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Teen Instrumentalists Convene Virtually in July for NYO-USA, NYO2, and NYO Jazz

Mike Lawson • News • July 2, 2020

From July 6-17, more than 200 of the country’s most outstanding teen musicians—hailing from 41 states across the USA—will come together to form an online virtual musical community, taking part in Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles: the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2, and NYO Jazz.

The annual summer training residency, which is free to all participants, has shifted this year to an all-digital programming format in light of the effects of COVID-19.

Throughout the two-week online residency, these talented classical and jazz musicians (ages 14-19) will engage with a stellar faculty made up of leading players from America’s top professional orchestras and top jazz masters. During the residency, there will be opportunities for a wide array of virtual musical experiences, including private lessons and master classes, listening sessions, and mentoring.

Under the direction of orchestra director James Ross and resident conductor Joseph Young, NYO-USA and NYO2 will explore musical masterworks, including Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. Artistic director and bandleader Sean Jones will lead NYO Jazz in preparation for the virtual world premiere of a new work, Fête dans la Tête, by John Beasley, commissioned especially for NYO Jazz, as well as Thad Jones’s Cherry Juice. All three ensembles will record virtual performance video projects during the residency, directed by Emmy Award-winner Habib Azar, to be released later this summer.

In addition, the young musicians will have the opportunity to take part in a range of sessions with special guests, including a digital workshop with four-time Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer Jacob Collier; a panel discussion on gender in jazz; an improvisation workshop with interactive performer Nick Demeris; a movement workshop with dancer Terese Capucilli from The Juilliard School; and an exploration of new music with celebrated composer Sean Shepherd. As part of the inspiring NYO community, the players will also have the chance to engage with the Fellows of New World Symphony and peer advisory activities with NYO program alumni, participating in workshops on essential music skills and career building, gaining insight into the life of a professional musician.

“We are always inspired by the amazing musicianship, creativity, enthusiasm, and ingenuity of our national youth ensembles,” said Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall. “Although we wish we could all be together in person this summer, we are excited to host this virtual community offering everyone the opportunity to collaborate and engage with one another from home, learning from and engaging with a world-class faculty.”

“At a time when young musicians around the country have been at home, seeking meaningful ways to continue to learn and make music with others, we are happy to be offering high-quality virtual training and performance opportunities that have become a hallmark of our national youth ensembles,” said Sarah Johnson, chief education officer and director of Weill Music Institute. “We know how valuable it is for young people to stay connected with their peers, especially during these challenging times, and NYO is a fantastic way for them to continue their musical discovery, elevate their playing, and connect with one another.”

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