What To Know For CYS Fall 2020:

  1. Students will meet virtually each week to work on full orchestra music as well as participate in master classes, sectionals and one on one training.
  2. Students will work towards a virtual concert in November.
  3. Chamber groups will be assigned and will rehearse virtually until it is safe to meet in person.
  4. Auditions will take place virtually. Students should audition in the fall if they want placement in a chamber group. Students who audition halfway through the year will be accepted but will be placed at the back of the section.

Mission and History

Founded in 1961, the Canton Youth Symphony was created to give talented young students the experience of playing in a full orchestra. Designed as a supplemental educational experience to public and private school music programs, CYS strives to create music at the highest level while encouraging the artistic and personal growth of the students.  Lead by Music Director, Matthew Jenkins-Jaroszewicz, the Canton Youth Symphony has grown to include three ensembles and is made up of students from six counties in the Northeast Ohio area. From the elementary school students in the Youth Strings ensemble, to the high school seniors in the two full orchestra ensembles, CYS creates a challenging and joyful educational experience. 


Canton Youth Strings

Beginning and Intermediate String Players

Mondays: 5-6

Tuition: $10/month

Canton Youth Symphony

Full Orchestra for Intermediate Players

Tuesdays: 6-8:30

Tuition: $15/month

Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra

Full Orchestra for Advanced Players

Mondays: 6-8:30

Tuition: $15/month


Matthew Jenkins Jaroszewicz has served as Assistant Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Canton Youth Symphony and Canton Youth Symphony Advanced Orchestra since 2017. During his tenure, he has conducted over a dozen performances with the orchestra, including works of Stravinsky, Saint-Saëns, Purcell, and Eric Benjamin on Masterworks series concerts. Last season saw his debut with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic and CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra in a collaboration with Grammy award-winning jazz trumpeter and Oscar nominated film composer Terence Blanchard.

Matthew made his Carnegie Hall debut in July 2018, conducting works of Fauré and Zach Gulaboff Davis. He was Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Apotheosis Opera in New York City for four years, with whom he conducted fully-staged productions of Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, and Strauss’ Capriccio. On the concert podium, he has conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Litha Symphony Orchestra, and Mannes Orchestra, along with numerous ensembles he has assembled himself.

Matthew holds degrees from Brown University and Mannes College of Music. He studied conducting with David Hayes, and was a Julius Rudel Conducting Fellow with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he received mentorship from Music Director JoAnn Falletta. He also served as Assistant Conductor of the Mannes Opera, where he worked under Glimmerglass Opera Music Director Joseph Colaneri.

Matthew is a native of Cincinnati, where he attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts before graduating from Walnut Hills High School. He swam competitively for the Cincinnati Aquatic Club, and continues to train and compete through U.S. Masters Swimming as a member of O*H*I*O Masters Swim Club. He is a member of the bass section of the Trinity Cathedral Choir in Cleveland, and is also an avid skier, hiker, and devoted baseball and football fan.

Ralena Mae Bevington has been the Canton Youth Strings instructor since 2017. A native of Canton, Ohio she began playing the violin and taking vocal lessons at the age of seven. Ralena achieved her Bachelor of Music Education Degree (BME) from the University of Mount Union, graduating cum laude. While attending the University of Mount Union, she played the viola in the Alliance Symphony. After graduating from college, she worked for Plain Local Schools for two years as their Orchestra Director. She is currently the Director of Strings for Canton City Schools where she teaches at McKinley HS (Downtown & Main Campus) and the Arts Academy at Summit. Ralena achieved her Master of Arts in Education as an Intervention Specialist, with a reading endorsement, from Malone University. 

In 2013, alongside Ms. Betty Smith, Beverly Bevington and S.C. Toe, she became Co-Founder of the 501c3 program En-Rich-Ment. This program gives inner-city children the opportunity to learn any musical instrument at no charge to the family. “In a society where we are connected through technology, music gives us the experience of having human interactions. We are able to have basic human relations and express our feelings through something that we all have in common; it gives us something to relate to. Everyone has a talent – music helps find it. I teach much more than just notes and rhythms on a page. I teach compassion, empathy, basic skills ie: reading/math, and how to work as a team. I teach LIFE through music.” 

In Ralena’s short career, she has achieved numerous recognitions including: The Williams Scholarship in Fine Arts, Mu Phi Epsilon Merit Award, The Gerald & Esther Garland Palmer – ‘32 Music Scholarship, Joseph A. & Rhea M. Jeffries Memorial Scholarship, Cecil T. & Marian H. Steward Award, The National Cabinet of Mount Union Women Scholarships, and Top 10 Finalist in the Canton Symphony Music Educator of the Year two years in a row.

Aside from teaching music, Ralena’s is an avid equine enthusiast participating in many events including Ranch Riding and Cutting. 

Education Assistants

Drew Speas is a junior at The Ohio State University studying Music Education. Her primary instrument is cello, which she has been playing for over 12 years. Before coming to Ohio State, she graduated from Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield, OH in 2018. She played in the Springfield Youth Orchestras for 9 years and interned at their office for 3 summers. She is excited to start this adventure with the Canton Youth Orchestras and can't wait for a fantastic year!
Gwenaëlle (Gwen) Chevillard is a senior Music Education major with a French minor at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music where she studies the flute with former princple of the Akron Symphony, George Pope. In her semester abroad, Gwen took private flute lessons at the Paris Conservatory and continued her studies in the French language and culture at Nanterre Université. Gwen has taught private lessons on the flute and violin for middle school age students as well as adults for five years. Through the Baldwin Wallace Community Arts School, she has held several positions with the New Horizons Band (a community band for adults) including Woodwind Section Coach and Flute Ensemble Director. In her free time, Gwen enjoys nature photography and drawing.
Eva Reyes-Smith am a senior music education major at Miami University, She will be student teaching next semester and graduating in May. She has been involved with MU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Quartet, and Taiko Drumming group while at Miami. She has also been involved with various gigging bands in the Cincinnati area, playing funk and jazz music. Once graduating from Miami she plans to go to graduate school to get her masters degree in bass performance. In her free time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and painting.
Irene Guggenheim-Triana is currently a third-year instrumental music education major at The Ohio State University, hailing originally from Takoma Park, Maryland. At Ohio State, she is studying flute with Katherine Borst Jones, and is active with the university’s chapters of NAfME Collegiate and Sigma Alpha Iota. In the future, she wants to teach middle and high school band and orchestra. Irene is beyond excited to be working with the CYS this fall!!

2331 17th St. NW
Canton, Ohio  44708

Box Office: 330-452-2094
Administration: 330-452-3434
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