Cobb County students jam out with the Georgia Young Symphony Orchestra


Esteban Alarcon

GYSO Jazz students exhibit excellence as they play the tune Triste by Elis Regina. This ensemble strives for a quality sound and an impact on the audience, exceeding their goals every performance.

Esteban Alarcon, Reporter, Photographer

The Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra (GYSO) Jazz Ensemble, located at and partially sponsored by KSU, allows Cobb County students with a passion for music to congregate and play quality jazz every Wednesday.

High school students come to express themselves through music with GYSO, a refuge from the relentless school days. These talented musicians participate in other prestigious musical extracurricular activities, allowing them to apply their skills learned in GSYO to the rest of their musical career.

“I love GYSO because I get to do something I love, playing music, while learning and improving and meeting new people,” junior and bassist Elena Thorton said.

The ensemble not only enriches student musicality, but expands their horizon for trying new things.

“I want to have the students inspired and excited about jazz and looking forward to our next meeting. I have the luxury of working with students who want to be there and that are a cut above musically,” Sam Skelton, Director of the Jazz GYSO Ensemble and Jazz studies in KSU, said.

The symphony also focuses on the student’s personal elements, excluding musical aspects. It teaches them responsibility and determination and encourages students to aim for their aspirations.

“I want GYSO to help form the students into quality human beings that can function positively in an environment full of diversity. Music knows no color, no economics, no bias of any kind,” Skelton said.

My experience in this jazz ensemble improved my understanding and skills in the realm of jazz, but it also opened my eyes and allowed me to appreciate the art of music. I notice that the passion the other musicians possess motivates me to reach higher standards.

This collection of advanced musicians allows students to improve, but also lets them use one another’s contrasting views and knowledge to embellish their musical skills. The director molds each and every GYSO pupil into the best that they can become and brings all young artists together to express themselves through music. When some of the finest young musicians in the county unite within a small room to play quality jazz, the worldly capabilities of these students come into the light of society.