|Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic
Web site: http://www.syap.org/
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What is now the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic, acclaimed for its musicianship, expression, and style, was founded by Salvatore Princiotti when he was fresh from Juilliard and teaching music in the Greenwich schools. Mr. Princiotti’s first venture began in the late 1950s when he was asked by the Junior Schubert Club of Stamford to direct their string ensemble.
A few years later in 1960 he organized the Schubert Club Youth Orchestra, with members selected by audition, to give talented young musicians a chance to play challenging symphonic music in concert. The strong string section – without which a youth orchestra is severely limited – was blessed with his talented Greenwich students. Mr. Princiotti’s reputation attracted members for all sections from a wide area – including Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, Danbury and Ridgefield, as well as Bedford and Port Chester, NY. Even in its infancy, to be accepted into this orchestra was an honor and privilege.
The group first rehearsed at the Schubert Club’s location, the Women’s Club in downtown Stamford. As it grew and became known as an important training ground for serious young musicians, it moved to Stamford High School’s small auditorium. Its next rehearsal venue was Rippowam High School in Stamford, when it was established as an independent organization and named the Young Artists Philharmonic. It later moved to Westhill High School in Stamford. For many decades its base was Turn-of-River Middle School in Stamford. Then the orchestra, by this time with many satellite and feeder groups, was approached by Drexcel Hampton of the Union Baptist Church in Stamford to forge a symbiotic relationship with its senior program. Young Artists has received rehearsal space in exchange for a holiday concert whose proceeds help support the church’s program serving seniors, Autumn Gold. In spring of 2009 the organization returned to Stamford High School for its Monday night rehearsals. In the fall of 2011, SYAP established a new and exciting community partnership with Trinity Catholic High School, moving rehearsals there.
Many of the thousands of students who have played under the baton of Mr. Princiotti have gone on to prestigious professional careers in music. The musical experience has shaped many more who play for pleasure while pursuing careers in various other fields. And the bonds of friendship formed while part of the SYAP continue a half-century later. A strong SYAP will always be an important part of the greater Stamford area community, developing an appreciation for music while building character, teamwork and responsibility.