Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For high schoolers, the weekend is a time to relax and get away from the stresses of school, but one group of students files into Binghamton High School every Sunday and fill the halls with music.
That group is the Binghamton Youth Symphony Orchestra.
"I really like being able to express yourself through not words, but sound," said oboe player Katrina Twardokus.
They may be in their teens, but they're not playing watered down music.
"They're doing the same type of program that you would have in the Binghamton Philharmonic," said Barry Peters, conductor of the orchestra.
The group has been around for a little more than 50 years.
Peters has been conducting the group for the last 16.
"They all want to succeed," said Peters. "They all want to excel as musicians."
Orchestra members come from across the Southern Tier to practice at Binghamton High School.
They drive from Endicott, Apalachin, and as far as Otego.
"It's a little crazy but it's worth it though," said flute player Neyen Romano.
It takes Romano an hour and 15 minutes to get to practice.
"I like the idea that a bunch of people can come together and make music together," said Romano. "Really working together to create something bigger than the individual."
The group is made up of 63 musicians, mostly high schoolers, but you don't have to be in high school to play.
"Right now, I have some of the youngest players that I've ever had in this orchestra and they play very, very well," said Peters.
Violinist Sophia Werner is one of the youngest players. She's in the fourth grade.
"I think it's interesting that I can play with them without being as old as them," said Werner
Peters says the quality of players is at the highest it's ever been, a handful of musicians attend Juilliard.
"They're very busy," said Peters. "The kids are very busy and of course they have to make choices and one of the choices is whether or not to do this orchestra."