young children with big love for child.
I enjoyed working with the Children's Orchestra Society when I performed as a soloist with them at Lincoln Center. We played the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations together. It is not an easy piece for orchestra, even professional orchestra, but the Children did a great job. They were very attentive throughout the rehearsals and were very focused. They were eager to learn and do their best. I believe that the Orchestra Society is doing a great job for these kids by giving them the gift of music. Wherever the paths will lead these kids to in life, they will take this experience with them which will help to do well. Hai-Ye Ni Principal cellist of Philadelphia Orchestra
While now I am a board member of the Children's Orchestra Society (COS), I previously was the president of the COS Parents' Association, where I was very actively involved helping COS with any of their concerts from getting food to feed the kids to fund raising to support their programs. So I am quite familar with COS. My daughter was a member for for 9 years. So as a parent, I got to know both Yeou-Cheng and Michael who run the program. COS is a wonderful music program that truly "teaches the language of music". It is a nurturing environment that provides orchestra, chamber music, musicianship. The kids learn musicianship in a small classroom setting which gives them foundation for understanding how music is put together. The chamber music groups help the kids develop and grow in their playing abilities and the orchestra gives the kids the chance to play orchestral pieces of the highest level (which challenge them and make them better players). The kids in the highest level orhestra have a chance to play at a world renowned concert halls like Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall. So they get exposure to playing at the highest level but in an environment that is supportive and caring. I would recommend kids of all levels of playing to join COS and see why I had my child in there from when she was in the youngest orchestra to when she performed in senior orchestra where they played works by the greatest composers.
Dear Roland, it is a true indication of your dedication to our organization that you have found time to write this review. Bless you and thank you! Yeou-Cheng
In my two years plus of sending my children there I have been truly impressed with the atmosphere and staff at COS. They instill a love for music, while insisting on discipline - both personal and musical. They work with children at all levels of talent getting the best out of them. The dedication of teachers is outstanding. Children develop strong bonds during their time there, each serving as a posiive influence for the others - not only in music, but in general discipline, etc. My children will never forget the years that they spent there, and will take the experience with them wherever they go.
Thank you, Happy Parent, for taking the time to write this review! We hope to continue giving quality experiences for yor children!
I attended a concert in 2009 where the Children’s Orchestra Society played in Carnegie Hall. What I heard was an impressive display of expression and concentration. Most memorable was the expertise and intonation of the string section; a feat not easily accomplished by younger players. I would recommend this ensemble on any concert-goers list youth orchestras to hear.
Yeou-Cheng M. 10/25/2019
Thanks, Nicholas! Thanks so much for your kind words! We are collecting 7 more reviews in the next 6 days. Would you mind helping us by recruiting someone to write a review before 10/31/19? Thank you so much!
The Children's Orchestra Society is a unique organization that brings children and teens of diverse backgrounds together to play classical music. It is a vibrant community of extraordinary people coming together around a shared interest. It was the first place I ever really felt a sense of belonging. The world needs more of this!
Thanks for your kind words, Talya! We believe in you too!
COS is an inspiring musical opportunity for young students, taking them from 4 -5 year olds in a kinder orchestra to high school students in a young symphonic ensemble that can play at Carnegie Hall or Alice Tully Hall and get rave reviews from the NY Times. The quality of the musicianship, the dedication of the teachers, staff and conductors, the interaction and socialization offered to a diverse group of children is a special experience that deserves support during these challenging times.
Thanks for taking the time to write about us! Blessings to you, your child, and all your enterprises!
Our family has been involved with the Children's Orchestra Society for 12 years. My older son played violin & viola and my younger son, now currently involved, plays percussion. COS is a phenomenal organization run by Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma – Exec. Dir. & Micheal Dadap-Music Director & Conductor. The organization both encourages and challenges children to perform music at extraordinary levels. Both my children have learned and grown in their music education as a result of being a part of COS. The professional staff of music teachers is top shelf, working professionals who offer the best music education the area can offer. Their teachers’ attention to detail and personal interaction with students is outstanding. As a result, COS students consistently rank the highest and participate in All State, All County, the Long Island String Festival and numerous other music competitions. At COS, students have the opportunity to participate in orchestras, chamber groups, ensembles, master classes, recitals and also tours. COS has toured both nationally and internationally, another wonderful opportunity for students to not only grow as a musician, but bond as a member of renowned orchestra.
