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Published: 03/21/2023

DATE: MARCH 21, 2023




Guilderland, NY – On Saturday, March 25, hundreds of Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) members will take over Crossgates as part of ESYO’s annual Playathon fundraiser, a musical marathon that features every ensemble in the organization. This free, family-friendly event will take place from 10:30 a.m. through 5:15 p.m. and will showcase 12 ESYO ensembles plus CHIME –from the deep rumble of the percussion ensembles to the uplifting trills of the wind orchestra.


The marathon display of musical talent is more than simply a community concert; it helps ESYO ensure no qualified musician is ever turned away from the ESYO Experience because of an inability to pay. The money raised will fund a substantial portion of ESYO’s operating expenses and musician scholarships.


In addition to a full slate of music from ESYO ensembles, attendees can also look forward to:


Leading the Orchestra

During Playathon, ESYO’s emcee, and Greatest Showman on Earth, Brian Austin will run auctions during which the audience can bid to win the baton and lead one of ESYO’s ensembles.


Multiple Ways to Get Involved

ESYO is also looking for volunteers, donors, and for its next musicians at this year’s Playathon. ESYO will have merchandise for sale, methods to donate with cash or credit cards, and information about its upcoming audition season available at its information table at Crossgates.


A Day of Fun!

No doubt, the return of this annual tradition will bring beautiful, energetic music, camaraderie, inspiring stories from ESYO’s members, and memories that will last a lifetime.


To view the full day’s schedule and for more information, visit esyo.org/playathon.




About Empire State Youth Orchestra:

Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) challenges and inspires young people to achieve excellence through music in a progressive learning environment leading to high-level performance opportunities. More than 500 youth from New York’s Capital Region and western New England are selected by audition each year to perform in ESYO. With 13 performing ensembles and orchestras suiting a range of playing levels, members receive training from outstanding conductors and coaches, and tutelage from extraordinary guest artists.


In 2015, ESYO launched CHIME (Creating Harmony Inspiring Musical Excellence) in Schenectady to address fundamental inequities preventing universal access to high level music opportunities for youth. Today, this free after school program serves more than one hundred K-12 students in partnership with Capital Region school districts.


Founded in 1979, ESYO is a not-for-profit organization that has been recognized as a premier music education/performance program for youth and has received three ASCAP awards. For more information, visit esyo.org.


About Crossgates:

Crossgates is the Capital Region’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination offering an impressive selection of national brands and the newest retail concepts.  The center is anchored by Macy’s, JCPenney, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy, while offering more than 180 retail shops, including Apple.  Crossgates offers 10 entertainment venues and over 20 on-site eateries, such as Dave & Buster’s, Get Air, Billy Beez, Apex Entertainment, The Standard Restaurant & Lounge, Maggie McFly’s and Regal Cinemas with IMAX. Or simply relax at our award-winning day spa, Spa Mirbeau. Located adjacent to a dual-branded 192-room Homewood Suites and Tru by Hilton hotel, Crossgates is your destination to EAT. SHOP. PLAY. STAY.  Additional information regarding Crossgates can be found at shopcrossgates.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


About Pyramid Management Group, LLC:

Pyramid Management Group, owner of Crossgates, is one of the largest, most innovative, privately-held real estate developers in the northeast. Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, Pyramid’s portfolio of dynamic shopping, dining and entertainment destinations and expanding hospitality presence dominate the northeast with 14 properties located throughout New York and Massachusetts. For nearly 50 years, Pyramid has built its reputation on being first, fast, ahead of the curve and always what’s next, leading the industry in combining the best elements of traditional retail with world-class dining and entertainment, all under one roof. For more information, visit www.pyramidmg.com.