While Erica Cherry is the newly appointed executive director of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County (YOBC), she is not new to YOBC.
When her predecessor, Colleen Sweetsir, interviewed Erica to be the coach for an advanced woodwind ensemble in 2014, she immediately recognized Erica as her potential successor.
Erica is a “bright, amazingly dedicated, caring and passionate musician…she understands YOBC’s goals and missions, she embraces the culture, loves the students.”
Over the past six years, Erica has worked as YOBC’s operations manager and managed two of its international summer tours.
As a clarinetist, Erica completed her music studies at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Afterward, she opened her own teaching studio full-time.
She was introduced to Colleen during a rehearsal of the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra.
As executive director, Erica faces unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since May, YOBC has been conducting virtual auditions as well as pre-recorded auditions.
Erica has also coordinated a series of virtual workshops for YOBC students, on such topics as bow control, music theory, improvisation, and music technology.
“What we’ve learned since March is that there are a lot of ways to deliver our mission of musical excellence, even if we’re not having a lot of students in one rehearsal space the way we have traditionally done it.”
With the safety of the students its chief concern, YOBC is considering dividing up ensembles for the purpose of rehearsals. “We’re still planning on having large ensembles, even if they’re meeting in different sections at a time.”
Since YOBC will be commemorating its 30th anniversary this coming season, Erica’s primary goal is to showcase the students, “give them the opportunity for excellent music-making at a high level, led by our highly-qualified artistic staff.”
PHOTO CAP: Erica Cherry