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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Children's Orchestra Society, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Music, Symphony Orchestras, Youth Development

Mission: COS was founded in 1961 by Dr. H. T. Ma, 1.) to motivate young musicians of different skill levels and innate ability to navigate in the language of music, to improve against their own past standards. 2.) to nurture children and youth 18 year and under through the gentle and firm guidance of COS faculty and artistic advisory board members. 3.) to reach out to young musicians of all levels with “fire in the belly” and limited financial means through scholarships. 4.) to provide solo, chamber music and orchestral performance opportunities for members in community settings and major concert halls. 5.) to inspire young musicians through master classes and through performing with world-renowned concert artists.

Results: We work day and night to improve the music education of our students, and increase their performing opportunities, and raise funds to support our programs.

Target demographics: any student hungry to learn the language of music, age 3-18

Direct beneficiaries per year: 150

Geographic areas served: tri-state area

Programs: Orchestral programs that learn not only classical music, but also opera and ballet repertoire; Chamber music programs including trios through octets; musicianship and ear training program.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Christine A.

Client Served

Rating: 4

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 :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/15/2010

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/15/2010

Thank you, Happy Parent, for taking the time to write this review! We hope to continue giving quality experiences for yor children!

Former staff

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/15/2010

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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yeou-cheng 09/13/2010

Thanks for your kind words, Talya! We believe in you too!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/13/2010

Thanks for taking the time to write about us! Blessings to you, your child, and all your enterprises!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/13/2010

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/12/2010

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/10/2010

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!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/09/2010

thanks for writing such a glowing review. We are lucky to have people like you who believe in us, and in our work!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

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yeou-cheng 09/12/2010

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.