Dear Kathy, You're a GEM for taking the time to write a review for us! It is people like you that help our organization be who we are! Blessings, Yeou-Cheng
This is an outstanding organization run by highly talented and passionate people who serve to teach children the art of music. The children in COS (The Children's Orchestra Society) range in age from 3 to 18 years old. They attend COS to learn an instrument(s), and musicianship in a highly nurturing environment. COS fosters a love of learning. This provides the environment for the children to excel and develop their talents. Children not only grow musically, but they mature as a result of the on going manners of the leadership of the school. They are devoted to these children and set examples for them about what kind of adults they'd like to be. My daughter started with piano at age 4. She has since asked me to let her learn violin at age 6. Then, last year at age 7 she also wanted to learn viola. I am fortunate that she loves music, but it is her love for learning that has been cultivated at COS that has inspired her to want more. She has joined the orchestra and looks forward every week to playing and performing. She is sad when summer comes and orchestra is finished for the year. The organization is like our second family. I know where my child is, what she is doing, and I am there with her all the time. It is a learning place and a family place.
Dear Kim, thank you for taking the time to write such a glowing review. We hope that your daughter continues to learn the language of music, and forge strong friendships that will last her a lifetime. Sincere wishes for continuing joy in music and life!
I am an alumni - COS '93 Children's Orchestra Society is a big, musical family; it is an organization that gives young musicians in New York City an opportunity to play music and make friends. From age 11 to 18, I happily attended rehearsals every Saturday evening, and have fond memories of our two to three hour rehearsals. Often our rehearsals would seem like a party, with classical music. To this day, I treasure my friendships with the members of the orchestra and their families. I am grateful to Michael and Yeou Cheng for nurturing us for so many years, and always providing us the best opportunities to perform and share our music. They are wonderful, generous, and always ready to help others.
Dear Matthew, You are a sweetheart to write such a glowing review. So glad to hear that our hard work has resulted in lifelong friendships for you! Blessings on all your enterprises, and come back and visit some time!
I came to know the Children's Orchestra Society because they were the chosen group to receive the proceeds of our NY concert (The RTO from Scotland). I was the USA rep. person. We were honored to go to a rehearsal with Michael Dapdap and these incredible children. The orchestra is made of neighborhood children, not prodigies. Yet it is hard to believe. Yeou-Cheng and Michael bring such talent and music from the children. It is obviously the real love and nurturing given is what keeps these youngsters playing classical music. I have since had the privilege to attend concerts given by the COS. Every concert gives my heart incredible joy and hope for young people of this era of computers and text messaging. These youngsters have MUSIC! If I had the moon I would give it to COS.
thanks for writing such a glowing review. We are lucky to have people like you who believe in us, and in our work!
It was a pretty well-run organization and I learned a lot from my experience in the orchestra, which really shaped me as a young music student. The people involved in COS were all very dedicated to working with young children/adolescents and really inspiring a love of music in them.
Dear Alfredo, I am touched that you took the time to write about us. We are now offering more courses than when you were with us, with Majors programs which gives opportunities to our more serious students to play for yearly juries, give additional recitals, and participation in community activities.
Music is the center of my life. As a child, I was helping my father [also Yo-Yo Ma's father] to tune the instruments, and set up stands, and learned the importance of teamwork. However, teaching young American kids was a challenge, because they challenged the teacher's authority. I could never imagine that I would end up inheriting this orchestra, and become responsible for building young lives through the language of music. As an adult, I have witnessed miracles happen to kids who were disgruntled, angry, misfits, who found soul-mates, and playmates that made their complex lives, and personal losses more bearable, and appreciate the beauty of young people growing together in the love of music. For me personally, music has been a life-saver in holding things together in times of crisis and sorrow, and has taught me the value of building community through generations. Many of our graduates now are part of major symphony orchestras, and others have become teachers, while still others are still experiencing the joy of music-making, while having other day jobs. The Children's Orchestra Society serves children from age 3-18, and was brought out of its 7 year dormancy when my husband and I bet our mortgage in 1983 to restart it, in the basement of our home. Now, 27 years later, we have graduated thousands of students, and some have started families of their own, and have brought us their children to train. We have been reviewed by the NY Times in the past 4 years, and Children's Orchestra Society is cited by Anthony Tommasini as one of two thriving youth orchestras in NYC, along with the New York Youth Symphony. [NYTimes, Youth Movement, New York Edition, July 9, 2010] Despite its ambitious programs, the organization still operates on a shoestring. Funding from tuition has increased from 33% to 60%, but it is a tremendous challenge to raise the other 40% from foundations, corporations and individual donations. Recent economic developments have forced much belt tightening and reduction of services. However we are heartened by continuing support from the community and an increase in younger members, which will eventually benefit the organization by the longevity of their residency.
I have had the fortunate opportunity to attend several performances given by the Children's Orchestra Society in various NYC venues, including Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. These young students are simply amazing! The COS performances are such a joy to watch and listen to, and it is wonderful to see such incredible talent on stage. The dedication and committment that the teachers and students have undertaken in furthering their musicality should certainly be commended.
You are kind in your assessment of our efforts! Thanks for taking the time to write down your thoughts!