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Symphony Retreat

The annual ECYS Senior Symphony retreat is held at the University of California, Santa Cruz in early August. UCSC overlooks the Monterey Bay from its hillside location on 2,000 acres of meadows and redwood forests, 75 miles south of San Francisco. ECYS has exclusive use of the modern Music Center, which includes specially equipped classrooms, individual practice and teaching studios, and large rehearsal space for ensembles. The students are housed in the residence halls, located a short walking distance from the Music Center.

The August retreat is mandatory for ALL members of the ECYS Senior Symphony. Accompanying the students will be parent chaperones, Symphony Conductor Jindong Cai, a coach for each Symphony Orchestra section, and ECYS Staff.

The retreat is fundamental not only to the quality of the overall program, but to each student’s individual progress. It is the first step towards a rewarding season. The musicians are scheduled for two sectionals and a full orchestra rehearsal each day where they are expected to work diligently and to achieve their potential. During the week, students will participate in seating auditions which will determine positioning for the first concert. Seating audition music will be distributed to ECYS members in June.

Prior to the Retreat, it is highly recommended that musicians study the audition excerpts with their private teacher, and listen to recordings of the repertoire.

The retreat is an opportunity to get acquainted with the conductor and coaches, fellow musicians, and to begin intensive work on the program for the coming season. Mid-week, the entire Symphony takes an afternoon off to visit the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, a time to enjoy the sun, beach, and fun with friends.
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