Parents’ Association

Stephanie Schulte-Albert


Katherine Fedor

 Vice President

Ya-Fei Hsu


David Ren


Fundraising Opportunities:

Amazon Smile

Go to and designate Pittsburgxh Youth Symphony Orchestra as your charity.

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at Amazon Smile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

Contact Kerry Ishizaki at if you need help signing up.

PYSO Apparel Sale
  • We will be holding an apparel sale through October 22, 2017 – shirts, sweatshirts, etc.
  • 2017 PYSO Fall Spirit Wear Form and payment must be turned in by Sunday October 22 at PYSO rehearsal.
  • Stephanie Schulte-Albert has run this for the past couple of years and uses the company Shields Embroidery in the Mt. Lebanon area. Shields is very easy to work with and provides forms, takes payments and sorts orders. We were able to make a small profit from the sales in the past .
  • Volunteer(s) are needed to help Stephanie. Please contact her ( if you are interested.
Minutes of the September 23, 2017 Meeting

September 24, 2017 PYSO Parents Association Meeting Minutes

Craig Johnson opened the Parents Association meeting:
He thanked everyone for attending the first PYSO Parents Association meeting for this season. He mentioned that there are usually one to two meetings a year depending on what is going on during that specific season.

Kerry Ishizaki was introduced as the outgoing President of the PYSO Parents Association:
Kerry presented the slate of 2017-2018 Parents Association Officers:
President – Stephanie Schulte-Albert (
Vice President – Kathy Fedor (
Treasurer – David Ren (
Secretary – Ya-Fei Hsu (

There were no other nominations from the floor. The officers were elected unanimously.

Stephanie Schulte-Albert was introduced as the new President:
Kerry was thanked for the fabulous job she has done for the past few years. David was also thanked for his continued time with the PYSOPA. Ya-Fei was welcomed on board this year.

The objectives of the Parents Association include:

  1. Providing meals and snacks for the kids on concert days.
    • Pizza or Subway sandwiches are usually provided for meals. * Notify Parents Association if your child has a food allergy so that we can provide food appropriately.
    • Kerry Ishizaki and Joy Fanien graciously volunteered to be the Meal Coordinators.
    • An online sign-up app, SignUpGenius, will be implemented. Parents can log in and see what is open for food donation or help (e.g. setup, serving, clean-up). Any and all help is welcome.
  1. PYSO Yearbook:
  • Yearbook is free to every musician and given out each season. The Parents Association pays for printing.
  • PYSO parent David Ren is our in-house photographer who takes all the photos and concert video-taping. There is also the opportunity to purchase the pictures.
  • Volunteer(s) needed. Kerry and Suguru Ishizaki have undertaken this for the past couple of years. We are looking for volunteers who have experience or interests in creating the yearbook. The software InDesign was used in the past. Utilizing templates offered by yearbook companies is also an option. David Ren volunteered to put together the yearbook for the 2017-2018 season.
  1. Apparel Sale:
  • We will be holding an apparel sale sometime in October – shirts, sweatshirts, etc.
  • Stephanie has run this for the past couple of years and uses the company Shields Embroidery in the Mt. Lebanon area. Shields is very easy to work with and provides forms, takes payments and sorts orders. We were able to make a small profit from the sales in the past .
  • Volunteer(s) needed to take over apparel sale or to work with Stephanie. Please contact her ( if you are interested. We are also open to using other vendors.
  1. Fundraising:
  • $25 of each student’s membership dues are given to the Parents Association. That money, plus proceeds from fundraising projects, pays for meals/snacks, yearbook, tour shirts (during tour year), etc.
  • Fundraising ideas/implementation is welcome. Since we are coming off a tour year, our reserves are depleted.
  • The “Can Collections” after concerts for donations has been the most successful and easiest fundraising. Craig Johnson suggested having a specific reason to ask for money such as an “Instrument Fund” or a “Scholarship Fund”. We have to make sure that the money is actually used for what it’s intended. Craig will check with Soldiers & Sailors Museum to get their permission to hold can collections.
  • Amazon Smile for PYSO is an easy way to help PYSO. Any shopping you do on Amazon just make sure you put PYSO as your receiving charity. The one percent goes to PYSO directly, not the Parents Association.
  1. PYSO Fundraising Gala, May 6th, 2018, Rodef Shalom.
  • A large number of volunteers will be needed to help run auction, set up, feed kids, etc. Eve Goodman will be sending out requests for help after New Year.


