HISTORY OF THE CYSO
The CYSO was founded in 1984 to provide orchestral experience for school-age musicians. The University of Denver contributed rehearsal and performance space and gave the new organization a $10,000 startup grant. Two CYSO orchestras began rehearsing in September 1984.
CYSO's concerts were held at the university's Lamont School of Music. Concerts are now presented at numerous sites around the city of Denver. The CYSO rehearses at Colorado's Finest High School of Choice.
Michelle Orman is in her thirteenth full season with CYSO. Her primary responsibilities are fundraising, managing the budget and finances, managing staff, and overseeing administrative and orchestra operations.
In addition to managing the CYSO, Michelle is a professional musician. She plays Principal Clarinet with Opera Colorado, the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, 2nd Clarinet with the Central City Opera, and 2nd Clarinet with the Boulder Philharmonic. She frequently performs with the Colorado Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony in Texas. She is Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at the University of Northern Colorado, has an active clarinet studio in Denver, and has been working with youth orchestras since 1980. Michelle is also a D'Addario woodwind artist.
Symphony conductor Angie Dombrowski is an avid performer and educator in the Denver area. She performs regularly with the Central City Opera, Colorado Ballet, and Opera Colorado, and as a frequent substitute with the Colorado Symphony. She maintains a large private violin studio and enjoys working as a string specialist at schools in Jefferson County.
Angie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University, where she studied with Bayla Keyes, and her Master of Music degree from Rice University, where she studied with Kathleen Winkler. While at Rice, she took additional weekly private lessons with former Houston Symphony concertmaster Raphael Fliegel for the study of the orchestral repertoire.
Regan Kane began Suzuki violin lessons at age 5. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Violin Performance from Drake University. She received the Frank Noyes Violin Award, and also holds a Master's in Violin Performance from the University of Colorado. Regan studied chamber music with the Takács String Quartet. She is a member of the Boulder Philharmonic, the Greeley Philharmonic, and performs regularly with the Colorado Symphony's Up Close and Musical program.
Previously she played with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the New World Symphony in Miami, and the Colorado Music Festival. Regan teaches violin in private and group settings and has conducted the orchestra program at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette.
Philharmonia Conductor Brandon Matthews serves as Director of Orchestras at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Besides teaching conducting and leading the University’s two orchestral ensembles, Dr. Matthews also serves as music director for MSU Denver's Opera Ensemble. Dr. Matthews is also an active adjudicator and clinician for competitions and honor orchestras, and regularly collaborates with orchestras and arts organizations in Colorado including the Arapahoe Philharmonic, Longmont Dance Theatre, the Boulder Symphony, and the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. Raised in Spokane, Washington, he began his musical studies as a pianist at age five and later began the viola in the public school system. His musical training continued during summers spent at the Brevard Music Center and the Marrowstone Summer Festival. He received a bachelor of music degree in piano performance at BYU, and continues to perform on piano, viola as well as the violin. Dr. Matthews resides in Denver with his wife, Meghan, and their four children.
DR. GRANT LARSON
Wind Ensemble Conductor
Dr. Grant Larson is the soprano saxophonist with the Colorado-based Chautauqua Saxophone Quartet and has performed with the Colorado Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival, and the Fargo/Moorhead Symphony. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder. An active recitalist and proponent of new music, he has premiered works for saxophone by Philip Wharton, Chiayu Hsu, Steven Makala, and John Drumheller at regional and national conventions. His album Terrane features nine of his original jazz compositions.
Grant served on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Concordia College, and the Boulder Arts Academy. He studied saxophone with Tom Myer, Peter Sommer, Russell Peterson, and Ron Wray and oboe with Jennifer Peterson. He has performed onstage with Maria Schneider, Kurt Elling, Mulgrew Miller, Art Lande, Peter Erskin, Ray Charles, Ignacio Berroa, and “Slammin” Sammy K.
CYSO offers five ensembles:
Sinfonia: The youngest musicians play in this string ensemble. The focus is on music education and basic technique. The primary goal is to develop solid fundamentals of string playing and sensitivity as an ensemble musician.
Philharmonia: This group introduces wind instruments into an intermediate string ensemble. Students work on full orchestra repertoire as well as strings-only compositions. This is an excellent starting point for full orchestra experience.
Symphony: A full symphony orchestra composed of our most skilled musicians. The Symphony works on the most advanced orchestra literature available.
CYSO Spectrum Ensemble: This small conductor-less ensemble includes some of the most advanced players from our Symphony orchestra and is coached by Angie Dombrowski. The group performs frequently in locations including the lobbies for Colorado Ballet, Colorado Symphony, Opera Colorado, as well as the State Capitol, art galleries, and other locations. Students learn and perform a large range of repertoire such as Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Mozart Divertimento, K. 136, and Nielsen’s Suite for Strings. Rehearsals are scheduled generally once a month, often on Sunday nights.
Wind Ensemble: All wind and brass players work with their conductor during the last hour of Monday rehearsals on chamber music specifically arranged to further their wind ensemble skills. The wind ensemble will perform chamber pieces on each CYSO concert.