In musical terms, a Crescendo signifies growth. It indicates an increase in volume and power. For our purposes, this word not only signifies musical growth, but the personal evolutions, achievements, and revelations of those around us. This series will take an in-depth look at the persistence, fortitude, and growth of our YYSO alumni, and the ways in which they continue to hit the right notes.
"Being in YYSO was one of the best experiences that I've had during high school."
Chris Godfrey is a computer science major at the University of Pittsburgh. Chris joined the York Youth Symphony in 2012 and continued in the YYSO until graduating in 2016.
"The great atmosphere and the great city surrounding Pitt," is what sold it for Chris. Pitt meet his criteria of having "a plethora of activities to be involved in and an outstanding school of Computer Science."
Chris explored his interest in his major by simply trying a bunch of things throughout college, and that is just fine!
"I haven't actually started out as a Computer Science but rather a Physics major with a minor in music," Godfrey says. "I applied myself and took different classes to actually determine that I should major in Computer Science in order to fulfill my interest of computers.”
"Being in YYSO helped a lot with teamwork and in general, meeting new people which is a skill that I believe is important. Teamwork is very important within Computer Science as you are often working on huge projects with multiple people."
Reminiscing on his time in the symphony, Chris said "I remember we used to have to coordinate who would play what Percussion instrument in the event that there are more instruments than more people. I remember that playing the ET theme my freshmen year and many other pieces of music."
Chris enjoys the freedom of college as "you can go get food whenever you want without waiting for your parents to make something or your school," he exclaimed.
"The professors are much more laid back in general than high school teachers and you really have the opportunity to gauge your interest through your major, extracurricular and even through gen ed classes."
Chris’s involvement in the Pitt Band was both captivating and challenging.
"The atmosphere at football and basketball games is great and a lot of fun. But most of all, I enjoyed running out of the tunnel at Heinz field on gameday with the rest of the drumline to really get the crowd riled up."
"I played the Tenor Drums and worked my way up to Tenor Squad leader my senior year. We got to travel a lot and I made a ton of great friends. I urge any wind and percussion players to go try out for the college marching band. Other than that, I was involved in the debate team during my freshman year and I was also involved in the University Symphony Orchestra for my first two years playing timpani before quitting to put more time and effort into being in the Pitt Band along with my major."
Chris stated that his "first-year of college was probably one of my most memorable years."
"I wasn't really shocked at the style of classes as I took AP throughout most high school. It was actually not as bad as I expected because there was less class time and a lot more free time. I was actually surprised at the amount of time that I had to explore the city and meet new friends. College does get harder the further you get into your major though."
Chris's advice to today YYSO seniors is to, "Cherish the time you have left. Being in YYSO was one of the best experiences that I've had during high school. It's one of the few things I could go back and experience again even if it means waking up early on every Saturday. The friends I met and the satisfaction of playing the gong at ffff during Holst's Mars from the Planet's Suite are some of the things I will never forget."
Are you interested in participating in the YYSO?
Chris says "just audition for it. Even if you don't think you are good enough you will have so much fun and meet so many great people. The music selections are also great. Buterbaugh is a great guy, I've only got to experience him as an assistant conductor to Woodbridge but he's a pretty nice guy and a great conductor as well."