Stephanie Schulte-Albert spoke about the special group discount for PYSO friends and families to attend Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performances. Applied to most, but not all concerts. Promo code is PSOPYSO.

Stephanie reminded everyone that a sign-up sheet was placed on the table for parents in attendance to sign up to help.

Q: A parent asked if PYSO Parents Association accepts designated donation.
A:  Yes.

Q: A parent asked if we have a fundraising goal.
A: The budget for the meals/snack for the year is around $4,000. The meal cost for each concert is generally around $700. A snack is provided for the outreach concerts. What we serve is dependent how much time there is for the kids to eat. Meals are usually provided for the concerts that include a dress rehearsal. Snacks are provided if there is only 30 minutes between the sound check and concert.

Craig added that for the Side-By-Side concert in April, the PSO Education department is planning to feed the kids for us in the Regency Room. PYSO musicians are taking the place of the typical EQT Side-By-Side concert. Our orchestra will be split – half of the kids will play with the PSO the first half and half of the kids will play the second half. Manfred Honeck would prefer for everyone to play all at once.  We are not sure what exactly will occur yet, but every musician will be involved.

Q: A parent asked when the $25 PYSO Parents Association money is due.
A:  It is already included in the membership dues. $25 for each student comes to the Association automatically from PYSO.

Craig reminded the officers that the Gala meeting is next Sunday afternoon on October 1st.

Craig filled us in about the participation in the PPG concert in December which will be a combination of PYSO and TRYPO strings. More info to follow. It will be a voluntary signup.

Q: A parent asked if Craig would tell us more about the Gala concert. How is it different from the other concerts?
A:  The Gala is a fundraiser to benefit PYSO. It is set up to be a fully catered, sit-down dinner. Last year the tickets were $100/person which included appetizers, a full dinner and a complimentary drink (for early bird ticket buyers). There is a silent auction and live auction. In the past, the orchestra played before dinner and after dinner. Last year we tried something new and had the orchestra played during the dinner. It actually worked well because everything moved and it helped to make the event end earlier. For example, the orchestra rehearsed at 4pm and then went off to eat when the guests started to arrive at 6pm. Guests are checked in, get drinks/appetizers, sign up for auction items, and take their seats at their tables. We started dinner service and the orchestra played during the dinner. After the dinner, the orchestra stayed seated while we held a brief live auction. The orchestra plays the final music piece and then we are done. Our aim is to get around 200 guests. We could raise approximately $30,000. The money goes toward the general operating fund and scholarships. It could also go towards the tour fund for the 2020 tour.

Craig wanted to reiterate his appreciation to the previous and the current PYSOPA officers and to all the parents here who have been volunteering with the organization.

Q: A parent asked if PYSO participated in United Way.
A:  Craig answered that we do not. When Craig inquired, United Way was changing their eligibility requirements and we were not able to become eligible. (Other groups similar to PYSO had been grandfathered in.) Stephanie added that a parent from a past season had their employer donate to PYSO for hours the parent volunteered with PYSO. That particular company donated $500 for every 20 hours of volunteer service their employee performed; therefore, it is suggested to check with your employers to see if that is offered.

Stephanie thanked everyone for coming. Please feel free to contact any one of us if you would like to get involved. Our contact information is on the PYSO website under PYSO Parents Association.

The meeting was adjourned.


PYSO Fall 2017 Apparel Sale

The PYSO Parents’ Association is holding a fall PYSO apparel sale from Sunday, Oct. 8th to Sunday, Oct. 22nd, 2017.

Please fill out the 2017 PYSO Fall Spirit Wear Form and return it with your payment to the apparel order box (by the elevator) at rehearsal on October 8th, 15th, or 22nd.

Orders should be ready for delivery at the Nov. 12th rehearsal.

Contact Stephanie Schulte-Albert at with any questions.

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