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Young leaves Queens Symphony Orchestra

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Ellen Young, executive director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, has announced her resignation from the organization after a nine-year tenure. The Sunnyside Gardens resident is stepping down from her top spot to another job - to become the full-time mother to her 10-month-old son, Aaron Philip.

"He's stolen my heart. What can I say?" said Young, recently listed among the "40 Under 40" in Crain's New York Business for her numerous accomplishments since signing on as QSO's executive director in 1991. Young has been credited with introducing 15,000 first-time attendees to the orchestra's performances. She also spearheaded the creation of a Youth Gospel Choir to speak to the wide-ranging interest of prospective QSO fans.

"One of my chief aims of these past years with the orchestra has been to speak to the issue of audience development," said Young, recalling how a concerted community outreach effort inspired her to support the formation of a gospel choir uniting the youths of Queens in song.

"I am very proud of the choir and very happy with the direction in which the orchestra is heading," said Young.

The QSO, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, now serves about 50,000 listeners and offers a host of performances, including various programs for the city school system such as free concerts and competitions for aspiring musicians.

And although Young is stepping down from her post as director, she will remain connected to the orchestra as a part-time consultant, helping to raise funds for future programs and events. Replacing Young as director is Sophia Foglia, QSO development director, who will assume the title of acting executive director.

The Queens Symphony Orchestra is at 31-00 47th Ave., Long Island City. For more information, call 786-8880.

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