"You listen to your own CD, and you're like, I sound like a professional," she said.
"It's a really good orchestra," said Inga Bagelpi, a violin player from Niskayuna.
The conductors say that's a credit to the students.
"They're willing to dig deep," Cha-Pyo said. "They have discipline. These are special kids."
Ensemble schedules shows
Every year, all 300-plus members of the Empire State Youth Orchestra get together at Crossgates Mall, staging a play-a-thon that serves not only as a major fundraiser but as a way to showcase the group to the Capital District.
"It's a great way for the community to see the breadth of our offerings," said Susan Brome, ESYO's executive director.
This year's play-a-thon is Saturday, Feb. 7, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ESYO also has the following upcoming shows planned:
Sunday, Feb. 8: Repertory orchestra will plarticipate in Albany Pro Musica's annual High School Chorlal Festival, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 4 p.m.
Monday, March 16: Festival of Contemporary Music with SUNY ensembles and ESYO's youth and repertory percussion ensembles, SUNY Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 22: Concert with repertory orchestra, wind orchestra and string ensemble, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, April 14: Evening concert with ESYO's youth orchestra and youth chorale and the Riverside Choir, Riverside Church, New York City, time TBA.
Friday, April 24: Concert with ESYO's youth jazz ensemble and the College of Saint Rose jazz ensemble, Piccotte Recital Hall, Massry Center for the Arts, College of Saint Rose, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 8: ESYO wind orchestra at Albany's Tulip Festival, Washington Park, Albany, time TBA.
Sunday, May 10: ESYO's 30th anniversary celebration, Proctors, Schenectady, ESYO ensembles play at 1 p.m., youth orchestra,youth chorale and repertory orchestra play a Mother's Day pops concert at 2 p.m.""