Contemporary Youth Orchestra to rock Severance Hall

June 5, 2015: Cleveland's Contemporary Youth Orchestra is ready to rock Severance Hall Friday night.

Cleveland's Contemporary Youth Orchestra is ready to rock Severance Hall Friday night.

As they often do, they've invited a timeless living musical legend to join them.

Graham Nash, as in the Nash in Crosby Stills and Nash, alongside the kids of CYO gave an awe inspiring performance even in rehearsal on Wednesday.

"And he's right in front of me! Just. Wow!" said Giovanni Castiglione, a 13 year old from Solon in the CYO choir.

Dad, Denny Castiglione, laughs.

"I said daddy listened to all this stuff on vinyl. He doesn't know what a cassette is much less vinyl records."

But Castiglione sees how Nash's music is timeless for Gio and CYO kids.

"He's immersed in it . He's humming it on the way to school. He's singing it in the shower. He's totally living the music. "

"To hear my music handled so brilliantly by these kids is stunning to me," Nash told Channel 3 News.

If rehearsal is any indication of what's in store at Severance Hall Friday evening, the sounds of a living legend will float on the cadence of Cleveland's talented youth, with an appropriate vibe in a city unmistakably on the rise, where we See the Possible.

"Let me tell you." says Nash, "I don't know who came up with that phrase but it's brilliant. Because that's how I've been my whole life".

That from the living legend wearing a T-shirt with pictures of the little round yellow thingees of the past that we put in the middle of our 45s.

The music, if not the mode, is timeless.

Just ask 18-year-old Sam Shomette, a recent Solon High School graduate.

"These songs were written long before i was born...obviously if my dad is connecting with them, but it still resonates today."

No one knows that better than CYO Founding Music Director Liza Grossman.

"I wake up in the morning and i can't believe i get to believe that i get to come and do this," said Grossman.

CYO is the only youth orchestra in the country devoted to contemporary music. This year they celebrate their 20 year Anniversary.

Grossman has brought in 14 other music legends before Nash to rock the orchestra series

"Before i sang with Bootsy Collins and I was like, 'Yes!'" said Cleveland's Sydney Montique, who sings in the CYO choir and sings the praises of what CYO has been for her.

"To be able to pass messages on to the future generations is an honor for me. When I look at those faces there there are 200 kids up there who are going to absolutely, without question, change this world," said Nash.


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